Teens Interviewed By New York Press - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/09/02 - Jacksonville

Teens Interviewed By New York Press

  Last year's terrorist attacks left many across the country turning to their churches, temples, or mosques for comfort and answers. The events forced our children to ask significant questions about their own faith; their own spiritual beliefs.

  Now those questions are the basis for a series of interviews, being conducted around the country, and Thursday, right here in East Texas, by reporters most qualified to understand the concerns of children -- other kids.

  Their first stop, The National Meditation Center for World Peace. The center has been in Jacksonville for 15 years. But it's little known to many East Texans. But, it's about to get national exposure through it's inclusion in a unique summer tour.

  A New York news organization called, The Children's Press Line, stopped in Jacksonville to interview teens at the meditation center about spirituality.

  The reporters with the press line are just students themselves.

  "It's run as a news organization," said Dax Ross, the project Coordinator."It just so happens that kids are the ones that are producing the news. It's beautiful to see the empowerment," the ownership they take over it."

  This summer, the press is traveling across the country, asking teens about all forms of spirituality. They've already published four books on topics relating to kids. When finished, their interviews from this trip will be published in their the new book called "In Search of Faith".

  It's very important to talk to kids about spirituality because "a" no one does it, and "b" it's such an important part of their life," said Trent Spiner, an editor with Children's press line."

  "A lot of them have thoughts about it, but they don't have anyone to share it with," said Nina Pesa, a reporter. "I think it kind of opens them up, and they tell us there thoughts."

  Garrett Brown is a member of the National Mediation Center,where teens learn discipline through Eastern meditation and are encouraged to participate in humanitarian efforts. Brown says normally teens do not have a place to speak their own truth.

  "I don't think spirituality is a topic that is discussed very much among teenagers," says Brown. "So for them to actually come here and ask me about that, to know that there's more teenagers out there who want to know, and that they're asking more teenagers, is very comforting to me."

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