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Anti-violence essays yield honors for 12
Twelve middle-school students will be honored today for their essays on how to prevent violence. The Utah Board of Juvenile Justice will honor the finalists in the seventh annual Do the Write Thing Challenge during an awards luncheon in the Governor's Mansion.
Reed Point eighth-grader shines in essay competition
REED POINT - It took three rewrites before Emily Haggard felt she'd hit her target. Evidently, the judges agreed. Haggard, a Reed Point eighth-grader, has faced enough violence and discrimination in her young life that she knew exactly what she wanted to say in her award-winning Do the Write Thing essay. She needed only to let it flow from her heart.
Essay: Youth Violence
OGDEN, UT (kuer) - The statistics surrounding youth violence are sobering. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, 30 percent of 6th to 10th graders in the United States were either a bully, a target of bullying, or both last year. Over 12 percent reported being in a fight at school while nearly 8 percent reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property.
Girl, 12, aims to encourage peers to 'Do the Write Thing'
Kaaza Lightbourne remembers her sixth birthday party as the last time she saw or spoke to her father. He was accused of committing a violent crime and fled the country shortly after that. Today, the 12-year-old Boynton Beach resident and sixth-grader at Congress Middle School has turned that painful experience into something positive.
7th-grader does 'write thing'
REED POINT - Seventh-grader Quentin Poole doesn't consider himself a poet. But a poem he submitted in an essay contest earlier this spring snagged him an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., this summer.
SA students who “Do The Write Thing”
San Antonio.- Two national finalists were chosen by District Attorney Susan D. Reed, Chair of the Bexar County Do the Write Thing committee to participate in the National Campaign to Stop Violence, July 18 – 22, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Megan Kee and Brandon Robalin were honored. They were selected out of 4,287 seventh and eighth grades from the North East and San Antonio School Districts and from First Baptist Academy.
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At the beginning of each school year, the NCSV invites the superintendents from school systems in participating localities to select middle schools to participate in DtWT. The superintendents make the program’s guidelines available to their middle school principals, who in turn, make the guidelines available to appropriate seventh and eighth grade teachers. (Click here to view the instruction packet for teachers)
After a classroom discussion about the problem of youth violence, participating students are asked by their teachers to make a commitment not to be involved in violence and provide written answers to three questions:
How has violence affected my life?
What are the causes of youth violence?
What can I do to reduce youth violence?
The writings of the students are reviewed by a panel of volunteers recruited by the DtWT committee established for the participating locality. The panel of volunteers selects as “school ambassadors” the boy and girl from each school who submit the most responsive entry. A panel of local “celebrity” readers recruited by the local DtWT committee then reviews the writings of the ambassadors. This panel selects as “national ambassadors” the boy and girl school finalists who have submitted the most meaningful entries.
Once the school ambassadors and national ambassadors have been selected, the local DtWT committee publishes a book containing the writings of these students and organizes a recognition ceremony to honor all of the student ambassadors and their parents, teachers and principals. The committee also encourages the formation of groups called Community Peace Partnerships that work with local government, business and community leaders to provide opportunities such as job training internships, mentoring and academic scholarships for the students who have participated in the program.
NCSV publishes and places in the Library of Congress a book containing the writings of all the national finalists. In addition, NCSV organizes a national recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. to honor these students, their parents and teachers. During previous national recognition weeks, Challenge “national finalists” met with the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General and Members of Congress to discuss their writings and feelings about youth violence.