Teen Parenting: Planning an Awareness Fair
From The Graduates: Youth Action Guide collection, lesson plan 7 of 7
Objectives: Students will investigate how teen parenting can be an obstacle to Latino youth success, and explore how community events like awareness fairs can be effective ways to outreach, educate, and influence change. They will plan ideas and logistics leading up to a community event.
Principal Writer: David Maduli is an independent educational consultant who has contributed many curriculum guides and conducted various workshops for PBS and ITVS programs. He has a master’s in teaching and curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education and has extensive experience as a veteran Bay Area public school language arts and social studies teacher. He is currently at Mills College as a new teacher coach and Community Engagement Fellow in the Mills College creative writing program.
Time: 60 minutes
Trivia Booth Experience (10 minutes)
Using statistics and facts from the Community Cinema Discussion Guide around the issue of teen parenting, prepare a table or booth with a trivia game that participants will play or observe as they enter (for example: Jeopardy, quizbowl, trivia cards, matching game, and so on).
Give each person who participates a small prize like candy, pens/notepads, or even a bookmark or sticker that says: “I support teen parents.”
Online Quiz (15 minutes)
Project as an on-screen demonstration or have participants pair off with computer stations or mobile devices to take the online quiz “How Much Do You Know About Latina Teen Pregnancy in the U.S.?”. The web-based tool Quibblo is a good way to create quizzes online, but have the facilitator who is demonstrating create a free account in advance and log in, so that the results and answers will display after the quiz is completed.
Display on-screen or have participants explore the source of the statistics and facts for this quiz on their own: “The Latino Resource Center: Resources for Groups Working with Teens” page of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy. There are a number of fact sheets, survey and data reports, and personal stories from and about Latino youth located at this site.
Discuss the effectiveness of the quiz experience, and reactions and questions about the information.
VIEWING AND DISCUSSING THE MODULE:
The Graduates/Los Graduados Film Module (15 minutes film + 10 minutes discussion)
Screen the module spotlighting Darlene’s story. Preface by reading or distributing the background text about her from the Community Cinema Discussion Guide.
Discuss reactions and responses
- How do you relate to Darlene? What similarities and differences do you see between her situation and yours/people you know?
- What impact did her relationship with her father have on Darlene’s desire to want her own family at a young age?
- What do you think about her mother’s reaction to learning that she was pregnant? How did her attitude change over time?
- What skills, knowledge, and support did the school and arts programs provide her with? What programs like those exist in your school or community?
- How are teen parents commonly portrayed in the media?
- How does Darlene’s story challenge those images and narratives?
- Why do you think the filmmakers focused on Darlene’s interest in her son’s early education?
- What specific challenges do teen parents face that others may take for granted?
Planning the Fair (10-15 minutes)
- Facilitate a brainstorming and planning session around an awareness fair. This fair can focus on the theme of teen parenting, or it can be a larger effort showcasing information and views on all of the themes from this guide. Break into groups by interest to develop ideas and logistics around need such as:
- Advertising and promoting the fair through face-to-face, visual, and online avenues
- Reaching out to community organizations, health programs, etc. to attend and table at the fair
- Researching and reserving a venue for the fair, including equipment needs
- Designing booths with games and activities that will engage attendees
- Securing sponsors and donors for giveaways, refreshments, prizes, volunteers, etc.
- Organizing an agenda with speakers, performers, and entertainment
TAKING IT FURTHER
The previous activity is an introduction to engaging with the topic and exploring the corresponding strategy. The following research and development activities can be done as outside assignments or can be the focus of future sessions to develop this organizing strategy for your campaign. Depending on your priorities, you may choose to go deeper here or with any of the other modules over the course of weeks or even months:
- Set committees to further plan the needs for the fair. Plan a timeline with deliverable dates and milestones.
- Design other events that can outreach to the community and provide space for voices to be heard: school assembly, rally, talent showcase, block party/park jam, film screening, or a general meeting for your organization.
- Interview teen parents in your school or community and produce media with it: ‘zine, video, pamphlet, website, etc. that you can showcase at an event or share online through social media. Investigate how mainstream media has portrayed teen parents, such as the glamorized images in the reality show Teen Mom.
- Screen and discuss Baby Mama High, a short film available on The Graduates/Los Graduados Engagement Toolkit DVD.
A SUCCESS STORY: No Teen Shame campaign from National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
The mission of NLIRH is to ensure the fundamental human right to reproductive health and justice for Latinas, their families, and their communities through public education, community mobilization, and policy advocacy. While they support teen pregnancy prevention, they also seek to change the discourse surrounding young motherhood and the policies meant to address the issues young mothers face. They believe that the media coverage surrounding young motherhood is both stigmatizing and insensitive, and presents young motherhood as a problem in itself as opposed to the real problems that often surround it, such as poverty and lack of access to timely and high-quality health care services and educational opportunities. Latinas do not report having sex more than white women, but are at higher risk for pregnancy because they have significantly lower rates of contraceptive use. This disparity in contraceptive use is based not on simple preference, but is closely connected to social and economic inequity. Download this bilingual toolkit for guidance and activities for joining their newest campaign.