Courage Lesson Feb 2015 newsletter
Dear Friends of Equipping Youth,
In our lesson ‘Choose Control’ we have several activities to demonstrate that just because a person thinks they can do a task, such as driving home after being “encumbered” by a substance, they are at extreme risk. Nearly all of the students in a classroom think they can jump over a dollar while they hold their toes. You should hear the discussion that results among the students from experiencing this activity. Demonstrating the encumbrances of alcohol and drugs; jumping over a dollar seems so easy even when instructed to “hold onto your toes during the entire jump”. Another activity demonstrates the lack of positive decision making when encumbered (under the influence)”.
The Family Research Council in Washington DC has recently published additional findings from the US Census. Dr Pat Fagan’s team tracked the number of 15 to 17-year-olds who grew up with their married biological parents, and found the intact family in a full-blown meltdown. Only 46% of these teenagers lived in an intact home (down 20% since 1950). We must work together to make a difference for the children in our classrooms, neighborhoods and churches. They need the truth of what is important for life and joy. Our culture of SHADES of GREY demonstrates the lie; “whatever you desire should become yours”, showing no regard of the consequences to others and yourself.
Of Iowa teens, nearly 75% indicated on the YRBS-Youth Risk Behavior Survey that they have never experienced intimate relations: however the CDC- Communicable Disease Center reports that 50% of STDs are among teens 15-19 years of age. When I asked students last week how these statistics could both be right, they were stumped. I explained that the word left out of most reports in the media was ‘cases’. When they realized that within a year one person could have multiple cases of STDs they became aware of how deceptive and alarmist some reports are concerning negative behavior among youth. The worksheet of this lesson asked the parents what percent of teens they think to be active. None of the 100 students had a parent think that 75% was the answer. The lesson was ‘Choose Awareness’ teaching the assets of finding the truth and not accepting what the media and culture are saying about the correct path to follow.
We appreciate your support and want you to remember that your donations to our programming have made a difference for your schools, community and the State of Iowa. These latest statistics are not recent; however the teen birth rate as well as the abortion rate has continued to decline among teens.
According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, the teen birth rate in Iowa declined 33% between 1991 and 2010. The progress Iowa made in reducing teen childbearing saved an estimated $58 million in 2010 alone compared to the costs they would have incurred had the rates not fallen.
Thank you for caring,
Ruth Anne Eccles
for the staff and Directors of Equipping Youth