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Title: WordCHECK Systems and Youth Magazine Team Up to Identify Violent-Prone Kids

Source: PR Newswire, 6/4/99

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WordCHECK Systems and Youth Magazine Team Up to Identify Violent-Prone Kids

LINCOLN, Neb., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Young Author's Magazine and WordCHECK Systems have teamed up to identify potentially violent kids with key words. Through classroom writing assignments and the new WordCHECK KeyWORD Software, events like the school tragedies in Littleton, Colo. and Atlanta, Ga. can hopefully be avoided. 

Since 1984, the Young Author's program has helped classroom teachers improve the writing skills of kids. Now with the new software, educators can archive and track the words kids use to better understand their emotions and possibly prevent potential emotion-driven violence at schools. 

For example, one recent exercise completed by a test group of 720 troubled kids examined manuscripts about the problems in their family life. The emotional "key words" detected and used in the responses were danger, dungeon, forgiving, fury, guilt, lost, neglect, nowhere, pain, sincere, shadows, torture and vulnerable. The kids also used the words guilt, lost, neglect and sincere most frequently, enabling teachers to identify previously undetected emotional issues with the kids. 

In another assignment, the same kids completed papers about a relationship with a school friend. The words they wrote were then archived into the WordCHECK software and profiled for word use and frequency. Their teachers then compared the compositions to the profile database and were able to quickly identify and match specific groups of words. 

"This new software helps us profile and detect the emotional key words kids are using in a classroom," explained Jane Austin, editor of the "Values and Violence Project." "If we can monitor the emotional words in their creative writing more effectively, maybe we can help stop violence in the schools." 

"The exercises and the software are tools for teachers and counselors to identify key-word patterns, and to provide a proactive way of communicating to these young minds to prevent violence," Austin said. 

The Young Author's Magazine ( www.yam.regulus.com ) uses the WordCHECK KeyWORD Software as a way of tracking emotional words from kids. As students in a classroom write and use specific or "key" words in their assignments, teachers and administrators track these words, helping detect emotional situations and possibly detect warning signs of troubled behavior. 

After teachers and school counselors have developed an archive of emotional words, writing assignments that detect specific groups of words can be used to monitor emotional situations. These word groups can then be used as a guide to help troubled kids before behavior turns violent. 

Beginning in August with the next school year, The Values and Violence Project will be available to more that 93,000 public, private and home school programs in the United States. It consists of 36 weekly writing projects delivered free to participating teachers by e-mail. 

Information researchers, attorneys, speechwriters, college admission officers, market researchers, technical writers, book publishers and journalists also use the WordCHECK KeyWORD software. Additional information on the software can be found at www.wordchecksystems.com . 


CO: WordCHECK Systems; Young Author's Magazine 

ST: Nebraska 



06/04/99 16:46 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com 
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