School Board Meeting
Agenda Item #12

2012 Do The Write Thing Challenge


The National Campaign to Stop Violence has developed a school program that gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of violence on their lives and communicate that impact in writing. Students are asked what they can do to stop violence in the Do the Write Thing Challenge. The program involves a classroom discussion and a written "Challenge" to answer three questions through an essay, poem or song:
How has youth violence affected my life?
What are the causes of youth violence?
What can I do to reduce youth violence?
The goal of the program is to reduce violence in homes, schools and neighborhoods by encouraging students to make a personal commitment to do something about this problem.

Twenty-six district middle schools submitted writings. This year over 19,659 students from 36 schools submitted essays. Twenty-one schools were eligible to submit their top 10 essays.
All of the entries are read by multiple panels of volunteer judges who represent a cross section of Palm Beach County educators, parents, law enforcement and judicial leaders.

More than 600 people, including the 210 student finalists, their teachers, principals and families attended a luncheon at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in May. The six student finalists were honored and given cash prizes, and brief quotes from their writings. Two were selected as the Palm Beach County Ambassadors. The students are:
1st Place Ambassadors:
David Dunleavy, Don Estridge High Tech Middle School
Ashley Coons, Western Pines Middle School
2nd Place Finalists:
Nathaniel Sybron, Howell L. Watkins Middle School
Melanie Camejo, Lake Worth Middle School
3rd Place Finalists:
Christopher Burrett, Watson B. Duncan Middle School
Joy Sohn, Bak Middle School of the Arts

Palm Beach County Do The Write Thing Chairman Bill Bone's commitment to the campaign is unsurpassed. He has chaired the Committee for six years and has singlehandedly obtained the support of sponsors, Florida Crystals Corporation, William H. Pitt Foundation, Larmoyeux & Bone, P. L. and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and created the committee. His inclusion of winning students and their parents and teachers and principals is extraordinarily generous. He does a presentation to the middle school principals and has been responsible for the heartwarming success and overwhelming participation and support of our schools.  This year, he created a film with the comments, observations and wisdom of the six finalists.


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Nat Harrington

Vickie Middlebrooks

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