According to the most recent data from the New York State Department of Health, in 2008, Livingston County had the fourth-lowest teen pregnancy rate in New York State.  The teen pregnancy rate in Livingston County increased by 1.2 percent from 2007 to 2008.  However, some areas of Livingston County have higher rates than others. In 2009, in response to increasing teen pregnancy rates in the Dansville School District, the Livingston County Reproductive Health Center, in collaboration with the Livingston County Coalition on Sexual Health, Genesee Valley Health Partnership, Stony Brook Pediatrics and the Dansville Central School District, offered a healthy youth summit. The goal of the summit was to provide data regarding teen pregnancy, STD/HIV, risk factors and protective factors to all members of the community. Attendees also assessed the community regarding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and a committee was formed to continue to address the priorities identified.

According to the most recent data from the New York State Department of Health, in 2008, Livingston County had the fourth-lowest teen pregnancy rate in New York State.  The teen pregnancy rate in Livingston County increased by 1.2 percent from 2007 to 2008.  However, some areas of Livingston County have higher rates than others. In 2009, in response to increasing teen pregnancy rates in the Dansville School District, the Livingston County Reproductive Health Center, in collaboration with the Livingston County Coalition on Sexual Health, Genesee Valley Health Partnership, Stony Brook Pediatrics and the Dansville Central School District, offered a healthy youth summit. The goal of the summit was to provide data regarding teen pregnancy, STD/HIV, risk factors and protective factors to all members of the community. Attendees also assessed the community regarding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and a committee was formed to continue to address the priorities identified.


The Livingston County Reproductive Health Center, a program of the Livingston County Department of Health, continues to work in partnership with the Dansville Central School District, Stony Brook Pediatrics, Healthy Communities That Care, the Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse of Livingston County and local youth to mobilize and engage the community in an effort to improve the health and well-being of the youth in the Dansville School District. In May 2010, local data regarding risk factors including teen pregnancy and protective factors, which are things in a child’s life that buffer them from problem behaviors, was shared with community members at a Dansville Neighborhood meeting. Attendees brainstormed and prioritized activities to increase the protective factors among the youth in the community.


The community group then created an action plan regarding the prioritized activities; which included a community center for all ages, enhancing the current outdoor skate park, creating an indoor skate park for the winter months and requesting that faith-based organizations and civic groups take turns host monthly youth activities throughout the year.


The group is currently working on a fundraising plan to assist with cost for items that are needed for the skate park and the community center. Shawn Harnish, pastor of the Dansville Foursquare Church, and his congregation have been working on the development of a community center for Dansville.


“When considering what to do with the former Rogers and Tenbrook space, it became clear that Dansville Foursquare Church was in a position to do something to bless the community, and that has become our mission — building a community center that will meet a real need,” Shawn Harnish said. The center will be located at 49 West Ave., Dansville.


The next Dansville Community Meeting will be 6–7 p.m. April 12 at Dansville Town Hall, 14 Clara Barton St., Dansville. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting.


“Providing positive youth experiences and activities is an important way to build protective factors for our youth. It benefits youth and the entire community”, Lisa Beardsley, senior public health educator of the Livingston County Department of Health, said. For more information about the meeting or the projects, please contact Beardsley at the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7299.