April 30, 2012

Challenging the School to Prison Pipeline with New Innovative Program

Save The Kids (STK), a national organization with chapters across the country, is dedicated to challenging the school-to-prison pipeline and to keep kids away from violence. STK performs its mission through four central focuses: (1) Advocacy; (2) Policy & Research; (3) Re-Entry & Mentoring; and (4) Education. Throughout fall 2011 and spring 2012 Twin Cities STK, housed at the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching at Hamline University, met with incarcerated youth at the Hennepin County Jail and Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. At these gatherings, college students, professors, staff, and community members from the Twin Cities participated in group-building, conflict transformation, and culturally relevant/critical urban educational activities. These workshops were dedicated to providing supportive services for youth who are soon-to-be released as well as those that will be incarcerated for longer periods of time. During these workshops between incarcerated youth and volunteers with Twin Cities STK, all participated in transformative group-building activities to build trust and relationships. At the end of the workshops, everyone participated in writing poetry, with the youths reading their work after everyone is done writing. At the end of the visit, connections were built, and the bonds that were made will show these young participants that there is still hope for them.