Peace It Together
MASSACHUSETTS CORPORATION FOR EDUCATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS (MCET)
MCET received a $400K grant from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, a USDOE initiative, to combat violence in the lives and communities of students nationwide. I conceived of and developed this multiple-award-winning distance learning program.
Peace It Together Online Community Center
This three-time-national-award-winning site provided access to extensive national and local violence prevention resources including teen-only spaces such as the interactive Mari comic strip which features teen characters who need your help to make wise choices, a live teen-to-teen chat, and action plans for teachers, parents and youth service providers.
As program developer, I:
created and developed Peace It Together: Strategies for Violence Prevention, a 16-part two-way live television series, website and curriculum kit.
partnered with Harvard School of Public Health to develop and host the program.
collaborated with many Boston-based, health, human services, juvenile justice and youth-serving organizations.
accepted two first place national distance learning awards for the series and was a GII semifinalist.
“I wanted to create a virtual community center where people could network, build coalitions and advocate for teens." Paula
Ask-the-Experts - Experts and peer leaders answer FAQs about violence and violence prevention
Peace It Bulletin Board - Network with others to discuss Safe Streets, Safe Schools and Safe Communities
Peace It Art Gallery - Showcases original artwork by youth
Peace It 'Zine - A Web magazine with poetry, short stories, advice and reflections by and for teens
Mari's Room - A teen-only space with links, resources, and an interactive comic strip
Teen-to-Teen - Teens share their ideas via live chats and articles on the issues discussed in each program
Parents and Teachers Together - Includes local and national resources and on-line curricula
On-line Resources - Contact information and action steps for youth, educators, parents, and service providers
Fun Fact: The website received over 20,000 hits a month even after the series was completed. I was once asked if someone could hold their fundraiser at our community center, that’s how vital and lived in this virtual community was!
Peace It Together Live, Interactive TV Series
I conceived of and created this 16-part series that provides innovative strategies for teen violence prevention with topics ranging from gang violence to hate crimes to self-harming behaviors. The series and website give parents, teachers and students access to community leaders and violence prevention practitioners to gain knowledge about violence, its causes and methods of prevention and intervention.
What is Violence? (Youth Perspective)
Teen Dating Violence
What is Violence? (Educators, Parents, Youth Service Providers)
The Community Based Justice Model
Violence Prevention - Kindergarten and Beyond; Substance Abuse and Violence
Victim Support Groups
Violence Against Ourselves
Violence Prevention and the Arts
By highlighting effective programs, modeling conflict resolution techniques, and talking to violence prevention experts in our communities, schools, churches, and health centers, this series will provide answers and resources for violence-prone youths and adults working with them. Students will be able to interact with other teens who are peer leaders, role models and show co-hosts. Contributing factors such as drug abuse and gun availability will also be addressed. The hands-on curriculum resource guide will help you implement some of the strategies in your school, community, or home.
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD, renowned violence prevention expert, along with the Violence Prevention Programs Office at Harvard School of Public Health, will help develop and provide resources for the series. A materials packet will provide additional resources, strategies and tips for implementing a program, activities to do with youth, and a reading list. This broadcast is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug Free Schools Program, award #S184D60127.
MCET’s approach, targeting youth from 13-17 years of age, teachers, counselors, parents and other vested adults in the community, is multi- technology (video, print, live satellite broadcasts, audio links, Internet) and interdisciplinary. Using the immediacy of the television medium in real time, MCET invites youths into the studio to tell their stories while participants at downlink sites contribute by calling in questions and receiving immediate responses over the audiobridge. This connection is sustained over time through computer interaction (virtual community center website with teen-to-teen forum), audiobridge exchanges and contact with education and youth-serving leaders within the community.
Peace It Together Curriculum Kit (English & Spanish)
The curriculum kit was sought-after by educators and youth-serving organizations nationwide. It contains hands-on resources that provide strategies for implementing effective violence-prevention programs, activities to do with youth, local and national violence prevention resources and contact information, selected bibliographies and Web links. Our violence prevention action plan and list of resources is also available in Spanish.
I want to extend a special thanks to the bright and good-hearted young man Vaughn (Damon) Butler who did all of the graphics for the site, including our logo. He has since gone on to be the Director of Artists for Humanity in Boston. Priscilla Purvis and Charese Williamson were student interns and peer leaders who contributed tremendously to the teen content. Priscilla wrote the Mari Scenarios (a series of comic strips where Mari is confronted by various problems) and was a youth host and peer leader. Charese researched and wrote the Teen-to-Teen section of the site and was the teen moderator of the Live Teen Chats. I so loved working with these teens who cared so much and wanted to make a difference!