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U.S. News

Georgia: Teens Tackle Touchy Issues

January 28, 2011

The online show is written, directed, and produced by students at Tri-Cities High School in East Point. It focuses on issues important to teens, such as sexuality and relationships.

The program is the brainchild of Atlanta attorney and author Audra Woodard. Her 2005 book entitled "Dear Diary, Letters from Lana" won the best fiction award at the Los Angeles Book Expo. The tale of teen angst drew from Woodard's 13 years working in prisons and alternative schools.


According to Woodard, violence, promiscuity, and drugs are all too common in the lives of African-American youth. She decided to come up with a way to help teens define themselves and discuss important topics in a roundtable format.

Woodard took her proposal for to Tony Loadholt, director of Tri-Cities' magnet program. Loadholt ran the idea by some of his students, who were receptive. "I was automatically drawn to her and the idea," said Faith Linsey, a Clayton State University freshman who participated in Woodard's focus group.

"After doing the focus group, I reached out to people in the community who did video work to partner with me," said Woodard. "Things just kind of unfolded." has produced two programs to date: "Dear Diary," a series based on Woodard's book, and "Gelo Talk," which features a range of topics. In both, nearly two dozen students have spirited, unscripted discussions without adults in the room. "That's very important to me because as adults we don't always have the answers," said Woodard. "Somehow they will find an answer together."

Back to other news for January 2011

Adapted from:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
01.24.2011; Gracie Bonds Staples

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More HIV Prevention and Education Web Sites for Young People

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