Monday, May 13, 2013

Students for Justice

You are never too young to think about justice.  Have you ever heard someone bullying another?  Seen an animal being abused?  Watched property being trashed?  If you aren’t an adult yet, can you do anything about things that are wrong?  Sometimes it takes only a little suggestion to help make the world a better place.

Take a look at Ohio middle school students in these pictures. These activists are trying to tackle tough-to-talk-about problems such as bullying, pregnancy, homelessness, and domestic violence. They, along with more than 150 other students, had the chance to showcase their solutions at the 19th annual Youth for Justice Summit in Columbus sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education.

Youth for Justice is designed to empower young people to be actively engaged citizens  working together to make a positive difference in their communities. Students identify a problem relevant to them, then develop and implement solutions.  This idea can be useful at your school, too.

Let’s give congratulations to the four teams who received the Outstanding Project Award:

“Fighting Bullying,” Greensview Elementary School
(Upper Arlington)                                       
“Relax, Refresh, Respect,” Pleasant Street Elementary
(Mt. Vernon)                        
“Domestic Violence,” St. Francis School (Cleveland)                                                   
“Positive Role Models,” Heritage Middle School (East Cleveland)

And, ‘Good Job!’ to the students from Collinwood High School and Botkins Elementary School.  They received the Youth for Justice Implementation Grant.  This was the first time schools were awarded money to help start up their projects at their own schools.

Botkins students will spread awareness of bullying by distributing “no bullying” frisbees at their school track and field day. Collinwood students plan to design team shirts to wear when they give presentations about the important issue of teen pregnancy prevention. As all these students tell us, it’s never too early to advocate for justice.

                Students from Collinwood High School in Cleveland whose project was titled: “RAP: Railroaders Against Teen Pregnancy.”
Botkins Elementary students whose project was titled: “Botkins Bully Busters.”

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