The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and the Weaver Family Foundation announced the awards of $135,000 in Straight Talk funding. Straight Talk grantsare part of the Foundations' partnership to reduce and prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teens.
Created in 1995 by Jaguars team owner and Foundation CEO Delores Barr Weaver, the Straight Talk partnership is a unique vehicle for positive change year-round in the Jacksonville community by opening the lines of communication between teens and parents and providing medically accurate information which empowers youth to make responsible choices.
Since 1999, more than $2.1 million in Straight Talk grants has been awarded to local programs specifically dealing with this issue.
The 2011 Straight Talk grant recipients are:
- Apel Health Services Center, Inc. at Abyssinia Baptist Church $20,000.Peer education Mentoring and HIV/AIDS prevention program.
- The Bridge of Northeast Florida,$40,000. Straight Talk Program at the Bridge Teen Center and Southwind Villa apartment complex.
- Girls, Inc., $40,000.Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy (PAP) Program at sites throughout Jacksonville.
- PACE Center for Girls,$35,000. Time To Be A Girl Program.
In addition to grant making, the Jaguars Foundation's Straight Talk partnership of local media, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy collaborate to produce an annual prime time television town hall forum, "Teens & Sex…the Real Truth." The show offers candid information on teens and sex and the consequences faced by sexually active teenagers. Media partners include WJCT PBS 7(producing station for the 2011 Straight Talk show), WAWS FOX 30, WTEV CBS 47, WTLV NBC 12, WJXX ABC 25, WJXT 4, WCWJ CW 17, Comcast Cable and Comcast On-Demand, The Florida Times-Union/jacksonville.com,Clear Channel Outdoor,PRI Productions and United Way 2-1-1.
Also, since October 2010, PSA's of Jaguars Players, The ROAR of the Jaguars Cheerleaders, Delores Barr Weaver and Team Mascot JAXSON De Ville, produced by CW 17, have aired on all stations and Comcast to communicate the important prevention message to teens and parents.
Delores Barr Weaver stated, "The unique partnership of the media speaks volumes to their commitment to the community as they put competition aside to address this important issue for the benefit of our youth." Peter Racine, Executive Director of the Foundation added, "Through the inspiration of Delores Barr Weaver and the support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and our media partners, we have been able to reach out to thousands of teens and parents with this important prevention message."
For more information about the Straight Talk program, log on to the Straight Talk website at www.straighttalk.jacksonville.com*. *