What will Take Ten students take with them?

By Amy Porter, Take Ten Volunteer and Blogger of the week

As the spring semester of Take Ten comes to a close, I hope that my group of students take away the idea that they have the power to make a difference. I believe that they have the ability to rise as leaders amongst their peers and spread awareness of the Take Ten tools we have provided. I hope that these students take away Take Ten principles and put the concepts into action.

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Take Ten Team presents at Hannah & Friends

Yesterday, Take Ten Director Ellen Kyes presented a workshop on conflict resolution and violence prevention at Hannah & Friends in South Bend.  Kyes was assisted by Take Ten Team Members Lauren Kross and Rachael Foster.

Attendees gained knowledge about the Take Ten program as well as healthy conflict resolution skills to utilize through their AmeriCorps service term and life. The attendees participated in a bio ethics debate, “I statement” exercise, and discussion based learning.

What did the attendees think about the presentation?

“Great ways to learn communication skills. Everyone can take something from this training.” –Mo Healy

“Take Ten.. Seriously, this is what’s up!” –L McGinnis

“A fresh, life-changing perspective on violence and everyone who is affected by said violence. Great!” –Melony Lamar

“This presentation of Take Ten was a great reminder to remember to take other people’s perspectives and to deal with conflicts in healthy ways.” –Annonymous

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How can you be a positive force in ending bullying?

By Lauren Kross, AmeriCorps Member

Each week I teach at least four Take Ten classes in local schools.  In addition, I serve as the full time AmeriCorps member for the program and assist with several projects. Being a part of the Take Ten team has opened my eyes to the importance of violence prevention and conflict resolution through education.

I have seen first hand the growth of knowledge by students in the Take Ten program.  Even though we discuss complex issues like violence, conflict, diversity, and trading perspectives, students as young as Kindergarten can grasp the concepts. The teaching style for Kindergarteners versus high school is vastly different, which is why the program is successful.

Education is important for ending bullying in schools across the country. Programs like Take Ten take a complicated issue and allow kids to learn in a fun, interactive fashion. Having a sense of humor is a Take Ten Ground Rule for a reason! Mixing learning with fun is one way our volunteers keep students engaged in the lesson and eager to learn more.

How can you be a positive force in ending bullying? Educate youth about how to deal with conflict in a healthy, non-violent way. Education is the keystone to success and those students educated on violence prevention will most likely be a positive force in ending bullying in their school. Become a volunteer with Take Ten to take our lessons to schools in the Michiana area. It will be a memorable experience for you and the student lives that you touch each week as a volunteer.

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How can youth influence bullying prevention?

By Rachael Foster, AmeriCorps Member and Blogger of the Week!

In February, I attended the Memorial Community Plunge in South Bend. This event focused on the challenges and strategies of taking on the modern neighborhood bully. A victim used to only worry about being bullied at school.

As a result of technology, bullies can follow them home and harass 24 hours a day. The consequences can be deadly. Young teenagers across our local, state, national, and global community have taken their own lives as a result of cyberbullying.

I was inspired to see Memorial Hospital bring together the community and address online bullying. I learned about innovative plans to set up help lines in schools and educational information for the community. Another medium to help educate students is the Take Ten comic book. I had the opportunity to be the Project Coordinator for “The Take Ten Crew vs. The Cyberbully.” The students who created the comic book were dedicated to bring awareness about cyberbullying and expressed their talent through the medium of art and storytelling.

Take Ten chose a youth-developed comic book to assist in creating a common language to deal with conflict non-violently. The book helps students and volunteers reinforce lessons, definitions, morals and skills learned in the program. We hope that this tool will allow students to learn methods of dealing with conflict in a positive way rather than opting for violent solutions.

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What is your biggest challenge as a volunteer?

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How is bullying connected to technology?

By Anna Boarini, Take Ten Volunteer

“Technology is an amazing when it works,” said my Mom. I agree with her, but I would add that technology is an amazing thing when it works and is used in a positive manner.

Bullying is a perfect example of how technology can quickly go from an amazing asset to a hurtful tool. With the advent of Facebook, texting and blogging, every part of our lives can be recorded and shared with others. Home used to be a safe zone from the bullies at school or in the neighborhood. It was a place protected from their influence.

That is no longer the case. Now, bullying can happed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is no protective place any more. I noticed this when I was in high school. Instead of just not being invited places, I would be bombarded with status updates and pictures of how everyone enjoyed the event. When someone made a mistake, friends would jokingly post about it and discuss the mistake online. These may all seem harmless, but the online pressure can add up.

Technology also gives bullies another place to hurt their victims. Instead of just physically or emotionally hurting them in an actual tangible space, like school or the neighborhood, bullies now have a virtual space they can also hurt the victim.

Even worse, online bullying can be completely anonymous. Anyone, under any name and with a simple email address can start a blog or make a fake Facebook profile, belittling their peers. This wall of safety for the bully makes it very difficult for the bully to be stopped. There have been cases where online bullying has gotten so bad, that children actually end their own lives.

I don’t want to sound all gloom and doom, hating on technology, but there is a very dark side to what it can do. Technology is an amazing thing that has connected people all over the world and opened eyes to different cultures, foods, books, music…the list goes on and on. But, even for all the good technology can provide, it is also a place where bullies can hide and easily attack their victims.

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How has technology changed bullying?

By Melissa Buddie, Take Ten Volunteer

Technology has presented new challenges in combating bullying in school. Through cell phones and social media, a student can bully another from outside the classroom. This makes it hard for the victim to escape the hurtful language from their peers.

Additionally, through message boards and instant messaging, a student can remain anonymous while bullying, eliminating accountability and giving the bully extra power over the victim. As technology continues to infiltrate our daily lives, it becomes more important to teach children how to deal with bullying and resolve conflict without violence.

By teaching them to talk it out, walk it out, and wait it out, bullying victims will hopefully have the courage to go to an adult when they feel victimized by another individual.

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How does Take Ten instill lifelong learning?

By Lauren Kross, AmeriCorps member

Students review key terms

The most rewarding aspect of teaching Take Ten is spending time with the students each week. Their energy and excitement is infectious. No matter how I’m feeling, the students have a way of picking me up to feel my best. If I am having a bad day or just not feeling 100%, they cheer me up within the first five seconds of being at the school.

Sometimes I will see a student or two as I walk down the hall to the classroom.  They greet me with huge smiles and hugs before telling the rest of the class that I have arrived. Then, there is a burst of excitement and movement. As I walk through the door, I am greeted by a classroom full of elementary school kids. These students make an ordinary girl like myself feel like a celebrity; a Take Ten superhero, teaching conflict resolution and violence prevention in fun, understandable ways.

Students write Take Ten lingo on their flowers for the garden

Each week, the students participate in different activities to promote healthy conflict resolution skills and violence prevention. We implement art activities, interactive games, role playing, and stories to get all students participating. I really love that the Take Ten curriculum allows all students, regardless of interest, to get involved. The students may not enjoy every activity, but there will be some activities that they will absolutely love and request to do over and over again. Finding that activity is key to student learning.

The Take Ten lessons are more than extracurricular learning opportunities; these are lessons preparing students for life. The ideas instilled in the minds of these students are not just to help them resolve conflicts on the playground or in the classroom but lessons to help them throughout their life. I may not see the seeds of learning in which I’m planting, but I know that the lessons learned through Take Ten will impact my students for life.

Our Take Ten flower power garden of goodness

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How do students impact the classroom environment?

By Carlos Leyva, Take Ten Volunteer and AmeriCorps member

Teammates Sarah and Ellie engage students in a discussion

I love the atmosphere of excitement and yearning to learn in the classroom when I enter. The students bring an energy that helps us teach Take Ten effectively. The most rewarding part is when the students and volunteers form a strong bond of friendship that becomes a positive force in their life. Every student deserves an opportunity to live in a violent free school and neighborhood zone. When students from around the area schools gather together for the Take Ten festival, it will be amazing.


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Take Ten is time well spent

By Thomas Mann, Take Ten Volunteer

I look forward to Take Ten every week because I enjoy interacting with the students. I enjoy laughing at the jokes, seeing that they understand the ideas that we share with them, and getting to know each of them better. I also find it rewarding when it seems that they genuinely value the ideals of Take Ten. When I get the sense that a student is enjoying the class and likely to apply what he or she is learning to life outside of the classroom, I feel that my time with Take Ten is time well spent. If I can help to make the time in the classroom more enjoyable then the rewards both for the students and for me will be greater.

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