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Male students shun ‘Baby Think It Over’ practical experience

-Programme designed to teach young people the realities of taking care of a baby with the aim of influencing responsible decisions on their part
The lone young man who has taken the challenge of parenting one of the babies. Photo: VINO
“One boy who is very courageous and his parents are thanked for allowing him to be apart because we know it takes two and so we hope that the next segment of students would have more boys,” said Mrs Karia J. Christopher. Photo: VINO
“One boy who is very courageous and his parents are thanked for allowing him to be apart because we know it takes two and so we hope that the next segment of students would have more boys,” said Mrs Karia J. Christopher. Photo: VINO
The Baby Think It Over programme opens up a wide range of topics including postponing sexual involvement, birth control options, the difficulties of single parenting and the medical factors in teen pregnancy. Photo: VINO
The Baby Think It Over programme opens up a wide range of topics including postponing sexual involvement, birth control options, the difficulties of single parenting and the medical factors in teen pregnancy. Photo: VINO
The official launch took place yesterday February 10, 2015 at the St George's Secondary School. In photo are: From left-Acting Principal Mrs Faith-Ann Adams, Rotary Club of Tortola President Mr Henry O. Creque and St George's Secondary School PTA President Mrs Karia J. Christopher. Photo: VINO
The official launch took place yesterday February 10, 2015 at the St George's Secondary School. In photo are: From left-Acting Principal Mrs Faith-Ann Adams, Rotary Club of Tortola President Mr Henry O. Creque and St George's Secondary School PTA President Mrs Karia J. Christopher. Photo: VINO
According to the Public Relations Director for Rotary Club of Tortola, Ms Lynette L. Harrigan, Elmore Stout High School is next for the programme. Photo: VINO
According to the Public Relations Director for Rotary Club of Tortola, Ms Lynette L. Harrigan, Elmore Stout High School is next for the programme. Photo: VINO
St George's Secondary School takes the lead with the Rotary Club of Tortola's Baby Think it Over programme. Photo: VINO
St George's Secondary School takes the lead with the Rotary Club of Tortola's Baby Think it Over programme. Photo: VINO
Some of the teens who participated in the Baby Think It Over simulation. Photo: VINO
Some of the teens who participated in the Baby Think It Over simulation. Photo: VINO
The Baby Think It Over programme can only be implemented by trained staff. Photo: VINO
The Baby Think It Over programme can only be implemented by trained staff. Photo: VINO
Reporters given the opportunity to have a feel of the babies. Photo: VINO
Reporters given the opportunity to have a feel of the babies. Photo: VINO
PALESTINA, Tortola, VI – When the Rotary Club of Tortola officially launched their 'Baby Think It Over' programme yesterday, February 10, 2015 reporters were introduced to a bevy of promising young women who were willing to face the challenge. However, there was just one male student opting to join them.

The 'Baby Think It Over' experience is an infant simulator used to provide young adults with the experience of parenting an infant. It is a serious tool that was created to help each participant make responsible, informed choices about becoming a parent.

“Our boys are afraid to participate in the project really. The general feeling among the boys is that they are not able to cope with the demands,” said Principal (ag.) of the St George's Secondary School, Mrs Faith-Ann Adams.

For the boys there is an alternative project as they will be required to do a written project that they will all have to submit a reflection of the experience. “And the boys will have to do that same aspect saying why they haven’t participated… But our boys are afraid,” said the acting Principal.

Special mention was made of the lone boy who participated in the programme. The male student was made to pair up with a female student, allowing him to play the father role in caring for the child. This was something President of the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) Mrs Karia J. Christopher gave a big shout out to.

“One boy who is very courageous and his parents are thanked for allowing him to be a part because we know it takes two and so we hope that the next segment of students would have more boys,” said Mrs Christopher.

The lifelike 'Baby Think It Over' doll is twenty inches in length and weighs seven to eight pounds. The authentic look and feel is complemented by its sound. An internal computer simulates an infant crying at realistic, random intervals of fifteen minutes to six hours, 24 hours a day.

Speaking at the launch yesterday February 10, 2015 sponsor of the programme, Rotary Club of Tortola, President Mr Henry O. Creque said the 'Baby Think It Over' programme is one that has been running with quite a high degree of success in other countries in the Caribbean including the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and Jamaica with the primary focus of teenage pregnancy prevention.

“But the programme also teaches teenagers in particular about responsibility. All who are parents know that when you have a child your life changes forever and you become a much more responsible person than you ever were,” he said.

The Ministry of Education has required that each secondary school include a life skill component or subject in their curriculum.

“The babies are quite costly and so we started with a small school to get to learn the system, it's more manageable and also to raise more funds to get to secondary schools. The baby costs $1,200 each. Essentially it’s like a little computer that's programmed to do everything a baby does,” explained Mr. Creque.

It comes with some software to alert parents if they do not respond in a timely manner and the students should figure out if the baby needs to be changed, burped, fed or any other form of care as a normal child.

The acting principal underscored that it is very important in creating alternative learning opportunities for the students.

“When they have authentic tasks like this simulation activity it allows them to do some critical thinking. It teaches them from real life experiences and so we are hoping this will help them to make some critical decisions for their future. We embrace this opportunity. We started yesterday with the students and the response was surprising. I know our students are excited, some are frightened out of their minds but I am sure it will allow them to learn and make positive decisions for their future,” she said.

Teens who participate in the 'Baby Think It Over' simulation are responsible not only for the 'baby' but also for the items that go along with child care. Participants are required to transport the infants in carriers and keep a fully stocked diaper bag with them at all times.

While the programme provides a reasonable, realistic simulation of parenting, there are significant differences between it and a real infant. Reality Works has developed a curriculum around the 'Baby Think It Over' doll that provides the teens with a balanced picture of the positive and negative aspects of parenting, and enhances the programme's overall effect.

The 'Baby Think It Over' programme opens up a wide range of topics including postponing sexual involvement, birth control options, the difficulties of single parenting and the medical factors in teen pregnancy. Educators are able to tailor the 'Baby Think It Over' programme to the specific needs of the school or organization. The educators are able to take situations experienced by teen parents and provide valuable information on teen pregnancy prevention.

The 'Baby Think It Over' programme can only be implemented by trained educators. It is recommended that participants become "parents" for at least two nights. Teens often receive dolls on a Friday and return them on a Monday.

16 Responses to “Male students shun ‘Baby Think It Over’ practical experience”

  • father (11/02/2015, 15:32) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Make them do it or no graduation
  • ccc (11/02/2015, 15:50) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
    Too long to read vino
  • parent (11/02/2015, 15:53) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    eshs needs this right away
  • Ok Then! (11/02/2015, 16:02) Like (31) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is very nice! I wish them luck in raising funds (do let us the public know how we can help), and introducing this to the High School.

    Although I would have liked it if the school didn't give the boys the option not to participate. This is exactly what is wrong in the world today; fathers awarded the option not to be a part of their child's lives. It is sickening! They are as responsible as the woman. If they refuse to participate then let them give up their lunch money or something valuable to them every day for a month; we will call it "child support"... they must understand the consequences of their action as well. I don't think an essay is enough.. they must be put through something that will stick, and make them think twice before having unprotected sex.

    Rotary you can also think about purchasing the "pregnant belly" let the girls feel how hard it is on the body to carry the extra weight of a baby. This might be cheaper and the girls along with a male partner should walk around in public, with supervision of a parent. (this can be a graded project and all students in the class should take part- they then can write an essay on their experience- it should work great for the bigger schools and it can be done in one afternoon).

    Very proud of the young man that participated! That's a real man right there!
  • really not new (11/02/2015, 16:06) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    This is not new our teacher at the ESHS did it one year with us with an egg and with a 5lb bag of flour.
    • Hmmm (11/02/2015, 23:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Those babies cry and actually needs changing n feeding an egg n bag of flour can't....
    • barbie (12/02/2015, 12:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      i remember doing this program in school not sure if we were the first but we did this when i was in 2nd form (1997) and our teacher started us out with the same egg and flour theory then we moved on to the baby think it ova and i must admit it was fun we each had to couple up as father and mother and take turns taking the egg home and making sure it didnt crack and our teacher marked each egg so she would know if it was a new 1 lol but when we got to the baby think it over that was a new 1 for me boy oh boy i must admit that one made you not want to get a child for 100years lol my personal experience with that doll the 1st night i hid that thing i couldnt take the crying in the closet it went and i threw a pile of clothes on it as it would not stop crying no matter what i did it taught me a valuable lesson about parenting. my partner same thing we took that baby everywhere some grown ups thought we were young parents lol i can still remember seeing some of the disgust in their faces when we went to church on the sunday with our baby think it over lol lol but im surprised to learn that these young men dont want to participate this should be a lesson taught in schools for everyone
  • Jane (11/02/2015, 16:19) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    I did the "Baby Think It Over" Practical Experience while in High School and I tell you didn't want to look at baby after that. You dont know whats wrong with baby. I had to get up 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning out of a deep sleep- trying to figure out what this baby needs. So, please young ladies and gents leave the baby until you are married, more mature and could really afford to care for such a wonderful gift.
  • fox (11/02/2015, 16:28) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
    Henry look like he running for dog catcher
  • Yes (11/02/2015, 19:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dat boy look good with that doll lol
  • mother hen (11/02/2015, 20:56) Like (2) Dislike (15) Reply
    The only thing that will be accomplished by this is the young girls wanting a baby!!!
    • barbie (12/02/2015, 12:48) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      mother hen it is pretty obvious u NEVER had a baby think it over in school trust me if you did you wouldnt make such a silly statement. for those of us that did we all knew we didnt want to hear nor see another baby after that.
  • facts man (11/02/2015, 21:11) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    We have an enemy that is trying to destroy the BVI and it is not teenage pregancy its provity and crime
  • Yes (12/02/2015, 07:54) Like (0) Dislike (7) Reply
    Another one day and then forgotten Rotary event. But at least they get to pat themselves on the back and take lots of photos.
  • Aisa (15/02/2015, 19:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The intention is great. I just hope that after the experience, there will be reflection sessions and processing of insights for all those who participated, that they will not have the fear of having or raising a babies. when they grow up to be adults and ready for raising families. Its also good to raise awareness not based on fear but full understanding. :-) ....yet....still blessings to the good intention.


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