March of Dimes Awards Male Involvement Grant

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

The March of Dimes Illinois Chapter selected Options for Youth, an organization headquartered in Hyde Park creating opportunities for at-risk youth, as its 2014 male involvement grant recipient. This grant will fund four workshops in Pilsen and Chicago Lawn to educate 150 black and Latino males aged 13-18 on issues related to reproductive health, delaying pregnancy and healthy relationships.

Options for Youth will use their well-trained Peer Advocates to address the often unmet need to educate male youth about reproductive health and their role in reducing the risk of premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. This program will also help to address birth disparities within the black and Latino communities in Illinois. According to the annual March of Dimes premature birth report card, black mothers account for 23.8 percent of preterm births, making them the most at-risk group. This report also found that the rate of preterm birth has decreased for all racial and ethnic backgrounds in Illinois except for Hispanics. All March of Dimes grants are awarded based on several criteria, including the group or organization’s ability to accomplish its goals, as well as the potential impact a project will have in improving birth outcomes.

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