Teen-Parent Program Gets Grant, But Needs Space

by Devin Katayama on July 25, 2011

A Jefferson County Public School program that doubles as a school-based health center for teen parents has received a new federal grant.

The Georgia Chafee Teenage Parent Program has two alternative high schools, South Park and Westport TAPP, that educate teen-moms and moms-to-be. The $28,400 grant will cover medical supplies like wheelchairs and stethoscopes and will help replace old equipment, but cannot be used for construction projects.

“Just last year I converted two office spaces into a daycare room so I could accommodate 10 more babies,” said Sara York, director of South Park TAPP.

The schools serve around 600 students annually. Some students enroll late or leave the program early but for both schools there are 230 daycare spots combined, leaving sometimes 50 students on a waiting list.

York says the grant money and the converted office space will help, so will the school’s one-child policy. York says last year the school told students it would only accommodate one child per student. There has been a dramatic decrease in students having multiple children, she said.

“Last year we saw a dramatic decrease and we think it’s because we told them we have spots for one child and if you have another one we don’t have spots for your child,” said York.

Registration for Westport TAPP begins Monday and Tuesday; South Park TAPP begins Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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