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a.MKE: New Dual Enrollment Program & United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. PEARLS Interview

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There’s a new statewide initiative aimed at providing earlier access to college classes and reducing the cost of a college degree. So starting in the fall of 2013, more high school students will earn high school and University of Wisconsin credit at the same time. The new dual-enrollment program allows mostly high school juniors and seniors, to earn credit that can easily be transferred to state four-year universities or two-year colleges after graduation. The classes would be taught online and in participating high schools by high school teachers with master’s degrees. The initiative hopes to give students more of an understanding of what college is like, and to hopefully save some money.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that workers are putting the finishing touches on the I-94 Miller Parkway repaving project. The project started back in February on eastbound I-94 from 72nd Street to 30th Street. Crews replaced 200,000 pounds of rebar, cut 32,000 feet of concrete and put down 18,000 tons of asphalt. With cars, trucks and tens of thousands of commuters passing through the busiest corridor in the state, over 300 workers had to work hard, yet carefully. Crews expect the job to be done a week from tomorrow. 

Today has been declared as “PEARLS Day” in Milwaukee. PEARLS for Teen Girls is an innovative nonprofit serving at-risk, primarily African American and Latina girls. Pearls helps girls reach success in school, avoid teen pregnancy, and helps them to achieve their goals and dreams. Today is all about recognizing the successful leadership development program for young girls. The community is invited to celebrate the day by shopping the Third Ward in support of PEARLS. That’s happening from 5 to 8 tonight. Or you can get involved through their social media campaign, by tweeting your “PEARL of Wisdom”, which will later be shared with the community.

The United Way of Greater Milwaukee is continuing its seven-year teen pregnancy prevention initiative by launching its “Snake and Rats Campaign”. It launched this week and it’s in 32 shelters in neighborhoods with the highest rates of teen pregnancy. The public awareness campaign continued its tradition of what’s known as “shock advertising” to address statutory rape and the high birthrates among 15 to 17-year-olds in Milwaukee. So one poster shows a girl covered in rats and another by a snake, asking, “What kind of man preys on underage girls?” United Way of Greater Milwaukee and its partners are aiming to drop the teen birthrate 46% by 2015.

The City of Milwaukee Forestry Division is urging property owners to water trees along their streets. Roughly 95% of Milwaukee’s trees are planted in residential areas and since the month of June has been pretty warm and dry, the Forestry Division is relying on residents to water trees planted near their properties. Within the past three years, City Forestry Services have planted more than 11,000 new street trees. Officials say brown grass and dry soil are two indicators of thirsty trees, which require up to 10 gallons of water twice a week. Officials say that these trees are beneficial to urban communities because they provide cooling shade, improve air quality, increase property value, and ease burdens on storm water systems.

Milwaukee’s Fatherhood Initiative and The Parklawn YMCA is inviting the public to take part in a father’s day celebration this Sunday. Community partners include Running Rebels, Milwaukee Housing Authority, Top Teens of America, plus a lot more. The day will include health department screenings, voter registration information, child support help, family activities, guest speakers and a day dedicated to fathers. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Parklawn YMCA on North 46th Congress.

We spoke to Danae Davis of Pearls For Teen Girls about PEARLS Day in Milwaukee. Check out both parts immediately below.