National Campaign to Stop Violence

The primary initiative of the NCSV is the "Do the Write Thing Challenge" Program ("Challenge"). The "Challenge" gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of violence on their lives in classroom discussions and in written form by communicating what they have seen to be the causes of youth violence as well as solutions to help decrease the violence in their communities. By encouraging students to make personal commitments to do something about the problem, the program ultimately seeks to empower them to reduce violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods. For many young people, the middle school years can be a period of instability and emotional confusion. Exposure to violence can leave some young people unable to to cope in their environment in a productive way. The "Challenge" helps young people in a variety of ways: It gives youth the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts through writing, which can be cathartic and empowering for the participants. It helps to "give voice" to these young people and lets them know that adults are listening and want to hear from them. The program can be helpful in identifying kids who need to be connected to their community through services like mentoring and after school programs -- programs that can help them stay on a path to success. The classroom discussions and writings help teachers form bonds with their students while establishing trusting relationships and opening up new lines of communication.


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