Monday, October 11, 2010

Violence strikes vigil for 16-year-old

I saw the following article in today's Daily News:
Violence strikes vigil for 16-year-old in Southwest Philly

The crowd members prayed silently in the darkness, their heads bowed and cheeks wet, as they gathered around a ring of shimmering candles and a heap of teddy bears to remember a 16-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a garbage truck while riding his bike.
Then gunfire erupted, shattering the quiet. Dozens of panic-stricken teens ran in all directions. Someone tripped over a candle, and a stuffed animal caught fire, at the corner of 58th Street and Elmwood Avenue, in Southwest Philly....

Original Article
Philadelphia Daily News
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There was a time when a story like this seemed unbelievable...Now it doesn't even seem unusual!

Violence is a learned behavior. Young people are learning by what they see, hear and experience. Our city, neighborhoods, schools and churches must commit to TEACH non-violence to our youth. Teaching is not just words but ACTIONS.

For over ten years, the Don't Fall Down in the Hood Program's comprehensive violence intervention curriculum has employed a combination of mentorship, self actualization, and psycho-social activites to reach and reform violent juvenile offenders.

To date, the program has mentored over 1000 youth with a nearly 90% success rate in getting them back on track toward becoming well adjusted, and productive members of their community.

Coming in 2011, The Don't Fall Down in the Hood curriculum will be available for use by educators, youth workers, counselors and anyone with an interest in teaching the principles of non-violence to youth. Together, we can make a difference.