2019 FIRST-PLACE WINNERS WITH TEACHERS—Carla Knight, Malachi Stevenson Dwayne Woodruff, Alaina Beal and Sister Janelle Banko. (Photos by Debbie Norrell)
by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor
The Pittsburgh Do The Write Thing program (DtWT) was birthed in 2007 when Judge Kim Berkeley Clark asked Judge Dwayne Woodruff if he would consider chairing the program. This was after a visit to the DtWT National Recognition Week in Washington, D.C. to see students from across the United States who had excelled in their cities’ programs. Woodruff accepted the task with one stipulation, his wife Joy would be his co-chair.
In 2008 the Pittsburgh DtWT was established. It started small but now has grown to one of the most successful programs in the United States. On May 28, at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel Station Square Pittsburgh, DtWT held their 2019 Dinner Celebration with Judge Dwayne Woodruff and Joy Maxberry Woodruff as co-chairs. Pittsburgh TV and Radio personality Chris Moore was a dynamic master of ceremonies. After a delightful buffet meal, spoken word performer Quincy Stephenson gave a strong presentation, “Still Stronger Than Hate.”
DtWT is an educational initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence and the essays that are submitted by hundreds of students from Pittsburgh Public Schools, Woodland Hills School District, Penn Hills School District and the Manchester Academic Charter School are focused on the impact of violence on their lives. The students are also encouraged to make personal commitments to help eliminate violence. Teachers also lead students in classroom discussions about violence and its resolutions.
The 2019 DtWT first-place winners were Alaina Beal (St. Agnes) and Malachi Stevenson (Manchester Academic Charter). The students will represent Pittsburgh DtWT in Washington, D.C. Second-place students: Shane Birkenfeld and Kayla Wiggins. Third-place: Klay Kraeuter and Anna Waskiewicz. Allegheny County Family Court Judges: Kim Clark, Kim Eaton, Paul Cozza, Dan Regan, Kathryn Hens-Greco, Dwayne Woodruff and Guido DeAngelis served as presenters for the evening.
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