Breaking the Cycle

An Effective Practice


Breaking the Cycle is a citywide campaign to reduce teen pregnancy in Hartford. In 1998, Hartford had a teen birth rate that was more than double the national average. The campaign delivers early intervention programming in every 5th grade classroom, and helped pass a policy that mandates a comprehensive health education curriculum in 9th grade. The program supports confidential, affordable, teen-friendly clinics that provide access to reproductive health care services, and has worked with public schools to provide on-site services including exams, pregnancy and STD testing, counseling, and access to contraceptives. The campaigns long-term programming, Always on Saturday, provides teen pregnancy prevention curriculum to youth aged 9-18 every Saturday throughout the school year. Breaking the Cycle also recognizes the importance of adult involvement and community leadership, and provides educational classes to help neighborhood groups, youth programmers, health providers, and parents talk to youth about sexuality.

Breaking the Cycle has set a goal to reduce the birth rate among Hartford teens aged 15 to 17 years by 50% between 2003 and 2013. Based on this objective, the campaign aims to reduce the number of teen births to 91 in the year 2010, a rate of 32 births per thousand teens.

Goal / Mission

The goal of Breaking the Cycle is to prevent teen pregnancy in Hartford.

Results / Accomplishments

In 2000, Breaking the Cycle played a role in passing groundbreaking policy expanding the high school health education curriculum and providing reproductive health care services in school-based health centers. The overall number of teen births dropped by 17% (from 409 to 339 births) between 2003 and 2007. The birth rate among teens aged 15-17 decreased from 50.3 births per thousand (142 births) to 41.6 births per thousand (121 births).

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Breaking the Cycle
c/o The Parisky Group
30 Arbor Street
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 236-4872
Health / Family Planning
Health / Teen & Adolescent Health
City of Hartford, the Hartford Action Plan on Infant Health, and Hartford Public Schools
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Hartford, CT
Target Audience
Teens, Racial/Ethnic Minorities