by Kristina Hulvershorn, Director of Restorative and Humane Learning A rabbit in my neighborhood lost one of her babies this spring. I’ll spare you the details, but I grew connected and began looking for her, wondering how she is coping. She carried on and I see her most evenings, continuing to do what she needs to do to survive. She’s not the only one. My gratitude abounds for all of those around me who keep pushing and keep trying, despite the pain and stress of the world, so I want to take a moment to appreciate those who continue carrying on, despite everything. Without a break or a pause, parents put on a brave face every day and try to give their children what they need, keeping their fear and pain like a secret. Teachers, who have the weight of the world on their shoulders with very little support. They are pulling from wells that may be dry but continue to show up for the children who need them. Even a pandemic couldn’t dampen the light of the activists who continue to speak up for Black Lives, against Line 3, and all of those who continue to stand up for love, compassion, and justice. Despite relentlessly difficult conditions, health care workers continue to show up for their patients. Artists who keep creating and keep the rest of us inspired, connected, and sometimes laughing. Janitors, scientists, writers, grocery store employees,
by Kristina Hulvershorn, Director of Humane Education and Restorative Practices February 27, 2017 was a big day for the youth of Indianapolis. On that day, our city passed a Climate Resolution, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use, and help make our city climate-change resilient. This resolution makes our city the largest in the country with a youth-led resolution of this kind. That's right..youth-led. Youth of varying ages met with city councilors, helped with the language in the resolution, and gave speech after speech to their city council members, passionately articulating why we all need to pay attention to climate change. City Council Vice President Zach Adamson, the sponsor of the resolution remarked "I am overjoyed to see our city take this important step in reducing our negative impact on our environment and stand as an example for our residents and other cities. I'm also grateful for the vision of our City Council and our mayor to make these critically important changes. I'm proud to have played a small role behind the extraordinary drive and effort of these young Hoosiers who will inherit the world we leave them." How did we get here? This group of youth became connected 3 years ago through a joint project of Peace Learning Center, HEART and Earth Charter Indiana. We had the idea of connecting youth concerned about this issue for a week-long summer camp. We offered them interactive
Final Notes from Climate Camp 2016 Indianapolis, Ind. (July 30, 2016) – Earth Charter Indiana and its youth program, Youth Power Indiana, along with partner Peace Learning Center and HEART, collaborated once again on their annual weeklong Climate Camp, July 25-29. Youth are available for interviews upon request. Highlights of the Week: · Presentations by and on: o #JustTrayNo youth, four 11-year-old students who convinced IPS officials to stop using polystyrene lunch trays starting this school year o The Promise Project, Carmel-based Climate Campers working with elected officials on climate recovery o Climate Recovery, Indy-based Climate Campers working with elected officials on climate recovery o Youth action in the United States · A public showing of Josh Fox’s (Gasland) new documentary, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change · A nature hike around Eagle Creek Park · A visit to the Nature Conservancy, Indy’s most sustainable building, where Climate Campers also learned all about The Children of Indiana Nature Park, recently launched in Centerville, Indiana · A tour of IndyGo’s new Downtown Transit Center · A Mock City County Council meeting, where Campers familiarized themselves with the city county council and how the public is engaged in impacting local policy · A trip to Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, where youth leaders helped Climate Campers tune up their bikes, learning bike safety and maintenance in preparation for their afternoon ride · Indy’s first-ever Tour de
We utilize Feelings Bingo to teach children about their feelings and how to express them in healthy ways. Building empathy is at the heart of "be the change" - the new exhibit and workshop series located in Peace Learning Center's lower level. Empathy plays a critical role in shaping how we interact with each other, animals, and the world around us. It's of critical importance to all good relationships - personal and professional. Some people may naturally have more of it than others. But, research shows us that it can be learned and practiced. Teachers and parents have the privilege and huge responsibility to teach empathy. Here are seven ways to be a good empathy influence for the children in your life and set them on the path to be the change for others throughout their lives: 1. Model caring for others 2. Model good listening skills 3. Be forgiving 4. Challenge prejudices and stereotypes 5. Help them learn to recognize, express, and manage their feelings 6. Encourage responsibility Click here to read more about how teachers can build empathy in the classroom through the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard University.
Our newest addition to Peace Learning Center is "be the change" which includes 30 permanent, interactive exhibits designed to build empathy and compassion by showing people how small changes they make in their daily lives can make a big difference for our planet and in our world. The exhibits are free (with admission to Eagle Creek Park) and open to the public every M-F from 9 am – 4 pm. "be the change" was created in collaboration with our partners at HEART which has a mission to foster compassion and respect for all living beings and the environment by educating youth and teachers in Humane Education. HEART recently created a great resource guide that contains lessons for students in grades K – 12 (each lesson is aligned to the Common Core Standards) and activities that can be conducted both in school settings as well as more nontraditional out-of-school venues like community centers, libraries or camps. It’s no secret that kids love animals. Click here to view the resource guide and start engaging their hearts and minds with these age appropriate lessons and activities that cover issues like companion animal homelessness, puppy mills, factory farming, habitat destruction, endangered species and so much more. Then, click here to learn more about "be the change" including how you can donate to our campaign to help create a more humane world!
Climate Camp sponsored by Earth Charter Indiana, Youth Power Indiana, and HEART: Learn about our climate predicament along with sustainability solutions and civic action opportunities. Enjoy locally grown food, nature hikes, bike rides and make some new friends! July 20-24, 2015 Open to greater Indy youth and teens, 4-12th graders $50 camp fee includes lunch For more information, email Jim Poyser at firstname.lastname@example.org Click here to apply online. Watch this short video to learn more about the Climate Camp experience:
[SlideDeck2 id=3327] At Peace Learning Center, we think of peace as a series of concentric circles starting with self, others, and then rippling out to the community. If we are to truly have a peaceful community (both global and local), we must not only take fellow humans into account but also the environment and the creatures who share our environment with us. To that end, we work hard to encourage participants in our programs to consider the world beyond themselves—which is no easy endeavor. Let’s face it, although compelling, the facts and figures about our world’s most pressing problems cause most of us to glaze over. To address this challenge, we have created an interactive exhibit at Peace Learning Center called “be the change.” “be the change” will give participants an inviting space to learn meaningful ways that they can use their own lives to help other humans, animals, and our environment. In the true spirit of Ghandi’s notion, “be the change you wish to see in the world” we have used repurposed, reused, and sustainable materials to create a series of thoughtful and interactive exhibits for both youth and adults. Have you ever wondered how much a pound of CO2 really is? Come check out our CO2 display! What about the impact of your dinner on pollution or water use? We’ve got that, too! Finding ways to convey wonky, often depressing data and statistics in playful and hands-on
Our be the change exhibit area is nearly finished and it's looking amazing thanks to hard work from many dedicated people! It's went from a wet, gross, and unusable basement area to a cool, modern place that inspires everyone to learn how they can make the planet a better place for all of us by making small changes in their daily lives. Check-out our most recent floor make-over which was made possible by eco-friendly paint donated by Ecos Paint and the hard work of many volunteers: [SlideDeck2 id=2794]
CLIMATE CAMP - FALL MINI-CAMP Saturday, November 8, 1-6 pm at Peace Learning Center Wanted: Youths ages 9-17, who grasp our climate reality and want to get engaged in solutions both personal and civic in scope. Come meet or catch-up with past Climate Campers and help reconnect our community. Help plan our series of 2015 Mini-Camps that will culminate in next summer's week-long camp. Join our community if you haven’t already gotten involved. Please RSVP email@example.com to confirm your attendance and also to receive a parking pass.
Check-out this fantastic video to learn more about the 2014 Climate Camp - the first of its kind camp designed to empower youth to take action to protect our climate! Click here to view the video. Climate Camp was a joint venture between Earth Charter Indiana, HEART, Youth Power Indiana and Peace Learning Center.