By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Stop the Violence (STV) will continue its 7th annual Spring Break Singing/Dance Camp from Monday through Friday, March 14 – 18. This is the second wave of the two weeklong camp being held at Miracle Revival Center, 901 NW 6th Street in Oklahoma City.
The program will end with a student showcase on Saturday, March 19 at 6 p.m. at Douglass High School, 900 N. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
The dance camp is an innovative program for children ages 6-18, and is entirely free and open to the public. STV is providing food for the children during the duration of the program.
In addition, Stop the Violence also furnished each camper with some back to school supplies.
Since its inception in 2010, the STV Singing/Dance Camp program has reached thousands of youth across the state of Oklahoma, providing direction and hope to children.
The camp is designated to help the kids attending with their personal development and to create a respect for themselves and others.
“We realize that this is just one avenue toward a solution to the plight of our youth,” said Kuinten Rucker, Chairman and Founder of Stop the Violence. “We believe in long-term plans, cooperating businesses, charitable organizations, community churches, state and local governing bodies working together with one goal in mind… our youth.
“We want to alter their paths of violence and show them the positive. We care,” Rucker stated.
During camp participants learn different types of dance including Modern, Jazz, Hip-hop, Step, Technical, & Gospel Dance.
Dance camps and back to school gatherings have been at the core of STV’S success thus far.
According to Rucker, the organization is now expanding their efforts to be more effective, efficient, and proactive in the fight for the futures of today’s youth.
STV supports programs that work toward the education, prevention, and elimination of violence and its emotional impact on children.
The organization’s efforts have gone to aid beneficiaries such as Wilson Elementary; Douglass, Millwood, and Star Spencer High Schools; Miss Black Oklahoma USA; Langston University and the Urban League Back to School Bash.
STV is a violence prevention program for not just only at-risk youth but for all youth ranging from ages 4-18. They also host programs for adults as well.
“Stop the Violence is an Oklahoma City non-profit that has been changing the lives of metro youth for almost seven years now,” Rucker said. “We have put together some key programs including Stop The Violence Dance Camps which aim to teach leadership and team skills as well as topics on how to prevent violence.”
In 2010, Rucker’s cousin Kruz Laviolette was shot to death after trying to break up a fight. Kruz passed away in front of his little sister and brother, one in elementary and one in high school.
Days after the murder, Rucker started the non-profit and since then, he and his staff of about 20 volunteers have been able to touch the lives of nearly 1,000 metro youth.
“There have been 16 homicides in Oklahoma in just 3 months of 2016,” Rucker said. “Our true goal is to give the youth alternatives to make better choices for their futures. We need the continued support of the community to make this possible.”
STV will host a Family Fit Camp on Saturday, May 28 at Douglass High School, and on Saturday June 25, the Bands On The Run 5K event will be held at Lake Hefner Park.
“The 5K Run is one of our platforms and fundraisers that we have to help with the financial aid of the organization,” Rucker said. “We need more help from the community and businesses so that we can continue to serve the state.
“Stop the Violence is growing rapidly with the ever increasing need for change in our community,” Rucker continued. “We have found a way to combat the senseless violence by targeting our youth.”
To make a donation or for more information about Stop the Violence Spring Break Camp and its many other programs, visit www.stoptheviolenceok.com.