TOPs Club: Teen Outreach Program

TOPs Club: Teen Outreach Program
Posted on 11/13/2019
From Angie Anderson, TOPs Coordinator

The Missouri Teen Pregnancy Prevention program (MOTPP), offered by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), seeks to reduce teenage pregnancy, encourage healthy relationships, and empower youth across the state, including here in the Mexico community.

Teens in your community have participated in the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) curriculum since 2016. The program prepares middle and high school students to develop healthy relationships, build self-esteem and self-awareness, and create a sense of purpose and empowerment through peer learning, facilitated lesson plans, and collective service to the community. Through classes on problem-solving, goal-setting, and healthy relationships, the TOP program nation-wide has lowered the likelihood of teen pregnancy, risky sexual behaviors, course failure, and rates of truancy in school.

While MOTPP is administered by DHSS, schools, health departments, and nonprofits implement the program, including Mexico School District. During the 2018-2019 school year, the School District served 27 students with TOP curriculum and activities. This year there are 25 students enrolled so far. These students are a part of three different clubs, each led by program facilitators from the schools. At Mexico Middle, Kim Costley, Amanda Kinkead, Jennifer Pascoe, and Jennifer McIntyre facilitate the TOPs program, and, at Mexico High, Jennifer Warbritton and Drew Widaman.

Finally, community service learning is a major focus of TOP. The clubs have volunteered 81 hours of service to the community, including making blankets for foster children, making cookies and thank you notes for EMS, and helping teachers prepare for MAP testing.  Contact Angie Anderson at aanderson@mexico.k12.mo.us if you are interested in your teen participating in 2019-2020 TOP or you have a community service project for future teens.