Texas has long been one of the states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and birth. The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was formed in 2009 to provide statewide leadership to address Texas’ unacceptably high rates of teen pregnancy and birth. Using a “Big State” strategy, the Texas Campaign will provide leadership around evidence-based practices and policies that can assist local communities to effectively address teen pregnancy. The Texas Campaign hosted the First Annual Statewide Conference in October of 2010 and has scheduled local “listening tours” in communities around Texas. Recommendations for forming a statewide teen pregnancy prevention organization are also provided.

Key Take Away Points

  • Evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and policies are often controversial in many communities.
  • Organizing a statewide campaign in a large state is a daunting task with many pitfalls to avoid.
  • A statewide campaign should provide leadership to help local groups address teen pregnancy prevention at the local level.
  • There is solid evidence as to what works in preventing teen pregnancy.
  • Organizing a statewide campaign takes patient, yet consistent leadership to move towards sustainability.
  • Becoming an IRS 501 c (3) not-for-profit organization is crucial to the success of a statewide campaign.
  • There is a great deal of interest from funders in addressing teen pregnancy prevention in Texas.

Author Biography

David Wiley, Ph.D., Professor of Health Education at Texas State University and is a lifelong health educator who has focused his professional life on addressing health issues of adolescents. Dr. Wiley has authored over 40 peer-reviewed articles and has presented over 150 keynote addresses and workshops across the United States on the role of schools in creating healthy children and healthy communities. As a vocal advocate of coordinated school health education, Dr. Wiley has testified on numerous occasions before the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), the Texas Legislature, and the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), and has also served on the SBOE Review Committee for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education. The Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) recognized Dr. Wiley in 1996 as the Outstanding College Health Educator in Texas for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, presented the Distinguished Service Award by the American School Health Association (ASHA) in 1999, and in 2002 was awarded the Martha Licata Service Award by the Texas School Health Association (TSHA). In 2005 he received the John P. McGovern Award from the Texas School Health Association. He recently completed a three-year term as President of ASHA. He is also a former school board member for the Hays Consolidated I.S.D. in Kyle, Texas. He founded the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in January of 2009 and continues to serve as Board Chair. He has been instrumental in recruiting an “all-star” Board of Directors that continue to guide the work of the Texas Campaign. He is also the co-author of “Just Say Don’t kNOw: The Status of Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools” which is the most comprehensive study conducted on the teaching of sexuality education in Texas.


The author would like to acknowledge the work of consultants Anneliese Davis and Jessica Pugil as their respective reports provided the foundation of this article. The author would also like to acknowledge the Board of Directors for their countless hours of volunteer service in providing expertise to the formation and sustainability of the Texas Campaign.

Responses to this Article:

Forrest L. Alton, The Challenge of Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Texas (October 2011)