The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently received a $19.7 million grant from the Office of Adolescent and School Health (OASH). The grant will be allocated over a five-year period to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the largest portion of which will fund the Teen Outreach Program (TOP), an evidence-based youth development curriculum to reduce teen pregnancies.
As part of the grant, CPS and OASH launched BeYouBeHealthy.org, a website to maximize resources and provide needed health services to children and adolescents in Chicago. It’s impressive, to say the least. According to the CDC, the new website aims to “increase the percentage of [Chicago Public] schools that provide parents and families health information to increase parent and family knowledge of HIV prevention, STD prevention, and teen pregnancy prevention.” Hooray!
One very interesting aspect of the grant is the HIV/STI Adolescent Health Program, which will provide treatment services and testing not only for CPS high schools, but for students attending the City Colleges of Chicago. The City Colleges of Chicago make up the largest network of community colleges in the country and include: Harold Washington College in the Loop, Harry S. Truman College in Uptown, Kennedy King College in Engelwood, Malcolm X College in North Lawndale, Olive-Harvey College in Pullman (the city’s southern most neighborhood), Richard J. Daley College in West Lawn, and Wilbur Wright College in Dunning on the Northwest Side.
The program is new, so there is little information available about how each individual community college will implement outreach and prevention services to students, but keep an eye on the City of Chicago’s OASH webpage for updates and feel free to email the Program Director Regina Jordan-Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-413-8181 with questions.
Perhaps one of the coolest and most charmingly endearing things to launch from the CPS and OASH program partnership is the Love the Glove free condom campaign. For a laugh, click on the link and hover over your mouse cursor over the words in the heart. For a complete list of Free Condom Distribution Sites in Chicago, click here. If you are a Chicago youth, you should definitely check out SexEdLoop.com.
Props to CPS, OASH, and CDPH for such youth-oriented, comprehensive sexual health, and grant-funded programming.