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FOR RELEASE: January 14, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Free Abstinence Conferences Offered

The legislatively established Interagency Coordinating Council for the Prevention of Teen Pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (ICC) will host seven “basic” and two “advanced” abstinence education trainings for teachers, counselors, youth pastors, and health care providers around the state over the next three months.

The State Department of Human Services has contracted with Abstinence and Relationship Training Center, a leader in abstinence-focused sex education curricula and training, to provide nine free one-day abstinence education trainings. The Oklahoma Abstinence Training Conferences (OATC) are being offered to equip, encourage and empower abstinence educators throughout the state.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone that works with Oklahoma youth to become equipped to teach sexual abstinence and contribute to lowering the birth rate in our state, which currently stands at 13th highest in the nation, ” said ICC Chairman Dr. Craig Evans.

In addition to free training, more than 200 school districts or agencies will have an opportunity to receive a voucher worth $400 to be used to purchase an abstinence curriculum.

All conferences will be held from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The “Basic” conference dates and locations are:

  • January 21, 2003 - Muskogee
  • January 22, 2003 - Claremore
  • January 27, 2003 - Weatherford
  • January 28, 2003 -Woodward
  • February 3, 2003 - Durant
  • February 4, 2003 - Idabel
  • February 18, 2003 - Stillwater

Advanced training will be offered for the more than 300 Oklahomans who participated in the OATC 2001 Conferences, or the 2003 Basic Conference participants who wish to build upon the knowledge, activities and strategies previously shared. “Advanced” training will be from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. as follows:

  • March 5, 2003 - Oklahoma City
  • March 11, 2003 - Tulsa

To register or for more information about the training conferences, curriculum vouchers and resources available, contact Debbie Gann at (918) 252-0916 or visit the OATC Web site at www.okoatc.com, or contact Paul Wesselhoft, State Coordinator of Abstinence Education, at the Oklahoma State Department of Health at (405) 271-4477 ext. 56711.

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