Monday, April 22, 2002

Purcell teens bring message: Non-violence


Teach conflict resolution to youth

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer contributor

        Purcell Marian High School teens on Friday taught more than 600 elementary school students alternatives to violence and intolerance.

        Purcell in East Walnut Hills is the first Ohio ambassador for the Teens Acting For Peace program. TAP, launched three years ago, is a program from the St. Louis-based Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ). that teaches conflict resolution to high school students. Those students, in turn, teach TAP to elementary students.

        “I joined TAP to help me increase peace in myself and when other people see it, they'll try to imitate it as well,” said Tiffani Winston, 16, a Purcell sophomore.

        At the core of TAP is a seven-part pledge that students take to commit to respecting others, as well as standing against violence.

        Students from Purcell taught 450 pupils in grades K-8 at Nativity School in Pleasant Ridge and then nearly 200 students the same ages at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Evanston.

        Friday was the second visit to each school. Nativity students have learned about anger management and how not to use harmful words.

        TAP instructors hope that the elementary students will join TAP when they reach high school.

        In January, Jim McGinnis, co-founder of the peace and justice institute, trained 26 Purcell sophomores and juniors in TAP, which is used in 10 high schools and 18 elementary schools in five cities.

        The Purcell training was made possible by a $5,000 grant from the Society of Mary, according to institute administrator Jim Vogt.

        Mr. Vogt said teens reap the biggest benefit from the program, but that TAP could have an effect on Cincinnati as a whole.

        “I don't know what the ripple effects will be, but I know they will be there,” Mr. Vogt said.

        To learn more about TAP or TAP pledge, go to www.ipj-ppj.org.

       



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