Unitarians donate to School-Age Parenting Program

Presenting a donation to the School-Age Parenting Program are SMUUF Social Justice Chair Jeannie Lewis, SAPP Program Coordinator Jennifer Vogel, SMUUF President Jeanne Garthwaite and SMUUF musician Teresa Smetzer. PHOTO COURTESY OF SMUUF

The San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (SMUUF) took up a Donatethe-Plate collection recently for the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District's (SMCISD) School-Age Parenting Program (SAPP).

"Once a month our church takes up a collection during our worship service for a local nonprofit which is working in the community on issues that align with our values," SMUUF Social Justice Chair Jeannie Lewis said. "We collected $900 for the School-Age Parents Program during our worship service, then after the check was already written, two anonymous donors gave $50 each, making it actually $1000."

Jennifer Vogel, SAPP coordinator, explained what the program does at SMCISD.

The School-Age Pregnant and Parenting Program was founded in 1989. The program's primary focus has been to help teenagers complete their high school education. Teen pregnancy is the number one cause for high school drop outs. Over the years, many social issues have been critical in affecting the teen’s success in getting an education. Some of the issues include: poverty, low family education, domestic violence, dating violence and repeat pregnancies. Repeat pregnancies in teen parents have dramatic outcomes for families and communities. The SAPP program has reduced the rate of repeat pregnancies from a rate of 65 percent to less than one percent, according to Vogel.

Vogel expressed her appreciation for all that the San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship does.

"SMUUF has played a valuable role in the San Marcos CISD community, being a leader and a voice to helping a community understand the impact of the lack of sex education for young people. SMUUF has given support in helping the SMCISD community develop sensitivity training to meet the needs of all students, but especially the LBGTQ community of young people. The training this past fall attended by SMCISD educators had the lunch provided by SMUUF in partnership with The Root Cellar. SMUUF's generous donation will help us continue to reduce the rate of repeat pregnancies and help young people complete their high school education."

For more information about the San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship visit their website or call Jeannie Lewis at 512-353-2872.

San Marcos Daily Record

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