New Mexico Graduation Reality and Dual-Role Skills (NM GRADS) program has 26 active sites in NM. The main goal of this program is to help teen parents graduate from high school, develop positive parenting and healthy relationships skills, and prepare them for a career.
NM GRADS provides on-site childcare, giving the parents the opportunity to bring their child to a safe environment while they attend classes. NM GRADS is vital in keeping teen parents in school and recruiting parenting dropouts to come back to school.
NM GRADS focuses on healthy choices for teens and their children, e.g., delaying second pregnancies by using approved comprehensive sex education information in their curriculum; encouraging prenatal/maternal care to avoid low birth weight babies; and promoting safe and healthy family relationships.
The GRADS program has existed for 25 years, starting in Ohio in 1989. NM was the first state to replicate the program, adding childcare to the mix. A number of other states also use the program. Since its inception, the GRADS program has impacted more than 14,500 teen parents, and 3,439 teen parents have been recruited back to school.
NM GRADS is funded by the NM Legislature, and the US Human Health Services Department of Adolescent Health, and is overseen by the NM Public Education Department.
For more information regarding NM GRADS, visit: www.nmgrads.org
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