WATCH: Peace Learning Center focuses on teaching kids early to stop the violence

INDIANAPOLIS – The growing violence stretching across Indianapolis has caught the attention of a lot of people – including an organization working with kids to curb violence before it starts.

At Peace Learning Center at Eagle Creek, the message to kids is clear: Working to properly resolve conflict is the best way to prevent violence.

THIS WEEK | Five shot, 3 fatally, in span of 3 hours in Indianapolis

Volunteer Chantel Massey teaches Pike Township fifth-graders that bullies are bad.

“(I am) most definitely trying to make an impact in my community,” Massey said. “We teach kids about bullying – we teach kids about how to counteract bullies.”

Massey and the rest of the staff target kids, and often go into schools to teach them about proper conflict resolution.

“What I see is kids don’t have hope for the future, and when you don’t have hope for the future, you don’t take ownership over your own education,” Center co-founder Tim Nation said. “People that get caught into this cycle – most of them don’t believe they are going to live past 25 years old, and so they live like they are not going to live past 25. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Nation says the murder rate in Indianapolis seems out of control, and is consuming the youth.

He wants to see more mentors, jobs and summer camps to keep kids busy – all while teaching them that words work better than guns.

“Skills that we need with conflict resolution (are) learning how to relax, take a deep breath, be calm,” Nation said.

Massey says she might not make an impact on every single child, but she will try.

“It has to start somewhere,” she said. “And it’s important, because you have to be the example.”

For more information on the Peace Learning Center, tap or click here.

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Follow Mike Pelton on Twitter: @MikePeltonrtv6
 

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