Choose Peace Week celebrates the community’s commitment to end youth violence. Since its inception it has grown to include people and organizations across the county.
The event also serves as the kickoff of the 2012 campaign theme DARE 2 CARE, which was developed by Broward County students.
Earlier this year, schools were asked to create a message that reflects students’ efforts to create environments that are free from bullying and violence. The contest’s winning entries were submitted by Gulfstream Middle School and South Broward High School. Both schools will receive $1,000 towards their prevention program.
Gulfstream Middle School created school-based activities that focus attention on bullying and a bullying prevention poster which will be displayed in all Broward County schools. South Broward High School created a video that graphically challenges people to look at the effects of cyber-bullying. Students from both schools are featured in both the poster and the video.
In recognition of Choose Peace Week 2012, community members are asked to celebrate DARE 2 CARE on Thursday, Sept. 19 by spending an Evening on the Front Porch to support the power of community involvement in Broward County.
The organizers cite studies showing that community members who have strong ties to their neighborhoods are committed to keeping their neighborhoods safe for children and families. The Evening on the Front Porch is designed to celebrate communities by creating an opportunity for neighbors, community groups, businesses and faith-based organizations to come together in a casual way to strengthen neighborhood ties.
The organizers say such events will create a chance for neighbors to become a visible part of their community, to share ideas, introduce an improvement project or discuss a plan that will make a difference for their community.
“In decades past, folks would spend many evenings sitting on their front porches and visit with their neighbors,” says Nancy Vaniman, Choose Peace/Stop Violence project director. “By knowing your neighbors, you build communities with strong social ties and more civic engagement.
An Evening on the Front Porch is a celebration of our community. It is a great way to bring people together and we hope that the connections neighbors create will last throughout the year and beyond.”
Choose Peace/Stop Violence is a countywide violence prevention collaborative whose vision is for youth and families to thrive in safe and healthy neighborhoods, vibrant with opportunities for personal, educational and economic growth.
The effort is overseen by Project Bridge, a Safe Schools Healthy Student Initiative guided by a Core Team of advisers representing community organizations in Broward County. Project Bridge’s program components are designed to prevent violence and substance abuse among the nation’s youth, in the schools and in communities.
The membership includes the Broward County Public Schools, Broward County Health Department, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Broward County Children's Services Administration, Children’s Services Council of Broward County, Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Memorial Healthcare System, 2-1-1 Broward and the United Way of Broward County.
For more information on Choose Peace Week 2012 activities, Evening on the Front Porch events throughout Broward County and the Choose Peace/Stop Violence initiative visit choosepeacestopviolence.org