Saturday, December 08, 2001

Banner symbolizes nonviolence

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Thumbprints and signatures, spread out on a 100-foot banner of unbleached cotton cloth, are symbols of nonviolence, thanks to a Price Hill family.

        Patricia Bowling, an author of children's books, and her family take the banner to schools, churches and community centers. They discuss violence with children, who vow to stop it and sign with their thumbprints.

        “The message I want to convey is what can we do to make a difference,” Mrs. Bowling said.

        “A lot of times children may watch something and not be aware of the violence. We want them to recognize what violence is and making the thumbprints and signatures are commitments to help eliminate violence.”

        The banner was shown to 150 K-3 students at Hoffman Elementary School in Walnut Hills this week. Most signed the banner.

        “We asked them to define violence to make sure they can understand what it is,” Mrs. Bowling said.

        Mrs. Bowling and her husband, Dave, a stage production employee, began circulating the banner in 1994. Now their children, Davey, 18, and Tricia, 15, also present it. The banner bears such signatures as Ohio Gov. Robert Taft and his wife, Hope; Secretary of State Ken Blackwell; Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk and nationally known rapper and hip-hop star Lil Bow Wow.

        “The kids love signing their names next to Lil Bow Wow,” Mrs. Bowling said.


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