“To promote choices and strategies that cultivate nonviolent communities.”
In 1995, Anne Parry, with the city of Chicago, decided to address the issue of school violence with a fresh approach. She created Take Ten – a slogan that encouraged children and adults to TALK IT OUT, WALK IT OUT, WAIT IT OUT rather than engage in violent behavior. The slogan aimed at teaching participants to: 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 has become a skills-based program which teaches conflict resolution, bullying prevention and the tools to make peaceful choices. The evolution from slogan to successful curriculum that operates in schools and other sites throughout the greater Michiana area and in several places beyond central Indiana has been an organic one based on word of mouth and many successes. Take Ten provides youth and adults necessary skills to work through conflict in peaceful ways, thus building capacity to make better, more positive choices. Take Ten impacts bullying and violence in this way.
Take Ten’s founding quote, from Nelson Mandela, is “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.”
The goals of TAKE TEN are to reduce violence, prevent violence and to teach children and adults 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 and adults to teach them skills to “Talk it Out, Walk it Out, and Wait it Out.” By providing these skills, children and adults 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”