Take Ten festival to be held May 5

by Shannon Chapla

Take Ten

Students from local schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and community centers will visit the University of Notre Dame May 5 (Thursday) from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Stepan Center for a celebration of the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) Take Ten violence prevention initiative.

Some 350 school children will attend the Take Ten Festival, which will include visits by Chief Darryl Boykins of the South Bend Police Department, Superintendent James Kapsa of the South Bend Community School Corporation, and Lynn Coleman from the South Bend Mayor’s Office. The event will include games and activities, refreshments, distribution of T-shirts and performances by Notre Dame’s First Class Steppers.

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 8,000 children at 12 schools, the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, all Boys and Girls Club sites, and community centers through the assistance of more than 130 volunteers from Notre Dame and four other local colleges.

Take Ten also is celebrating the release of its annual evaluation report, which shows statistically significant improvement with kids in grades 3 and 4, as well as 5 through 8, in all three major areas of analysis (knowledge, feelings and behavior relating to conflict and violence). These findings echo those of the Take Ten evaluations from the two previous years. A full copy of the evaluation report can be found at the Take Ten website.

The RCLC was started in 2001 as a community-driven education center sponsored by Notre Dame in collaboration with neighborhood residents and partners. The center offers a number of programs and activities sponsored by local agencies and organizations, including afterschool tutoring, a youth Shakespeare company, a youth entrepreneurship program, computer instruction, GED and English-as-a-new–language classes. Over 500 residents and volunteers participate each week in on-site RCLC programming, and as many as 300 Notre Dame students, faculty and staff volunteer with center programs.