Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills (GRADS) is a program to keep pregnant and parenting teens in school, with additional goals to encouraging good health care practices and to help young parents set occupational goals for grades 7-12.
GRADS is approved by PEP (Peer Education Program) for all pregnant and parenting teens, male and female, in grades 7-12 from city, exempted village, local, and joint vocational school districts in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
GRADS is a Family and Consumer Sciences instructional and intervention program. Regular GRADS classes are supplemented with seminars and individual projects.
Teachers trained in the program serve one school or travel among three or four. The instruction focuses on use of the Adolescent Parent Resource Guide, which provides the practical problems, concepts, and strategies which guide the development of skills in teenage parents. The guide discusses communication and skills necessary for effective problem solving in the teen family. It recognizes the stresses affecting pregnant teens, focusing on management skills required for teen family wellness. Central themes of the guide and the curriculum (which emphasizes practical problem solving) are the perennial and practical problems of the adolescent parent at home, school, and work; and the development of knowledge and skills to solve problems in real life, including identifying alternatives, examining consequences, considering personal goals and values, scrutinizing decisions, and taking morally defensible actions.
The four content areas emphasized include:
- a positive self
- the pregnancy
- parenting and
- economic independence.
Audio visuals, supplemental texts, and other materials are also part of the program. The advisory committee component and home and community outreach component seek to build strong relationships with students through home visits and/or contacts with family. Collaboration and agency linkages are necessary for addressing the obstacles teen parents face to being able to remain in school until graduation. The evaluation/research component seeks to identify and report student and program outcomes. All programs report outcomes, and a state and national report is published annually.
Pregnant and parenting teens enrolled in the program are more likely to remain in school until graduation, during pregnancy, and after childbirth; they have also significantly increased their knowledge of positive parenting practices as measured by pre- and post-test instruments. Pregnant mothers are also more likely to deliver healthy babies than teens not enrolled in the program.
Ohio Department of Education, Division of Family and Consumer Sciences, Mail Stop 606, 65 South Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215-4183. (614) 644-6333, FAX (614) 644-5702.
The Adolescent Parent Resource Guide (APRG) is for GRADS teachers and other programs serving pregnant and parenting teens. The APRG translates the GRADS OCAP into a dynamic classroom curriculum. The APRG contains group and individual learning activities.