But the group felt they needed to give it a try and the pilot program was born. The week will kickoff at the Central Congregational Church tomorrow night with a night of board games and a potluck supper and desserts.
Central Congregation Church member Ruth Temperiono has talked her 17-year-old son into taking part, although he doesn’t completely understand why it’s needed.
“My son doesn’t understand why I’m so concerned,” Temperiono said. “He said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to go around shooting anybody.’ But I told him, ‘that’s not it. You just have to understand where we’re coming from. It’s very concerning.’ When I was growing up, there was Pac-Man and Pong. We didn’t have these intense video games that the kids are playing these days.”
As the week goes on, participating parents or children ages 13 and older are encouraged to either email or post messages on the Kids as Peacemakers Facebook page a description or picture of what activities they have been doing.
The Facebook page will also provide information on alternative recreational activities such as going to museums or nature preserves, playing traditional games with others and doing some volunteer work. A drawing will also be held each day for gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants such as Macro Polo, Orange Leaf and Amesbury Skate and Sport.
“We figure that will be a little bit of an incentive for the too-cool-for-school crowd,” Ney said.
Once the week is over, Kids as Peacemakers will take stock of the program.
“We’ll do it for a week and see how it goes,” Temperiono said. “With everything that is going on and with all the school shootings and all that, it’s very concerning to me and I feel as if we need to regain control over our youth.”