Wednesday, 20 January 2021

From Hand-Out to Hand-Up: The Evolving Curriculum for Pregnancy Centers

“These girls don’t appreciate anything we give them!” 

I looked up to see one of our sweetest volunteer complain about our clients. “They come in and ask for help,” she said, “and then they refuse what we give them.” 

Alice had just dealt with a young woman who “had nothing,” but rejected the offering because it wouldn’t go with her color scheme. If Alice was upset, I knew we had a real problem. It was then that I decided that giving free things away without education and relationship wasn’t good for our clients or our client advocates. It was this problem that inspired the Earn While You Learn program. 

Instead of hand-outs, we started hand-ups—and our clients loved it! The pride they have as they shop for items they earned through taking classes is infectious. 

I wrote the simple curriculum for my small rural center, but other centers soon heard of it and were asking to get copies of the program for their clients. Now, after more than a decade, the curriculum is in most centers across the country. 

Originally, we incorporated informational DVD’s from outside sources and wrote our curriculum around them. But this became more and more difficult over time. The DVD’s would be discontinued. Their information would become out of date. Their actors were stuck in the 80’s with shoulder pads and big hair. Or, the producers would put in a segment supporting abortion or sex outside of marriage.

This problem of missing and inappropriate DVDs put the future of the Earn While You Learn program in jeopardy. There just weren’t videos to support the program. That was when Heritage House decided to solve the problem by making their own DVD’s. They hired a production company, built a studio, hired videographers, producers and script-writers (including a former director of three centers). What they have created is amazing. 

Their DVD’s are professional quality with up-to-date information. The scripts are written to connect emotionally with the client. The curriculum is written to help the client advocate connect with her client on a more personal level than just offering information. It is in this context that the client advocate can build trusting relationships that are the perfect atmosphere for sharing the Gospel of Jesus.

This revamping of Earn While You Learn is a huge project spanning seven years and, ultimately producing 250 DVD’s. They will cover all of the subjects in the current Earn While You Learn plus many new ones. Earn While You Learn has been proven over and over in centers across the country as they see their client numbers explode. 

And it isn’t just EWYL clients. Abortion-vulnerable client numbers increase also.

The new EWYL videos are more than just content; they are specifically made for clients in both style and presentation. First, they are made for millennials. Those of us over 40 think and process very differently than our clients. All our DVD’s are audience-tested by millennials, who then offer input. In essence, they are “millennial approved.” 

As they are developed, they are shown to a panel of experienced PRC and EWYL directors and their input is valued and utilized. The developers of the videos use empathy, validation and genuine concern for the client while teaching powerful and documented truths. 

Each and every video in the 2017 upgrades was conceived, written, produced, edited, and finalized with your clients in mind.

Millennial Audience Testing with Pre/Post and Reaction tests

How Our Videos Reach YOUR Clients

Our goal is to reach the younger generations with truth and love. The presentation method differs from traditional educational videos, and helps provide millennials and centennials with a connection to the content. Some of these differences are:

  • Edgy or strong music choices
  • Clean and simple design
  • Quick transitions and content reiteration
  • Emotional stories and peer advice panels

The results of these younger-orientated choices can be seen in our 100 percent recommendation rate by our millennial audiences.

Professional, Medically Approved Content

Even as we are strive to capture your client’s interest with these intentional choices, we also ensure that the information presented is both factually correct and medically sound. Each script and DVD is:

  • Reviewed and approved by a medical doctor
  • Fully documented using government and medical sources

For me personally, I think back on my mom and dad and their efforts to start and shape the Pro-Life movement in the 70’s and 80’s. Mom created the Precious Feet, which were proclaimed the International Pro-Life symbol early on. They provided pro-life individuals with an amazing tool to proclaim the humanity of the unborn and groups with the ability to raise funds for their work. 

When Dad died, Mike and I took the helm of Heritage House. I wrote Earn While You Learn, which Heritage House produced and marketed. This program literally shifted the paradigm in our movement from giveaway to learning. 

When Mike died, the mantle was again passed to our son, Brandon. And now, I watch in amazement as he and his team at Heritage House move it forward with new and exciting products like these videos that are relevant to this generation and created specifically for your clients.

To find out more about Earn While You Learn, click here.

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