“To promote choices and strategies that cultivate nonviolent communities.”
“Many who live with violence day in and day out assume that it is an intrinsic part of the human condition. But this is not so. Violence can be prevented.” -Nelson Mandela
In 1995, ANNE PARRY from Chicago decided to address the issue of school violence with a fresh approach and created TAKE TEN – a slogan that encourages children to TALK IT OUT, WALK IT OUT, WAIT IT OUT rather than engaging in violent behavior. Take ten deep breaths instead of saying something that hurts; take ten steps back rather than getting involved in a fight; and take ten seconds to cool off instead of using something as a weapon. TAKE TEN is simple: it is a short positive phrase that provides children with a common language to demonstrate their choice for nonviolence. Take Ten is an outreach project of the Robinson Community Learning Center.
The goals of TAKE TEN are to reduce violence, prevent violence and to teach children positive alternatives to violence. Violence is defined as anything that causes harm, physical or emotional, to oneself or another living being, place or thing. The objective is to shift what is acceptable and expected behavior in society today, namely violence, to attitudes and behaviors that expect and teach nonviolence. In order to obtain these goals, TAKE TEN volunteers work with children to teach them skills to “Talk it Out, Walk it Out, and Wait it Out.” By providing children with these skills, children are better equipped to think before they act when faced with a conflict that may result in violence.
TAKE TEN gradually becomes ingrained into the psyche of the school and schools have reported that a fundamental social change occurs after TAKE TEN is integrated into their culture.
“One of the myths to dispel is that conflict is always bad. Conflict is actually a natural, normal part of life …Conflict is not bad in and of itself, yet for many of us, especially young people, it has come to equal violence. This is an equation we have to break.”
~ Linda Lantieri and Janet Patti
“Waging Peace in our Schools”