The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $27 million in grants to states, including Colorado, to help communities develop and implement abstinence-only education and related programs for young people ages 12 to 18.
"Abstinence education programs create an environment within communities that support teens in their decision to remain abstinent until marriage," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. "These grants will help communities develop programs that give teens the confidence and self-esteem to make good choices for themselves and their futures."
Three types of grants were awarded through two Health and Human Services agencies. The Health Resources and Services Administration released Community-Based Abstinence Education Grants. The agency awarded three-year implementation grants and one-year planning grants.
Friends First in Longmont received a three-year implementation grant for $630,222 while the Pueblo Youth Program received the same grant for $319,788. The two Colorado programs were among 40 recipients for the implementation grants totaling $18.3 million.
Colorado State University in Fort Collins received an abstinence demonstration project grant for $225,000. These grants were provided by the department’s Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs. The office released grants totaling $7.8 million for 37 abstinence demonstration projects set to begin this month.
These projects will be run by public and private agencies, universities, hospitals and faith-based organizations.
Health Resources and Services Administration officials expect to announce the availability of another round of abstinence grants this fall.
The education programs are designed to reduce the number of adolescents who have engaged in premarital sexual activity and, consequently, the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.