Wisconsin school districts receive grant to help teen pregnancy

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2014 --- 10:15 p.m.

It's something that most high school girls would consider unexpected -- pregnancy.

When it does happen, there are programs in place to make sure young expectant mothers aren't left feeling lost and alone.

Today, a new grant was announced that will disperse a total of $1.2 million to 13 school districts throughout Wisconsin.

It's funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, and is intended to support Wisconsin's InSPIRE project, which stands for In School Pregnant and Parenting Interventions, Resources, and Education.

Sarah, as we call her for privacy reasons, is a young mother who had her child when she was a senior in high school.

"It's not the end of the world, I mean, it's the start of a new life," Sarah said.

She made it through a tough time thanks to support not only from her family, but also from CARENET and the Elizabeth House, a residential program for young women who are pregnant.

Sarah would have benefited from the new grant, and calls the idea behind it "great".

Nancy Yoder, Executive Director for Student Services at the Madison Metropolitan School District, said that the new grant is generous.

Yoder said the Madison district will see about $130,000 of the total.

"It's important because we're talking about very young people who have children," Yoder explained.

According to Yoder, the money is meant to fund things like providing help for daycare, transportation to schooling and jobs, expenses related to jobs, and general parenting skills.

All so girls like Sarah have the help they need.

"At the end of the day, no matter how tired I seem or how hard it gets, I can always look in her face and say it's totally worth it," Sarah said.

The school districts receiving parts of the grant are:

Adams-Friendship Area School District
Bayfield School District
Beloit School District
Cooperative Educational Service Agency 3 (Consortium)
Fond du Lac School District
Green Bay Area Public School District
Janesville School District
Madison Metropolitan School District
Menomonie Area School District
Milwaukee Public Schools
Racine Unified School District
Walworth County Educational Consortium Alternative High School*
West Allis-West Milwaukee School District

*School district members: Elkhorn Area- fiscal agent, Big Foot UHS, Delavan-Darien, Lake Geneva-Genoa City UHS, and Williams Bay.

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