By Sheila Ash

The University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work has received a five year, $4.8 million dollar federal grant to create a program aimed at reducing teen pregnancy.

The program, Creating Healthy Adolescents through Meaningful Prevention Services, or CHAMPS, will target three groups in the Louisville area – urban, immigrant and refugee, and foster youth.

U of L President James Ramsey says the grant comes at a critical time.

“This project is important to our community because after years of decline the numbers on teen pregnancy are increasing according to the center for disease control. And in addition, the incident of infectious diseases transmitted through from individuals teens is on the increase,” he said.

Ramsey say the funding will allow more than 1,200 young people between the ages of 14 and 19 to take courses designed to promote healthy relationships, self-confidence and positive communications skills

Instructors will be trained this spring and students will begin taking courses this summer.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."