We need you. Will you help out?
Tired of hearing about society's woes? Things won't change unless you lend a hand. Join young people across the country who are helping their schools and communities become safe, better places.
What you can do
- Reduce violence and other crime in schools by learning conflict management and mediation skills, starting a school watch modeled on the Neighborhood Watch idea, starting a student court that hears real cases and imposes real sentences, holding assemblies where teens can talk about their fears and hopes, starting a hotline where students can anonymously report anyone carrying weapons.
- Reduce substance abuse by talking to younger kids about practical ways to resist the pressures to try alcohol and drugs, producing radio public service announcements against drug abuse and getting permission to play them over the school's PA system, performing skits urging younger children to stay drug free, setting up a hotline which can address substance abuse, producing a video on the effects of drug abuse on users and their families and friends.
- Improve the neighborhood by joining a graffiti removal team, picking up trash and litter from a park, planting flowers and shrubs around your school, working with other gorups to organize a community clean up day, helping to renovate a playground, designing and publishing an environmental handbook.
- Help others by mentoring younger children, taking an elderly enighbor to the grocery store, supporting a friend who's been a victim of crime, volunteering to help out in after-school programs or daycare centers, setting upa warn line to help young students who are home alone after schools, tutoring classmates for whom English is a second language, building a nature trail for children with special needs, joining a group that builds or renovates housing for low income or homeless families.
Food for Thought
- Why not take part in a nation event - Crime Prevention Month, National Youth Service Day, National Night Out, or Victim Rights Week, for example?
- Why not start a contest and give prizes for the best violence prevention essay, video, poster, or rap?
- Why not work to prevent violence and other crime in a new, different way? Try a school pride day, a rally against drugs and violence, an alcohol and drug-free prom or graduation party, an original play or puppet show for younger kids, a week when everyone in your class agrees to "turn off" violent entertainment - TV shows, videos, games, and movies?
Who Can Help You Get Started?
Check out the helping organizations in your community - Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, YWCA, YMCA, suicide hotlines, rape crisis centers, volunteer clearinghouses, local PTA chapters, battered women shelters, service clubs, or government services listed in the phone book.
Contact these national organizations for information and ideas:
Teens, Crime, and the Community Program
National Crime Prevention Council1700 K Street, NW, Second FloorWashington, DC 20006-3817202-466-6272
TCC combines classroom lessons on crime, its consequences, and its prevention with teen-led projects in the community to address specific crime problems. Provides training, materials, technical support, and conference presentations.
Youth as Resources
National Crime Prevention Council1700 K Street NW, Eighth FloorWashington, DC 20006-3817202-466-6272
Developed on the premise that young people need not wait until they reach adulthood to participate in community life. Capitalizes on youths' creative energy, enthusiasm, and altruism by offering small grants for community service projects that are chosen, designed, and carried out by young people with adult support.
Youth Service America1101 15th Street, NW, Suite 200Washington, DC 20005202-296-2992