Stores open to help, educate teen moms | News
MEMPHIS, TN- (WMC-TV) – At least 90 girls at Frayser High School were pregnant or had babies in 2011.
After a record number of teen pregnancies, Frayser received national attention. There was an increase in efforts to educate Memphis teenagers.
Friday, four new stores opened where expecting and new, young mothers can get some basic necessities free of charge.
Shelby County's Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Support Group (TPPS) held a baby crawl to celebrate the grand opening of four baby stores funded by a federal grant. They are all stocked with everything a teen mom will need.
"The incident of teen pregnancy and particularly infant mortality is extremely high in this area," said Gwen Brown, TPPS Coordinator.
One of the four stores is located in Frayser, where Action News 5 broke the story of a teen pregnancy epidemic in 2011.
Nothing in the store can be purchased but it is also not free. Teens can pick up their basic needs by redeeming points they earn for attending pregnancy classes, going to school, and making all their regular doctor's appointments.
"We want the young girls to stay in school, if they're not in school, we want them to go back to school we want them to learn how to be good parents," said Brown.
"Pretty much do what they need in their life so that they get everything they need," said store coordinator Kellie Stipanuk.
Organizers say they are reaching out to teens that are pregnant or parenting in an effort to promote healthy babies and reduce the infant mortality rate in Shelby County.
The baby stores are one of several efforts to reduce teen pregnancy and lower infant mortality in Shelby County.
The question is, are they working?
A spokesperson with Girl's Inc, told Action News 5 that it is too soon to say because it will take time for the date to come in to see if young girls and boys are getting the message.
The new baby stores can be found at the following locations:
- Cathedral of Faith, 2212 Jackson Avenue
- South Memphis Alliance, 1200 South Third Street
- Hickory Hill Redevelopment Corp., 3745 South Hickory Ridge Mall #496
- Union Grove M.B Church, 2285 Frayser Blvd
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