Alfred E. Smith Foundation Awards
Healthy Respect a $56,000 matching grant for its
proven abstinence education program
will be used in the first year of a three-year
Planning and Implementation Grant to develop and
evaluate the abstinence education program in
Yonkers, New York
New York (April 7th, 2005) -- Healthy Respect,
New York’s character-based abstinence education program, has received
a $56,000 matching grant from the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation
to enhance its efforts to promote abstinence among students in the Yonkers
Public Schools system. A portion of the funds will be used to develop
a long-term tracking system to evaluate behavioral changes among students
who participate in the program.
The foundation is named for the former four-term Governor of New York
State, who was the Democratic presidential candidate in the 1920s. It
is best known for its annual fund-raising dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria
Hotel in Manhattan that attracts prominent national political figures
as well as leading business and community leaders.
This is the second grant that the proven abstinence education program
has received this year. Healthy Respect earlier received $40,000
for the spring semester from the Yonkers Board of Education and the
City of Yonkers' Department of Community Development.
“We are grateful for the vote of confidence from the prestigious
Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation and are anxious to use the funds
to improve the long-term evaluation process of Healthy Respect,”
said John P. Margand Esq., executive director of the New York abstinence
program. “This grant not only underlines the effectiveness of
our character-based curriculum, but also shows the confidence we all
have in the students of the Yonkers schools to learn about healthy lifestyles
and choices that will improve their prospects in life. Healthy Respect
is all about better lives through better choices.”
The grant will be used for the Healthy Respect programs based
in Yonkers at Gorton High School and Commerce Middle School where the
curriculum has been taught for the past two years in close collaboration
with the Yonkers Public Schools’ Medical Magnet program. The Medical
Magnet Program, with its unique focus on preparing young students for
careers in the medical professions, has been an ideal partner for program,
which focuses not only on the negative consequences of risky sexual
behaviors, but also on the positive aspects of character formation essential
for achieving healthy family relationships and long- term professional
Since 2003, the program has reached over 1000 students in six schools
with a life-saving, life-affirming message. The schools have a high
percentage of “at-risk” students who benefit greatly from
the curriculum that stresses the theme “DO NO HARM” (to
yourself, to others, or to your future). The Healthy Respect
classes have improved attendance among students, according to Yonkers
The program has many unique features. Healthy Respect hires and
trains its own classroom teachers in male-female teams who file a report
with the executive director and curriculum advisor after each class.
Instant evaluation and analysis are possible, so teachers can incorporate
suggestions into the very next classroom meeting.
An independent researcher is employed to administer confidential student
evaluations at the beginning and at the end of the school semester.
This gives Healthy Respect an unmatched level of scientific analysis
of the program’s success, and locates areas for improvement.