In 2009, Beginnings launched our Baby Smarts Program. Our agency has a long history of working with pregnant teens and young people who are parenting or exploring adoption and we wanted to offer a program that addressed many of the challenges they face. This program was initiated as a way of connecting with youth in high schools and youth group settings.
In developing a program, we wanted to take the research into account. We found that discussions that enhance knowledge and support critical thinking skills have been shown to move youth towards a longer term goal of healthy decision making. Because teens are often influenced by their peers, we have seen that starting discussions in a peer group setting can help to challenge popular beliefs and misconceptions.
Our program is called Baby Smarts. Based on the Love2U Series, we developed 3 interactive one-hour lesson plans which sketch out a larger context for helping teens make wise relationship and sexual choices. The program can best be summarized as, “It’s not just about me.” Each lesson helps youth to explore the bigger picture including: influences on decision making, their own values and beliefs, the needs of children, and healthy relationships. It is about building knowledge and real skills through interactive discussions, video clips, and activities. The aim of these lessons is to help youth look forward and instill confidence in teens concerning their future goals and decision making abilities.
Feedback from youth continues to support our program goals. Teens have shared that they are surprised about the myths and facts of pregnancy. They are eager to learn more about the challenges of parenting and continue to report that they believe healthy relationships really do matter.
A few additional comments from students have been
“I enjoyed the topic about parenting because I know people who went through this and it helps a lot to know”;
“I enjoyed talking about the subconscious effect of the media because it is subtle.”
“I learned a lot of new things about abusive relationships that I did not know before”;
I enjoyed “Relationships. It showed me what I need to prioritize and how to make it even better”.
Fees & Forms
There are no fees for birth parents, or school programs.
- Adoptive parents education seminarse
- PRIDE training ranges from $1400 to $1500 across the province