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Bruce Cook – President & Founder of Choosing the Best
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Atlanta, August 11, 2014 — Local educators in Monroe County Georgia were pleased to see the latest statistics showing dramatic declines in teen pregnancy in their community.  From 2003 to 2010, pregnancy rates among 15 to 17 year olds in Monroe County declined from 30.5 to 13.3, a 56% reduction in teen pregnancy.[1]

In May 2002, The Pregnancy Center of Monroe County Georgia initiated the implementation of Choosing the Best LIFE among 8thth grade students in the county school district. In 2007, they started the implementation of Choosing the Best SOUL MATE among high school seniors and in 2010, Choosing the Best WAY among 7th grade students in the district. 

The Pregnancy Center Education Chairman of the Board Movene Futch commented, “Our hard work, funding, and the excellent Choosing the Best materials are making a huge difference in the decisions made by our students in the area of sexual behavior. We rejoice in the stats that show the difference these efforts are making.”

Additionally, Monroe County graduation rates have increased from 58% to 85% from 2004 (the first year rates were tracked) to 2013.  Local educators believe the Choosing the Best programs may have played a role in increasing graduation levels, not only by decreasing teen pregnancy rates, but also by teaching students about the importance goal setting, strategies to achieve goals, and avoiding pitfalls that may decrease future prospects for success. 

According to Futch, Choosing the Best materials have been “well-received by the students and teachers from the beginning.” Based on these strong results, Monroe County has increasingly expanded the use of Choosing the Best. As of 2011, the county began using Choosing the Best JOURNEY for 9th grade students, and continues to use the other programs throughout middle and high schools to help ensure healthier decisions and better futures for these students and their families.

[1] Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Health Indicators for Planning (OHIP).