Teen Parents Helped by Hanford Program

Program started in 2016 helps high schoolers stay in school despite becoming parents

PUBLISHED JAN 10, 2024 11:20 P.M.
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It’s not a common sight to see a high school student pushing a stroller between classes, due in part to a sobering statistic: Students who become parents are around 50% likely to drop out before graduation.

In Hanford, Calif., however, a relatively new program could be helping to change things.

Lasherica Thornton has a piece out for EdSource looking at the Helping Our Parents Excel, or HOPE Program, at a Learn4Life charter school, Kings Valley Academy in Hanford.

“The HOPE program and Learn4Life structure empowered her to walk onto the campus without feeling alone,” Thornton writes. “The program provided her with peer support from other pregnant and teen parents, a personalized learning plan, and the ability to bring her daughter to school.”

The support levels can vary between the 48 Learn4Life campuses around the state where the program has been implemented, Thornton notes.

“Some schools only provide baby supplies and access to support groups, while larger schools have separate classrooms for its HOPE students, which, to (HOPE founder Staci) Roth, has been the best way to achieve the organization’s goal of creating a safe space for parenting students to feel supported,” Thornton writes.

It’s a long and expansive look, overall, at a program that could be yielding good results for a challenged subset of students.

Read the full article, “Hanford program supports teen parents while they finish high school,” on EdSource.org.

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