Springfield schools to participate in writing challenge about community violence for third year

Middle school students in the Springfield City School District will participate in the Do the Write Thing challenge for the third year in a row.

The program asks the students to explain how youth violence affects them and to share their ideas on how to stop it.

In partnership with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Springfield was the first school district in Ohio to participate in 2020 in the program.

“Every year since the initial launch, our team has explored ways to expand the program and morph this writing opportunity into something that produces real-life results in our schools and communities,” said Superintendent Bob Hill.

“It cannot be stressed enough to our students that they have a choice every day – to choose violence or choose peace, and the consequences of either can be life-changing. I am looking forward to reading the stories, experiences and perspectives of the new group of participants, and I encourage others in the Springfield community who have influence to do the same. These are the voices of our future,” he added.

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Yost has expanded this third year of the program to students in Youngstown City Schools. It also includes students in Canton, Lima and Zanesville City Schools.

“I am so happy to welcome you back to the Do the Write Thing program,” Yost said in a video shared with the students. “Do the Write Thing has grown to include five school districts across the state — but you were the first. Springfield was the first to take our program and continue to blaze a trail for the other middle-school students throughout Ohio.”

As part of a collaboration of the program and Yost, the challenge encourages students across the state to share how their experiences with violence has personally impacted them and how they can reduce violence in their communities.

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The program challenges students to express in story, poem, song or other written form the violence they have seen or faced while exploring these questions:

  • How does violence affect your daily life?
  • What are some of the causes of youth violence in your community?
  • What can you as an individual do to reduce youth violence in your community?

Springfield community members and business leaders will read the work of students at Hayward, Roosevelt and Schaefer Middle Schools, and pick the top submissions. The winning pieces will be published in a booklet and shared statewide to bring more attention and awareness to the problem of violence.

Do the Write Thing, which is organized by the National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence, was founded in 1994 and has reached millions of students nationwide.

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