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North Carolina Nonprofit Partners with Texas Coalition to Launch Parent Support Text Service

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North Carolina Nonprofit Partners with Texas Coalition to Launch Text Service to Support Parents

Service aims to increase parent-child talks about sexual health and relationship safety

Durham, N.C. (September 13, 2011) – A North Carolina-based text messaging program has partnered with health officials in Austin and Houston, TX, to launch the nation’s first parent-focused text-and-answer service.

Launched in August, the new service is a public-private partnership between the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC), Houston-based OneSeventeen Media, the Austin City Health Department, and the Austin Healthy Adolescent Initiative (AHA).

The new service will make it easier for parents to have critical conversations with their children about sexual health issues. For example, a parent can text the service with a question about a specific sexually transmitted disease or signs of an unhealthy relationship his or her teen may be in. A trained health educator provides a medically accurate answer within 24 hours. Health officials believe this sort of back-up tool will make it easier for parents to engage with their children around sexual health topics. The service is an offshoot of APPCNC’s BrdsNBz Text Message Warm Line, a program that drew international attention when it launched February 2009. The BrdsNBz service supplements the work of parents, educators, and medical professionals by providing North Carolina youth a medically accurate, personalized answer to teens’ sexual health and relationship questions. Youth-focused health information text services have since been replicated worldwide.

The Texas-based parent text line, currently in a beta version, is believed to be the nation’s first parent-focused adolescent sexual health text service.

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For specific information about the text service, please contact Kennon Jackson, BrdsNBz project director, at (910) 920-7211 or kjackson@appcnc.org.

About the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina

APPCNC is North Carolina’s only statewide nonprofit dedicated to teen pregnancy prevention, and has worked to support the state’s communities, schools, youth, and parents since 1985. Since launching the initial, North Carolina-focused BrdsNBz service in early 2009, APPCNC has partnered with OneSeventeen Media to create similar services in Texas and South Carolina. The partners have also launched a text message service for NC Latino youth and a service for LGBTQ youth in Texas called QueeryQuery. Learn more about APPCNC at www.appcnc.org

About the Austin Healthy Adolescent Initiative

Austin Healthy Adolescent Initiative (AHA) is an interagency collaborative to ensure the overall health and wellbeing of all adolescents ages 10 to 18 years in Austin/Travis County, TX, with the goal of providing them with a strong foundation for adult life. AHA uses a comprehensive, evidence-based, youth development approach to increase healthy behaviors and decision-making by promoting the development of confidence, competence, connectedness, character, and contribution. Learn more at http://sites.google.com/site/ahainitiative/home

About OneSeventeen Media

OneSeventeen Media creates online social media tools to enhance kids' offline relationships. PlumbBrain, their most recent social venture, meets kids’ social, emotional, entertainment and educational needs to address their character development in highly creative and engaging ways. Converging learning through play, adaptive learning technologies and social-emotional learning, PlumbBrain provides youth the venue to help them manage their emotions, make responsible decisions and resolve conflict voluntarily through a safer, social community. By integrating current technologies, such as mobile applications, texting and wikis, PlumbBrain creates an environment where youth are comfortable to share their voice. Learn more about OneSeventeen Media at www.oneseventeenmedia.com

 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:  Elizabeth Finley, Director of Strategic Communications, efinley@appcnc.org, Office: (919) 226-1880, Mobile: (919) 749-7309

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