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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

#015 Precious Lives: A Little Positive Attention Goes Long Way to Keep Students Safe

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Courtesy of VFZ Youth Advisor Robert Robertson
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Keyon Mitchell teaches Washington High School of Information Technology students conflict resolutions skills as part of the Violence Free Zone program.

Big brother, tutor, life coach. Keyon Mitchell is a youth advisor in the Violence-Free Zone Program, or VFZ.

It’s a nationwide program designed to reduce suspensions, and improve attendance and test scores. Nine Milwaukee Public high schools and two middle schools have it. But it’s about more than the numbers. It’s about keeping kids safe in and out of school.

The Running Rebels Organization helps facilitate VFZ in a handful of MPS schools. For schools and families looking for mentorship for kids, Running Rebels can help. You can find more information at preciouslivesproject.org.

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