EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 20, 2014

Pelham students getting anti-violence message

PELHAM — Pelham middle school students are getting an anti-violence message this month and next through a state backed program.

“Media Power Youth” is bringing the message to Memorial School students.

“It’s a pro-active step,” School Board Chairman Brian Carton said. “The same organization presented to Memorial School when we did the substance abuse event in October. They did a great job delivering an age-appropriate program then and I have high confidence that they brought in a quality program for this effort.”

Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz, in announcing the program last week, said students are learning how to evaluate messages they see in media portraying violence, aggression and disrespect.

Besides learning to think critically about conflict and problem solving, students also are getting an understanding of how to use social media appropriately and positively, she said.

Gov. Maggie Hassan last month announced the Manchester-based nonprofit Media Power Youth was receiving a $100,000 grant through the state to fund its work.

“We must work together to improve the safety of our communities and to reduce violence, especially among our young people,” Hassan said.

Media Power Youth’s executive director, Rona Zlokower, praised the governor and the state Attorney General’s Office for leading on the issue.

“Media education can help reduce violent behavior in children,” Zlokower said. “Thoughtful and positive media use is linked to greater empathy, healthier choices, more connectedness, better conflict resolution skills and improved academic performance.”

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