The W.I.S.E. U.P. program under the direction of the Ottawa County Health Department has received high marks after an evaluation led by the College of Public Health with the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center.

“I'm very pleased with the results,” said Tracie DeLano, director of W.I.S.E. U.P., which stands for Wisdom in Sexuality Education & Understanding Parenting.

The program is a teen pregnancy prevention project and is administered by DeLano.

The evaluation was prepared by Dr. Roy F. Oman, lead evaluator; Janene D. Fluhr, evaluation coordinator, and Cindy Weng, graduate research assistant.

It was based on pre- and post-class questionnaires presented to students who participated in the program.

One of the most important aspects the evaluators found of the program was that it is being taught to sixth-grade students.

“Ottawa County CHD is one of the few sites to provide the prevention program almost exclusively to sixth graders, as opposed to delivering the program to seventh and eighth graders, many of whom have already experienced sexual intercourse,” the report indicated.

In the post-program questionnaires, students were significantly more likely to report that they intend to delay having their first sexual activity until after high school and were significantly more likely to report they were choosing to abstain from sexual activity.

Ninety-five percent of the students rated the program materials as “very” or “extremely” helpful and 97 percent of the students rated the instructor “above average” or “outstanding.”

“These are very good ratings,” the report read.

The main recommendation given to the W.I.S.E. U.P. program was to reduce the amount of students who could not be accounted for, which was at approximately 19 percent.

The goal for all the projects involved in the program is to have less than a 10 percent “missing data” figure.

DeLano said she was going to attempt to contact students who were unable to participate in the evaluation.

“But, I feel that with the flooding and then the ice storm many of the students' lives were disoriented which contributed to them being unavailable to do the follow up survey,” DeLano said.