The Kids Get Their Say

Zak Stone PhotoAs adults are in the midst of debating how to turn around New Haven’s schools, Jamarr Daniels wants his fellow students to add their voices.

Daniels, a Wilbur Cross High School senior, made that pitch on TV Tuesday night. He joined other high schoolers from the region on a panel about school change on cable public-access program 21st Century Conversations produced by OneWorld Progressive Institute.

The program’s host, N’Zinga Shäni, asked the panelists to discuss the “single most important change America needs now.” The students came up with health care reform, climate change, equal opportunity, and encouraging youth civic engagement. 

“Why don’t youth go to community events and speak up?” Daniels asked. Young people ought to contact their representatives to let them know “that you’re serious about your situation.”  He said that too many young people are uninterested in learning, and come to school only “because their parents force them.”

Many of his classmates beeline home after school or skip class altogether, Daniels said. He spends time after class each day volunteering within the school system or participating in a “police explorer” program for young people interested in law enforcement.

“Why can’t you go to class and get your education?” Daniels demanded of his apathetic peers.

Daniels’s views were seconded by co-panelists Caitlin Morrissey, Eric Pang, and Brandon Patterson, all from West Haven High School, and Hamden High School’s Khadijah Cyril and Linette Deluc.

The students agreed that a lack of passion for learning and community engagement typically begins at home.

“If parents fail to help children learn that education is important, the next step is to go to administrators and teachers and get them to instill that learning is important at an early age,” Cyril offered.

Deluc stressed the importance of having good mentors.  “We need teachers that actually care,” she said. All of the panelists were able to name a teacher or administrator who has offered them support and advice and encouraged them to serve their community.

Pang and Patterson, for example, were encouraged to serve as student liaisons to the West Haven Board of Education. Patterson said they work to “get students and everyone to participate more their schools” and relay important information to the board members.

Shäni played the self-proclaimed “devil’s advocate” throughout the panel, by asking tough questions to challenge the students to come up with concrete solutions. “What are some of the things we can do to prevent diseases and reduce the cost of health care?” she asked the 16-18 year-olds, who appeared unfazed by the complex policy question.

The unanimous answer? Preventive health care. “Health care could be a lot easier for people if they could get preventative medicine” rather than expensive and risky surgeries down the line, offered Morrissey. “We’re a world power and we can’t provide for own people.”

“What are you going to do during your senior years to educate about preventative health care?” Shäni asked.

Deluc said that they should organize school-wide educational assemblies to increase awareness. Patterson said getting people to realize that universal is a health care is a “moral right and an obligation.”

“You’re going to make a commitment to doing that for your senior year?” Shäni pressed. The students said yes. 

“I’m going to hold you to it.” Shäni warned with a smile. Looks like applying to college will have to be put on the back burner.

Post a Comment

Commenting has closed for this entry

Comments

posted by: streever on April 28, 2010  2:44pm

Jamarr is a righteous kid who works hard. He worked with our company and was always impressive.

He’s absolutely right when he points out the problem of too many kids not being interested in being in school: that’s why it is so unfortunate that Wilbur Cross has only one punishment (out of school suspension) when they should make kids spend more time in school for misdeeds.

Jamarr is smart and dedicated & will be an awesome police officer some day. Thanks for working so hard to improve your community & school.

posted by: Beth K on April 28, 2010  11:00pm

Check out Young Invincibles!  We are young people trying to make sure our population is engaged and protected in the pressing issues facing our federal government.  Recently we wrote a piece on how dependent coverage expansion will affect you at http://www.younginvincibles.org/new_reform.html

Also, is this new law going to make an important difference for you? The Young Invincibles is a group working to represent young adults on health reform and other issues that affect us. Share your story and read others at http://www.younginvincibles.org/stories.html

posted by: eddie on April 29, 2010  11:57am

Why is a show about New haven kids being produced at the North Haven Local access station?  That is not what public access stations are intended for.

posted by: Concerned Citizen on April 29, 2010  3:54pm

It is good to see the Young Invincibles posting to this article; we hope they are sincere. We cannot be too careful. People in California thought they were signing an animal protection plan when in fact they were signing to become members of the Republican party! So unfortunately, we have to be cynics.

On the Young Invincibles website they are tooting the praises of WellPoint (owners of Blue Cross/Blue Shield) and United Health Care.  These are two of the largest health insurers whose policies have been devastating to thousands of families in the USA. Angela Braly, president of WellPoint, has fought against health care reform vigorously every step of the way; thus it seems a little difficult to think that suddenly they are really supporting health care reform.

We hope that the writers really appreciate what these young people are saying. The students in this article represent high schools in Hamden, New Haven and West Haven.  They seem to be thoughtful, caring and well informed. So often we see and hear about those students who are doing poorly in school and those who are in trouble. It is GREAT to see and read about students who are civically engaged, and who care about issues that affect us as a society. Even more heartening is that they want to do something to change those things that negatively affect us as a society. These young people want to change our society for the better1 how refreshing? It would do well for us to focus on that aspect; we are all enriched by these students and we need to showcase more of them.

posted by: Lyn Hinds on April 29, 2010  7:21pm

Dear N’Zinga:
I am pleased to read this article.  Thank you for engaging these young people in an intelligent conversation and challenging them to to think critically about the world in which they live.  It is very hopeful to read what they have to say.  The North Haven TV station is to be commended for having this program there.  This is a very positive use of public access resources.  We should be able to read more about such programs.  Thank you and OneWorld Progressive Institute for your efforts, and thanks to Zak Stone and the New Haven Independent for bringing this program information to the Internet community. Please keep these positive reports coming.  We need these to offset all of the negatives we hear about in the regular media every day.  May God bless all of your efforts.

Lyn Hinds

posted by: E. Duncan on April 30, 2010  8:24pm

As a parent of a teenager, and as a teacher who works with teens, this article is truly wonderful to read. It is also very pleasing to read that this group of students represent a multicultural group who are clearly working together and have a positive outlook.  Also, this is a very beneficial use of public access TV.  Some of what we often see on the public access channels are not only a waste of state and community resources, but a waste of people’s time.  This is one thing that can never be said of 21st Century Conversations. 

North Haven TV should be commended for putting on this program. The website this OneWorld organization offers is quite informative and very beneficial to anyone who visits.  They also have a teen center with very good information.  Thanks to the NHI for bringing us this article; we certainly hear enough about the teens who are in trouble.  Showing us these students is a demonstration to other teens of what is possible for them too.  The high school principals in Hamden, New Haven and West Haven should be very pleased.

posted by: Mrs. Figueroa on May 1, 2010  12:17pm

Reading this article today is particularly pleasant.  It is distressing to read the comment from someone who does not think this is a good use of public access resources.  Or is it not good because the article mentions students from New Haven?  Five of the students are from West Haven and Hamden; yet the writer is only complaining about the program being about kids from New Haven. How sad for our society that there are those who think so narrowly and negatively!  An important question for this Eddie person is - how do you know where the program was produced?

It is particularly wonderful to read this article and see young Jamarr who is so focused and positive. Every parent and teacher can be pleased to read about these six outstanding young people. I am certainly pleased to read about them.

We have heard a great deal about the young woman, also from Cross, who has done something negative.  Clearly, Jamarr deserves more attention for being positive and smart.  Let us highlight more Jamarrs, Brandons, Caitlins, Erics, Khadijahs and Linettes.  Let us use these positive examples to show other youngsters that they too can be constructive, articulate and positive role models regardless of their color.  I congratulate OneWorld for selecting multicultural role models.  I guess this organization is living up to its name.

Thank you Ms. Shani and thank you New Haven Independent. Although the student who did something irresponsible is getting a lot more press than these outstanding students, at least you brought us this story so we know that people like Jamarr and these other remarkable young people are also thriving in the Connecticut public school system. This is hopeful.

posted by: Becky on May 1, 2010  2:12pm

First, to “eddie”: Clearly you did not read the article or watch the show because these are not “New Haven kids”, they are students from New Haven County and I think they have every right to appear on any local access station in CT.
  Second, I am glad that these students are seeing the importance of having young people become involved in the community.  Our aim is to prepare all students to become productive and well-informed members of a democratic society, and this needs to be cultivated in middle and high school

posted by: Julie B. on May 2, 2010  12:18pm

Having been a past participant in 21st Century Conversations, I can say that being a part of the show is really a worthwhile experience.  It is refreshing to see that there are young people out there who truly care about worldly issues instead of the “here and now” that so many teens get caught up in.  Although I was not able to see or participate in this showing of the program, I am very impressed by what I’ve read from this article. 

In response to Eddie’s comment: what ARE public access stations meant for? In my opinion, these are very appropriate public and local issues to be discussing on a local access channel.

posted by: Sylvia on May 2, 2010  9:13pm

Hello OneWorld:
Thank you for another excellent program; at a meeting on Friday teachers and some parents here were talking about it.  Several of us wanted to be able to post comments, but the link is no longer there; a few of us were able to find the article but could not post comments. These types of programs are very helpful and very important.  Many of our young people need to know that they are capable of doing much more than they do presently. 

Teachers, administrators, grand-parents, caring neighbors, pastors and committed community leaders can all help to guide and involve children in positive activities. 

We raise our hats to OneWorld Progressive Institute, and to “21st Century Conversations” for your commitment to doing outstanding programs that uplift the broader community.  Thank you and the people who run this online journal for your efforts.  You are all doing great good.  May God bless you all.

posted by: Paul Bass on May 3, 2010  6:18am

test

posted by: doloreslibow on May 4, 2010  9:46am

Keep lighting candles, keep positive, change is needed on a lot of fronts. Every person has something to contribute.  We need to help parents and young people to see that. It is the role of educators!

posted by: Andrew on May 4, 2010  7:28pm

Hey all—I can’t help but notice an unfortunate disparity. On one hand, you get this great forum w/some excellent public school students taken on tough issues and making a lot of sense. One of the students, Jamarr Daniels, is from the much-maligned Wilbur Cross High School. My comment will be the 13th one on this story.

On the other hand, the May 3rd issue of the Independent has a story about another Wilbur Cross student who goes for a destructive “joy ride” on a bus. THAT story attracts 29 comments.

6 kids making us proud - 13 comments.

1 kid being impulsive and stupid - 29 comments (and counting).

Jamarr, Caitlin, Eric, Brandon, Khadijah and Linette - please keep making sense and doing what you’re doing. This reader and community member wishes you the very best.

posted by: OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc on May 5, 2010  1:00am

On April 28, 2010, Zak Stone wrote a small story about six high school students from Hamden, West Haven and Wilbur Cross High Schools.  The students: Brandon Patterson, Caitlin Morrisey, and Eric Pang (WHHS), Jamarr Daniels (Wilbur Cross) and Khadijah Cyril and Linette Duluc from Hamden High, are juniors and seniors. The three seniors have already been accepted to colleges and are looking forward to continuing their education. The juniors are looking forward to their senior year with dynamic plans about improving aspects of their lives, their schools and their communities. They also have suggestions on how to improve America. The title of their story is: “Kids Get Their Say”
The story is posted to Schools, and there is a small picture of three of the six students.

On May 3rd there is a BIG story with lots of pictures and much drama: lights, camera, police, ACTION! The title- “Police: Girl Stole School Bus, Hit Cop Car.” The student in this story is also from Wilbur Cross High.  One commentator wrote - “I’ve totally done the same thing playing grand theft auto.”

On March 16, 2010, the NHPS announced its reform plan and the initial set up in seven schools. It might be very helpful to New Haven and any school district planning reform to invite comments and input from some of the “real experts” in how to change our education system and make it more effective.  Those experts are the students who the system is supposed to be educating and changing.  Why not talk to students who have already spent 11 to 12 years in the system?

In WH there are student representatives to the Board of Education. There should be such reps in every district. More importantly, these students should be invited to tell the boards of education, superintendents, principals and all the administrators what really worked for them as students and what needs to be improved; that will help to make the schools more effective. 

The six students who participated in our forum are smart, articulate and very thoughful.  They want more effective school systems; they want a more humane and healthy society; they have constructive idea on how to make individual schools better. More attention needs to be paid to these types of students.

Let’s ask ourselves this question—how much of our scarce city resources were expended on May 3rd to create all of the drama displayed in the BIG story about the Wilbur Cross student who “stole school bus” Did she really?
Then ask ourselves- how much resources was expended on the small story? What is the value of a story about six wonderful students who had smart and positive suggestions on things that we can all work to change in our communities, and in this country?

Where is the greater return? What is it that we truly care about? Why was the bus allowed to travel until physical damage was done? Who benefits from all of the drama? What is the real cost of the BIG story to us as a society?

We invite you to visit our http://www.oneworldpi.org web site and look at our Education Section.  We welcome comments.

posted by: T'Asia on May 5, 2010  11:00am

i agree with this article and i believe it is true and i can help make a better community

posted by: joseph L. on May 5, 2010  11:04am

i think Jamarr has the right idea; most students dont like school and choose to skip. we should have more programs for students to get interested in school.

posted by: Amber on May 5, 2010  11:09am

As the thought of many young students get put into thought, does the change actually happen? Kids like to put a change to the world they live in to make the world a better place. Daniel wants to make a change for his school to help not only himself but his fellow classmates. Sometimes teens need a chance to express themselves in a way that adults are not listening to what the thoughts of kids are. Solutions need a chance to say what they have on their mind. Daniel’s gives students a chance to show that they are much more than what they are showing. I appreciate the thought that children are able to take a chance and show who they really are and the thoughts that they have are important.

posted by: Mrs. Gardner on May 5, 2010  8:36pm

This is a great opportunity for kids to share their thoughts and views on the world. We need more opportunities like this.

posted by: Pat on May 5, 2010  8:40pm

This is great! We need more opportunities for teens to show that they are good kids. The bad kids always steal the show. These kids are our hope for the future. Keep up the good work!

posted by: Mrs. Robles on May 5, 2010  8:55pm

I think all of these kids did a great job.  Students should be asked for their input more frequently—too often, their thoughts and ideas are not taken seriously because many people think they are too young and/or immature to understand or talk intelligently about issues.  Unfortunately, people usually gravitate towards the more sensational stories (the hijacked bus).  However, if more stories like this are written, maybe this could change some people’s attitudes.

posted by: Harold on May 6, 2010  4:58am

Why wasn’t this on the front page of the New Haven Register? We need to celebrate our good kids more and sessions like this do that. I’m glad I stumbled upon this article.

posted by: Joe Winters on May 6, 2010  7:58am

This was a great beginning. I would like to see a follow up. I think that the seniors should be included to share their transition into college as well as the juniors finding more students to follow them as advocates. I believe that students will only become passionate about learning if they continue to see success come from it.
    We are talking about young adults, not elementary school students, and it seems like wishful thinking to expect someone who is in a student’s life less than an hour a day (with 25 other students) to be the major influence in a student’s life as well as teach the required material. Interest in education, and interest in a meaningful existence, needs to come from within the students themselves.
Our kids should realize that they need to develop the skills to succeed and the generations before them must realize that they are worthy of the effort needed to make it happen. After all, the students of today will be leading us tomorrow.

posted by: Yadieliz on May 6, 2010  10:38am

It’s nice to see children take action for their education and to see them care about other students education even if they don’t know them. I think all of these kids are smart and usually the youth voices aren’t heard by other youth because of their age. Some students should actually read this and take action.

posted by: Brandon on May 6, 2010  10:45am

These students are showing interest in these topic which is great because today’s society is in dyer need of young people who take problems that can and will have BIG effects on the people in the near future. Having health care for everybody is a big battle in the country and it is great to see young people doing things that benefit the world

posted by: Willis on May 6, 2010  10:51am

I think these students are doing the right thing trying to convince youth to make better choices as well as fighting to make sure everybody gets health care. This has inspired me to give back to my community.

posted by: OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc on May 6, 2010  1:47pm

OneWorld Responding to Comment Posted by Joe Winters

Thank you most kindly Mr. Winters.  Your points are well taken.  We suspect that you are a teacher.  We agree 100 percent with your comment “Interest in education, and interest in a meaningful existence, needs to come from within the students themselves.”  However, the interest to which you refer must first be instilled in the students as children. When parents or adult guardians have had no positive experience with education, and have not themselves learned to value education, it might not be easy for them to instill such values in children.  This is where great teachers, administrators, mentors, community leaders and education advocates can play crucial roles and instill in children a love for and commitment to learning.

We at OneWorld, Inc., would very much like to present the type of programs you suggests.  In fact, were it left to us, we would highlight the accomplishments of positive young people on our “21st Century Conversations” TV program regularly, and we would feature more highlights on our web pages. Please visit the Education Section of our web site to see what we have there now.  After going to the main page, please browse all of the section: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/closing_education_gap.html

Unfortunately it is often very difficult to get cooperation from many schools to present these programs.  We need the full cooperation of principals and sometimes teachers to find students to participate.  With rare exception we must find a teacher who will take the initiative to identify students for us; in one school we depend on a counselor because no one else responds.  It is not easy; dozens of emails and phone calls go unanswered by many of the principals we contact. This is not a criticism; it is simply a fact of life.  They are dealing with other issues that affect how they are evaluated by their Districts, State DOE, etc.  Of course, there are those few principals who cooperate fully and also keep up with their requirements.  To get the cross-section of representation we would like on our programs, we need broader cooperation from more schools.

As a volunteer organization with no paid staff, it is all about making connections with people who care about what it is we are trying to accomplish.  It would be wonderful to have principals and teachers who commit to working with us, but they too have their priorities.  We understand that teachers and principals are under tremendous stress to fulfill certain state and district requirements; these do not include students appearing on a TV program.  It is hard to see the BIGGER picture when you are under the strict dictates of timelines, objectives and mandates. However, now that we have direct contact information for these students, we will do everything in our power to follow-up with a program about high school to college transition.  Thank you kindly for your suggestion.

We greatly appreciate all of the people who have taken the time to post comments; it means a great deal to us at OneWorld, Inc.  We are Committed to Lighting Candles of Information.

posted by: Enola Aird on May 6, 2010  6:36pm

Excellent conversation. Wish we could have many more youth roundtables like this. It’s well past time for us to focus more attention on the young people in our community who act responsibly. Thanks to One World for emphasizing the positive.

posted by: Lavonne Beckford on May 7, 2010  12:59pm

OneWorld Progressive Institute has present us with another thoughtful and constructive program.  This program has additional value because we can contrast it with this other more recent story titled: Police- Girl Stole School Bus, Hit Cop Car. 

In reading the stories one cannot help seeing the irony in the contrast.  As a parent, I congratulate Brandon, Caitlin, Eric, Jamarr, Khadijah and Linette for being good, caring and thoughtful human being and committed citizens.  Thanks to OneWorld and “21st Century Conversations” for bringing us such wonderful stories, and for demonstrating that the same high school can produce positive and negative results.  Much depends on what goes on at home and in the broader community.  Please let us pay more public attention to the great young people that can be found every where in our community.

posted by: Yolette Bryant on May 7, 2010  1:15pm

I applaud N’Zinga Shani for her efforts to engage teens in these challenging and thoughtful programs.  Very often kids get bored in school because they are not challenged and are not meaningfully engaged; this is why some of them do not want to be in class. Also, I find that with my students they want to talk about issues of interest to them and the curriculum does not always accommodate for such creativity.  We are forced to work by the book.

Teachers, parents and most adults can learn a great deal by engaging teens in meaningful conversations and activities.  We need to encourage them to go beyond the obvious and the usual.  Ask them for their ideas and then listen to what they have to say.  I look forward to reading articles about the 21st Century Conversations that are presented on educational and health care topics; I find them truly informative and provide ideas we can all apply.  This is a real service to the entire community.  I hope more people will pay attention, and more schools will participate.  This is a wonderful use of public access resources. Thank you OneWorld Progressive Institute, and thanks to this web journal for providing coverage.

posted by: Suzanna Lengyel on May 7, 2010  4:08pm

Congratulations to the bright and ambitious students who were interviewed on this program and congratulations to Ms N’Zinga Shani who is the leader of these programs.

posted by: JP on May 8, 2010  6:56pm

One World Progressive Institute uses 21st Century Conversations to create dialogue among various groups in the community at large. We all benefit when we practice inclusive behavior. Inclusiveness means that everyone has a voice and there is a process for everyone’s voice to be heard. This program was a good example of this inclusive behavior. It is very important for young people to speak out on the issues and it is equally important for the community to listen and act accordingly.

posted by: Nancy Williams on May 9, 2010  1:34am

When I was in high school some teachers were impossible to deal with; they came to school with their personal problems, and they were not prepared to teach or to help students in anyway.  Other teachers were wonderful and committed to kids education. The same thing is true in some of the homes.  Some kids have great parents and some have incompetent parents.  Having activities outside of school that are challenging and help kids to learn from each other and to broaden their perspectives can only be beneficial.  I consider this 21st Century Conversations program to be such an activity.  Just the opportunity for kids from different school districts to meet and talk about serious issues is a major benefit.  Thank you OneWorld; keep it up.  What you are doing is a good thing.

posted by: Michael Lengyel on May 9, 2010  2:37pm

Very pleased to see that the student panelists listed “climate change” among the most crucial issues America must confront. If anyone doubts the seriousness of this issue, read this:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/books/review/Greenberg-t.html?ref=books
Thank you, Ms. Shani, for creating these extremely important TV programs. I would love to see one on climate change and the environment and how greater New Haven is responding.

posted by: Haleigh on May 10, 2010  1:30pm

Hey OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc.
It is totally awesome to see teens getting a chance to speak up for what they believe in.  This article also shows that not all teens are only interested in fashion, cell phones and the latest gadgets; some of us care about the environment and we care about the economy and the mess that some politicians have gotten us into.  Let’s hear it for smart teens with brain power.  OneWorld rocks.

posted by: katabba muhammad on May 17, 2010  5:19am

It was wonderful to see you N’zinga.  I was happy to hear that you are celebrating the achievements of our children.  It is very important that we focus on the positives and not the negatives of our youth.  It is always a breath of fresh air to hear about young people who are eenthusiasticabout learning and pursuing their goals in life.  I am a strong aadvocateempowering and supporting our youth, so that their future is bright and prosperous.  I want to say to all the ppositiveyouth in our communities keep up the good work and continue to shine and show the world what you are made of.

posted by: Joe Winters on May 17, 2010  8:55am

I agree with everyone here. Dialogue is the only way that we can improve the system, and it is very important that the ‘business’ of education actually services its ‘clients’, the students. This means that the students need to be heard and recognized consistently.
    I also think that we need to find a way to involve the parents. They are the children’s first teachers and the most influential people in most children’s lives, yet often they are the ones left out of the loop.
    Let’s keep the conversation going!

posted by: Cynthia Cunningham on May 17, 2010  5:06pm

It was a pleasure to read this article titled Kids Get Their Say.  The New Haven Independent is performing a needed service in presenting these stories.  I hope big corporations sponsor this type of work.  The newspapers are almost extinct, but Internet news is on the rise.  New Haven, CT, like so many other inner-city school districts, is having problems.  As someone else wrote, they really need to invite the input of thoughtful young people such as the ones in this article to get new ideas about what works well.  Schools also need to work more closely with parents and be less bureaucratic. 
The media need to be more thoughtful in how it presents stories. For example the story about: “A teenage girl sped away from police on a stolen school bus Friday afternoon—and didn’t stop until she crashed into two cars, snarling traffic downtown, police said”,  is given so much more room than this other wonderful story.  We did not even get to see pictures of all the six students involved, but we see the bus, the police car, etc.  A lot more space is devoted to the negative story. While we understand that this type of story gets more public attention, we also think that people respond to what is being fed to them. Which comes first – the chicken or the egg?  People will respond to positive stories if they are given the same prominence as the negative ones. We need these stories.
“Why don’t youth go to community events and speak up?” Daniels asked. Young people ought to contact their representatives to let them know “that you’re serious about your situation.”  He said that too many young people are uninterested in learning, and come to school only “because their parents force them.”  This seems to be a statement more about the schools than about the students. Maybe it is because good students do not get the attention that the students who cause trouble get. Not enough organizations give thoughtful students the opportunity to participate and share their ideas. We congratulate OneWorld Progressive Institute for doing so.
To Jamarr Daniels, Caitlin Morrissey, Eric Pang, Brandon Patterson, Khadijah Cyril and Linette DeLuc we say congratulations for being such engaged, thoughtful and committed examples of young people. Keep doing it.

posted by: Ewa Florkiewicz on May 18, 2010  2:15pm

It is great that some of the students recognize the value of education. They are our future. The sooner young people get involved in positive activities at school and in community the more promising the future looks. Change for better does not just happen. It is a hard work. These bright students, featured in the program, are willing to be a part of that change. Thanks to OneWorld for giving them a podium to express their opinions and views.

posted by: Nick Cunningham on May 18, 2010  5:16pm

Of all the stories I have read recently about America’s public school systems across the country, this one titled:  “Kids Get Their Say” is one of the most hopeful and rewarding.  We need more stories like this.  As a society we need to hold up these positive examples of smart young people wherever we can find them.  Everyone will benefit from these types of stories.  Grand Theft Auto is not what we need to show our children.  If we want to inspire them, let us show them pictures of Eric Pang, Brandon Patterson and Caitlin Morrisey.  We must make space on the Internet for pictures of smart and responsible young people.  We certainly make space for those committing crimes. If we want young people to CARE about learning, let us show them the benefits of learning.  If we want them to act responsibly, let us show them the rewards of being responsible. Let us PRAISE those who are being good examples.  OneWorld and its “21st Century Conversations” need to be on every TV screen in communities.