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Feelings on bullying in schools

Amely Duran of Lamar CISD’s Briscoe Junior High shares her feelings on bullying in schools.


2021 Houston/Harris County National Finalists

2021 Houston/Harris County National Finalists

Congratulations to our 2021 National Finalists from the Houston/Harris County site:

Kayla Juarez
La Porte ISD

Eli Pascual
Lamar Consolidated ISD


San Antonio DtWT makes the news

KSAT 12 reporter Erica Hernandez featured “Do the Write Thing” San Antonio in a recent report:

The “Do the Write Thing” challenge is giving middle school students across the country the chance to write about how violence has impacted them and what solutions they believe can better help their peers.

57th Civil District Judge Antonia Arteaga helped bring the contest to Bexar County about six years ago and since then more than a thousand essays have been submitted.

“We’ve been able to give children a path, an avenue to express any violence that they want to talk about anything that they feel like they have a solution for because kids come up with some of the best things, ” Arteaga said.


Important Updates for Houston/Harris County 2021

Downtown Houston at night

Essay deadline delayed until FEBRUARY 16, 2021

Due to the ongoing issues some schools are experiencing with alternating between remote and in classroom learning, we have made the decision to accept essays for judging until FEBRUARY 16, 2021.

We do not want any school who wishes their students to participate to feel they cannot because of time and logistic constraints.

For those teachers who use Do the Write Thing as a stand-alone writing assignment and not for judging, we will accept essays through the end of February.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 713-447-4942.

Nearpod tool help

Some have expressed that they are still encountering difficulty gaining access to the Nearpod tool.

If you have already contacted Amber with no luck, text your preferred email address to 713-447-4942 and I will make sure you gain access ASAP.


Welcome to the Do the Write Thing Challenge for 2021!

Downtown Houston

This promises to be a school year that is all about adjustments and accepting new challenges.

Students are going through what is often a traumatic and uncertain period. Do the Write Thing has always been a program that was designed to help students guide their way through a time when they are going through a lot of changes in their lives.

It is not just a program that talks about violence in its many forms; it is one that encourages kids to think about themselves, their actions and how those actions affect others.

With all the recent changes to their schools and way of learning, they are forced to deal with a lack of structure; missing the interaction between themselves, their friends and teachers.

This can lead to frustration and the urge to act out those frustrations in a negative manner.

Do the Write Thing is designed for students to examine their feelings about their world and express themselves in a way that encourages both creativity and freedom of expression. Do the Write Thing essays are evaluated by content alone.

Every month, we will be sending out a newsletter with three new articles and scenarios that can help educators add to the Do the Write Thing discussion.

It will also have the most up-to-date information regarding submissions dates and status of the program.

We also encourage you to visit our Houston-Harris County page for the background of our program along with the Teachers’ Packet, Lesson Plan and all forms. Our Facebook page will also post any up to the minute changes.

SEE THE REST OF OUR NEWSLETTER


Beaumont 2020 finalists honored

Chair Judge Randy Shelton and Coordinator Jes Prince honor their National and School finalists.


2020 National Ambassadors for Houston/Harris County

We are pleased to announce the 2020 National Ambassadors for the Houston/Harris County Do the Write Thing Challenge:

Madison Osazuwa of O’Donnell Middle School in Alief ISD

Zane Ziad of Macario Garcia Middle School in Fort Bend ISD

The reading and judging of the writings submitted by the 14,005 students in 61 Houston-Harris County and surrounding area school districts who participated in the 2020 Do the Write Thing Challenge was an enormous undertaking.

The Challenge would not be possible without the assistance and support of the dozens of Community and VIP Readers who made sure that every student who submitted an eligible essay was considered.


San Antonio finalists featured on News4SA

436th Juvenile District Court Judge Lisa Jarrett and finalist Danica Soto
436th Juvenile District Court Judge Lisa Jarrett and finalist Danica Soto

WOAI News4SA Trouble Shooter Emily Baucum featured a fantastic story on the Do The Write Thing San Antonio finalists.

With strength that belies here age, Danica Soto reads a chapter from her painful past.

“My past is something I don’t talk about because of all the people I lost, and because it hurts too much,” Soto reads aloud her essay. “I didn’t want to look weak, so I didn’t do anything or tell anyone about it. Instead, I started balling it up all inside me and I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I started cutting myself.”

Her essay is one of more than 2,000 written by middle school students across San Antonio about all the ways violence impacts lives.

It’s part of Do The Write Thing, an essay contest through the National Campaign to Stop Violence.

More than 25 schools in eight local districts participate. The program’s anti-violence message is integrated into the curriculum so each student learns ways they can stop violence among their family and friends.

The program’s led locally by 57th Civil District Court Judge Antonia Arteaga.

“In my everyday life as a judge, I deal with children. It’s usually families in crisis. And when I interview children, I see the pain. I see the despair,” Judge Arteaga says.

She’s assisted by 436th Juvenile District Court Judge Lisa Jarrett.

“With this pandemic, we’re having more violence come out,” Judge Jarrett says. “I’ve seen a trading from graffiti cases, where they’ve put down their spray can and they’re picking up a gun. And that’s disturbing.”

The essay contest’s six finalists participated in a Zoom call last week. The judges consider them ambassadors in their schools and neighborhoods.

On that call, Soto learned she was one of the top two winners. And a few hours later, Judge Jarrett was at her door, rewarding her with a new tool to keep sharing her powerful story. READ MORE

Here are some photos taken from this day.


San Antonio in DC!

Photos from the San Antonio challenge site group in DC. SEE MORE PHOTOS

SEE MORE PHOTOS


Austin DC photos- Recognition Week 2019