Governor's Talk Early And Talk Often Program Now A Model For Other States

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

July 17, 2006

Governor Granholm's Talk Early & Talk Often parent education program will be featured as a model program in the July 27 "Adolescent Sexual Health: Engaging Parents in Teen Pregnancy Prevention" audio conference.

The conference will inform teachers and health care providers from six states about the role parents play in adolescent decision-making and behavior and will highlight programs that promote parental involvement in teen pregnancy prevention.

"After a very successful pilot, the Governor and I are confident that the Talk Early & Talk Often program truly does empower parents to talk frankly with their children about abstinence and sexuality," said Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan Surgeon General. "We are thrilled to have an opportunity to share this program with other states."

Talk Early & Talk Often - a component of the Governor's Blueprint for Preventing Unintended Pregnancies - was piloted in 60 communities statewide in 2005. More than 800 parents of middle school youth participated in these free, 90-minute workshops. "Parents like that they have the chance to talk with other concerned parents and get ideas on how to approach their child on this subject," said Barbara Flis, Talk Early & Talk Often Coordinator.

"Parents also like that the program doesn't tell them what to believe but affirms the importance of teaching their values."

Flis will represent the State of Michigan during the audio conference.

Evaluation results showed that at the end of the workshop, 74% of parents said they were very likely to initiate discussion about sexuality with their middle schoolers(s) and 78% said they felt very confident to talk with their middle schooler(s) about this topic. Ninety-nine percent of parents said they would recommend the workshop to other parents.

The audio conference will be hosted by Health Care Education and Training, Inc., a nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive education, training, and program development, primarily to enhance reproductive and women's health care. Other featured speakers will include Kristen Tertzakian of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Brigid Riley of the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting (MOAPPP).

Health care providers and teachers from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio may register for the conference at www.hcet.org/events/2IN4thur06.htm. The registration deadline is July 17, 2006. For more information about Talk Early & Talk Often, visit www.michigan.gov/miparentresources.