Gov. Perry Announces Grant to Curb Youth Violence
“Do The Write Thing” Campaign Urges Youths to Develop Solutions
AUSTIN - Governor Rick Perry has announced a $99,999 State Criminal Justice Planning Grant to expand Houston-area schools' participation in a national campaign aimed at reducing youth violence. The grant also will be used to initiate the program in schools in six other educational regions in Texas.
The grant will allow expansion of the 'Do the Write Thing' essay-writing program sponsored by the National Campaign to Stop Violence in middle schools in Houston and Harris County.
The "Do the Write Thing" project will allow select middle schools to participate in a nationwide essay writing contest that encourages students to develop their own ideas about how to curb the culture of violence in America. The project is operated by the National Campaign to Stop Violence, a Fairfax, Va., based group.
Each school year, superintendents of participating school districts are asked to select middle schools to participate in the program. Students at those schools may choose to participate in the program by making a written commitment not to engage in violence and by writing on the causes of and solutions to violence.
Student submissions are reviewed by a panel of volunteers recruited by a local "Do the Write Thing" committee. The panel selects a boy and girl from each school who submit the best entries as finalists. Panels of celebrity readers then select national finalists from among the entries submitted by school finalists.
Local committees also publish a book containing the students' writings and organize a recognition ceremony to honor the finalists, their parents, teachers and principal. The two national finalists are also honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., hosted by the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
Each year, the Governor's Criminal Justice Division provides millions of dollars in grant funding to help Texans at the forefront of the fight against crime. CJD funds a variety of programs for juvenile justice, crime prevention and victims' services - all aimed at making Texas a safer place.
The Criminal Justice Division provides more than $140 million in annual funding to local, regional and statewide projects. Governor Perry's office currently provides more than $13 million in crime prevention, $13 million to projects that provide appropriate sanctions for youths who commit crimes and $40 million in grant funds to provide assistance and services directly to crime victims. CJD also funds a wide variety of projects for law enforcement agencies.
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