Established by Laura Huxley in 1977, Children: Our Ultimate Investment’s MISSON is to educate and prepare our youth to reach their full potential through programs that address teen pregnancy prevention, non-violent parenting, life skills, continued education and job opportunities.
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COUI's primary program,Teens & Toddlers (T&T), was originally designed as an at risk teen pregnancy prevention program, however teen pregnancy is only a symptom of any number of underlying issues, many of which we address through our T&T curriculum.
HOW IT WORKS:
Our unique Teens & Toddlers (T&T) program teaches teen pregnancy prevention, mental health and life skills. The T&T program is founded on creating an environment where teenagers, both male and female, can experience the demands of childcare first-hand, as well as learn the risks and challenges of facing this life-changing decision at such a young age. We do this through (1) classroom instruction covering a broad curriculum, including interpersonal skills, anger management, reproductive health, as well as resume building and life skills; (2) service learning in a preschool setting which provides regular one-to-one contact between each teen and a ‘toddler’, with whom they establish a working relationship during the project, as well as hands-on practice of the many skills they are learning in the classroom.
In addition to reducing teen pregnancy, program successes have included truces between rival gang members as well as a few who left their gangs entirely, program graduates who have altered their life goals to include college, all around better familial relations, students being offered paying jobs at the preschools they have volunteered for through the service-learning portion of our program, and much more. We plan to further confirm our successes through an independent evaluation as we continue to grow our funding and expand.
Key outcomes young people report:
- Increased ability to take on a responsible role in life through a mutually respectful relationship with authority, thereby engendering a sense of success and achievement.
- A significant impact on their choices about becoming parents, (i.e. lower teen pregnancy rates).
- Realization of alternative goals to being pregnant such as developing satisfying work and relationships.
- Awareness of their capacity to make individual decisions with less need for peer conformity.
- Learning non-violent ways of self-assertion and managing anger by gaining practical interpersonal skills for more constructive behavior.
- Increased motivation and educational engagement, evidenced by young people remaining in the educational system longer and raising their employment possibilities.
- Greater sexual responsibility.
- Community engagement through working in and contributing to local preschools and support for preschool staff.
- Early intervention with small children through the teens ‘befriending’ toddlers in the daycare centers.
- Citizenship skills through multi-cultural participation and promotion of an appreciation of difference and improved social behavior.
- Health Improvements: increased emotional literacy – skills of self-reflection, self-management, relationship to others & relationship to society.
- Interpersonal relationship skills.
- Crime prevention through anger management, work with awareness of choice and personal responsibility, and future life goals.
We are undergoing an approval process with the LAUSD for T&T to be offered as a supplemental Health course. In addition, we are currently forging a partnership with the LAPD as a community referral program. Our only obstacle to expansion is obtaining the funding necessary to pay for each student and staff member.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
We ask your support in our mission of preparing today’s youth for a productive life, and expanding our remarkable success. Two programs per year cost $20,000.00, but no donation is too small or too large. Become more involved today!