Annex Advisory Council:
The Council’s primary goals are to increase the sexual health and wellness of young people in the Annex Teen Clinic’s traditional service area (NW Hennepin County and North Minneapolis), to foster authentic youth-adult partnerships, and to inform the services and priorities of the Annex Teen Clinic.
Young people ages 16-20 meet once a week for two hours, throughout the calendar year. Members have identified a wide range of topics they explore, including: advocacy skills, cultural identity and immigration, healthy relationships and communication, life after high school and career exploration, sexual health and assertive communication, and much more.
AAC participants reflect that the council has helped them to look at their life and relationships in new ways, to better understand and appreciate differences, and to acknowledge the skills, gifts and experiences that each of us hold. By offering one another support and a place to practice self-care, council members report that they are more effective as a group than they would be alone. They recognize the importance of community engagement and see themselves as valuable in the places where they live, study and work.
Celebration of Change – Family puberty education:
Celebration of Change is an interactive program for adult women and adolescent girls ages 9 through 12 which focuses on the topics of puberty, menstruation and healthy family communication. Caregivers and youth spend some time working together in groups, and also spend time in their respective peer groups.
Celebrations provide resources and education to encourage and empower parents and caregivers to serve as the primary sexuality educators for their children. Research shows that strong bonds with schools, families and support systems protect young people from risky behaviors. The Annex frequently collaborates with faith-based communities to provide this program.
There are many culturally-specific Celebrations facilitated by the Annex. To learn more, visit the parent section.
Health Mentor Model in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park:
Since 2008, an Annex educator has been dedicated to supporting adolescent sexual health and wellness in Brooklyn Center High School (grades 6-12), the Brooklyn Center Alternative Learning Center, and the general Brooklyn Center community. We are thrilled to be replicating this model in Brooklyn Park in 2015-16. This “Health Mentor Model” provides programs and tailored services for young people in the following areas: healthy youth development strategies, the provision of evidence-based sexuality education, promoting parent-child connectedness, and linking young people to accessible reproductive health services, as appropriate. This program is funded by the Better Together Hennepin initiative (PDF).
It’s Your Future:
In 2015, Hennepin County’s Human Services and Public Health Department received a 5-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to replicate evidence-based programs. This work is part of Better Together Hennepin. This grant includes a continuation of the Safer Sex Initiative program, which was part of our previous work through Better Together Hennepin. The Annex Teen Clinic is proud to continue to partner with Hennepin County to deliver these much-needed services to young people.
Safer Sex Initiative (SSI):The clinic-based educator facilitates an evidence-based program using Motivational Interviewing (MI) with young women on a one-on-one basis. Meetings are customized so that the content of each session meets the interests and risk level of each participant. Discussion includes the consequences of unprotected sex, methods for preventing pregnancy and STDs, abstinence, and condom use skills. Program participants follow-up with three booster sessions following the initial session. The curriculum uses an evidence-based, evaluated program.
In-school, evidence-based programming: The Annex provides several evaluated, evidence-based sexuality education curricula in schools. These curricula include: Making Proud Choices, Be Proud! Be Responsible!, and Project AIM!. Making Proud Choices is an 8 session curriculum program for middle school aged youth that addresses the prevention of pregnancy, STIs, and HIV through increasing knowledge, skills, motivation, and a sense of responsibility in students. Be Proud! Be Responsible! is a 6 session curriculum for high school aged youth that aims to change behaviors that put them at risk for STIs, HIV, and pregnancy through increasing participant knowledge, affecting participant beliefs, increasing confidence, and improving intentions to practice safer sex. Project AIM is a 12 session curriculum that is implemented twice a week with middle school aged youth. This curriculum addresses HIV risk behaviors by encouraging youth to think about a positive future and discuss how their current behaviors are a barrier or support to a successful adulthood.
Presentations in schools and community settings:
One-time presentations remain essential to the mission of the Annex Teen Clinic, as they connect young people to our clinical services (when needed), provide fact-based sexuality education information, and provide a model for open and honest communication around adolescent sexual health issues.
Minnesota statute requires education on reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS (MDE, 2007), which is typically included in health classes. The state does not specify any requirement for sexuality education more broadly.
Evidence indicates that comprehensive sexuality education programs can delay sexual activity and improve condom and contraceptive use among those who are sexually active,, while abstinence-only programs have been largely ineffective at changing behavior. A growing body of research with adults – and parents in particular – speaks to overwhelming support for offering comprehensive sexuality education in public schools,. In Minnesota, 89% of parents of school-age children favored teaching about both abstinence and contraception, and this support was high across all demographic categories of parents.
In 2002, a number of community organizations joined forces to create a community approach to preventing unintended teen pregnancy among African American youth in North Minneapolis – the R.E.A.C.H. Collaborative (Restore and Empower African American Adolescents to Create Hope). REACH provides intergenerational programs and community-based STI and HIV testing that provides African American youth in North Minneapolis positive experiences that enhance their assets, support their reproductive health, and reduce multiple risk behaviors. One of the programs offered by REACH is Celebration of Change for African American Females. REACH also provides facilitates evidence-based curricula such as Making Proud Choices, Becoming a Responsible Teen, It’s That Easy parent education, and culturally specific activities. The Collaborative is funded by the Office of Multicultural and Minority Health, the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative at the Minnesota Department of Health. REACH is located in the Plymouth Avenue Art Studio at 2404 Plymouth Avenue North. Office # 763-235-1986
Kirby D. Emerging Answers: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy. Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2001.
Manlove J. Romano-Papillo A. Ikramullah E. Not yet: Programs to Delay First Sex among Teens. Washington DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2004.
Trenholm C. Devaney B. Fortson K. Quay L. Wheeler J. Clark M. Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs: Final Report. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2007.
Eisenberg ME, et al. Support for comprehensive sexuality education: perspectives from
parents of school-age youth. J Adolesc Health. 42(4):352-359, 2008.
Constantine NA. Jerman P. Huang A. California parents‟ preferences and beliefs on school-based sexuality education policy. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2007;39(3): 167–175.