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Muhammad Ali Continues to Fight for His 'Greatest' Cause; Boxing Superstar Writes Foreword for New Children's Advocacy Book.

ALBION, Mich. -- Keeping his legendary motto at heart -- "I am the greatest" -- three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, along with his wife, Lonnie, recently wrote the foreword to a new book titled "No Disposable Kids."

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20011221/DEF015 )

"As a young man, the motto 'I am the greatest' brought attention to me and pride to young people who saw me as their hero," the Alis' foreword reads. "In my new career, I am trying to help all young persons discover their greatness. ... This book challenges all of us to search for greatness in the most unlikely places, even in youth who frustrate or frighten adults."

Through poignant stories and tales of success, "No Disposable Kids" refutes the societal belief that some children are simply too far gone to change for the better. Co-authored by three leading childcare experts with more than 100 years of professional experience among them -- Dr. Arlin Ness, president of Starr Commonwealth; Dr. Martin Mitchell, vice president of Starr Commonwealth; and Dr. Larry Brendtro, president of Reclaiming Youth International and former Starr president -- the book features time-proven advice for working with children regarded as "throwaway." The methods are based on nearly 90 years of research and working with troubled youth at Starr Commonwealth.

"This book confronts the most pressing challenge facing every family, school and community -- raising respectful children in a toxic world," the foreword adds. "These pages offer hope and optimism with practical solutions for parents, educators, mentors, youth professionals, all who care about our young people."

Based on the book's tenets, Starr Commonwealth has also launched a new educational initiative with the same name. The No Disposable Kids program provides a wide variety of training modules to enable school faculty, community members and families to bring out greatness in today's youth. Specifically designed to ensure that no child is left behind, the training modules cover crisis intervention, peer power, responsible adulthood skills and principles for adopting respect through the oneness of humankind.

"We're thrilled that Muhammad and Lonnie could contribute their insights to this book," said Ness, Starr Commonwealth president. "We believe their wisdom will inspire people to take action."

Soon to be immortalized on film, Ali's life has extended well beyond the boxing ring. He heralded a new era in black pride by denouncing his slave name "Cassius Clay," and became an ambassador of peace around the world. Known as an international humanitarian and children's rights activist, Ali has received numerous awards such as the Starr Commonwealth Child Advocacy Award and "Athlete of the Century."

He has also raised countless dollars for diverse charities across the globe, including the National Parkinson's Foundation, The Salvation Army and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Ali serves as honorary chair of the Kellogg's Hannah Neil World of Children Award, which acknowledges the plight of children worldwide and recognizes an individual for their work on behalf of children. Founded by Floyd Starr in 1913, Starr Commonwealth provides a broad range of services to children, youth and families throughout Michigan and Ohio. From prevention and enrichment to residential treatment, Starr Commonwealth offers more than 30 programs -- like No Disposable Kids -- based on creating powerful environments. The book "No Disposable Kids" is published by Sopris West. For more information, call 800-315-8640.

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Contact: Sue Battel of Starr Commonwealth, +1-517-629-5591, ext. 429, cell: +1-517-740-7748, BattelS@starr.org

Website: http://www.starr.org/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 21, 2001
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