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Women's Giving Circle grants will fight teen pregnancy

June 03, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- The Women's Giving Circle has announced grants to two organizations with different approaches to the same problem - teen pregnancy and the social ills that often accompany it.

In its fourth year, the circle handed out $5,000 Tuesday in a brief ceremony at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. A total of $20,000 has been awarded since 2004.

· The Washington County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition was awarded $3,400 to support the teen advisory group in the development of the "Teens Have Choices" game that explains and explores options available to sexually active teens.

Director Carrol Lourie said the "Jeopardy!" style game has been used at the Boys & Girls Club with great success.

Now with the new money, the game can be tweaked for high school-age youth, said Dr. Meredith Williams, a pediatrician working with the coalition.

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"Young people like the bells and whistles of games," Williams said.

· The Authentic Community Theater got $1,600 to create interactive drama performances for the exploration of self-respect, healthy physical intimacy, bullying, promiscuity and teen pregnancy.

Barb McCormick accepted the award in the absence of Niki Perini, theater director.

The group has offices on Underpass Way and performs at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown and the Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts in Frederick, Md.

The Women's Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Washington County provides an opportunity for donors to create, promote and support programs that improve the quality of life for women and families, according to Cynthia Perini, co-chair of the circle.

Previous recipients of grants have included Girls Inc., Antietam Healthcare Foundation, San Mar Children's Home, Washington County Family Center and the Hagerstown Community College Job Training Institute.

To contribute to the Women's Giving Circle, contact the foundation office at 301-745-5210 or make checks payable to Women's Giving Circle, 33 W. Franklin St., Suite 203, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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