United Way Diamonds has been working in Sumter County for over 15 years and has made great strides in decreasing the rate of teen pregnancy. Since it began in 2000 there has been a 56% decline in teenage pregnancy in Sumter County. However, there is more work to do. In 2013 Sumter had higher teen pregnancy rates than South Carolina and the United States per 1,000 births. In 2013 there were 122 babies born to teenage mothers ages 15-19 in Sumter County. The cost of teenage pregnancy to Sumter County taxpayers is $4,488,960 annually. We are working hard to lower those numbers even more.
Our goals are:
• Educate middle and high school students about the consequences of early sexual experimentation
• Help teens recognize that sex and pregnancy can have life-altering consequences
• Help teens become more assertive, better problem-solvers, communicators and decision-makers
• Help teens resist peer, societal and cultural pressure
• Increase family unification
• Increase male responsibility
• Educate parents about resources available and the importance of communication with teens about this difficult topic
United Way Diamonds works with the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy to teach approved sexuality education classes in Sumter County. The curriculum is tailored for age groups and is approved through the Sumter School District Comprehensive Education Committee.
For more information about Sumter County teen pregnancy statistics go to http://www.teenpregnancysc.org/county-info/sumter-county.