Eighteen local youths have written and illustrated a graphic novel that underscores the importance of resolving conflict peacefully, the message and mission of Take Ten, a violence prevention initiative of the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) inSouth Bend.
Addressing bullying in schools,The Take Ten Crew and the Three Oclock Fightis a story of ordinary children with extraordinary powers, who offer resourceful ways to resolve conflicts.With printing donated by Mossberg&Company, the book was developed with the help of professional artists and story directors, including Agustin Fuentes, ONeill Associate Professor of Anthropology at Notre Dame.
The project was conceived about a year ago with the help of dozens of Take Ten kids who provided ideas through focus groups.Participating writers and artists were grouped together for 12 hours in workshops to learn specifics of creating the book.The artists then worked for three hours each Saturday for nine weeks.
Take Ten encourages young people to “Talk it out, walk it out, and wait it out” as a means to resolve conflicts peacefully.The program reaches some 8,500 children at 15 schools and the RCLC through the assistance of 130 volunteers from Notre Dame and four other local colleges.
This has been a very exciting project and a model of collaboration,said Jacquelyn Rucker, a member of the Take Ten advisory board and Notre Dames director of community relations.The need for programs like this is substantiated daily by the rise in violent acts that are reported in our schools, yet funding continues to be a struggle.This project is an attempt to reinforce the Take Ten message, as well as create arevenue stream which can help fund the program.
Celebrating its sixth anniversary, the RCLC is a community-driven education center sponsored by Notre Dame.In addition to the violence prevention initiative, the center offers a number of programs and activities sponsored by local agencies and organizations, including health education and screenings, GED and English-as-a-second-language classes, children’s programming, youth tutoring and after-school programs. It also features a Computer Teaching andLearningCenter, which is equipped with 20 computers and provides instruction and Internet and e-mail access.
Some 500 residents and volunteers participate each week in on-site RCLC programming, and as many as 250 Notre Dame students, faculty and staff volunteer with center programs.Some 35 University departments and residence halls are involved in RCLC partnerships.
The book was funded with a $5,000 grant from Arts Everywhere and the Community Foundation of St. Joseph Co.It is priced at $9.95 and can be purchased at the RCLC or ordered on-line at http://www.nd.edu/~rclc/ .