By Tim Nation
It’s 2020! After engaging over 250,000 people in our programs from preschool student to adults, we’ve learned what works and refined our programs to fit under three pillars:
- Social Emotional Learning – being able to manage your emotions, maintain healthy relationships, and make responsible decisions are essential skills in school, community, and life.
- Restorative Practices – relationships are the basis of learning and community. Restorative practices build positive relationships and creates a process to restore relationships that are harmed.
- Equity – too many injustices in our culture leave too many people behind. We all must come to grips with our own hidden biases, explore the many issues caused by racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of oppression, to learn ways to change ourselves and our institutions.
Any day of the week, Peace Learning Center has a field trip of students at our Eagle Creek Park location, five school-based programs going where facilitators deliver curriculum in classrooms and lead restorative circles. In addition, there is probably an implicit bias training going on at a local college, nonprofit or business.
All of this work keeps our full time staff of 15 very busy and they are supported by 10 contractors and about 125 volunteers. This helps us engage over 10,000 people every year. Many of these being students in schools who see us 12 to 20 times in their classrooms during the school year.
I’m excited that many schools recognize the need for these programs and our work and outreach is steadily increasing. Not only do schools see the need, our state government mandates schools have Social Emotional Learning programs and our lead partner Indianapolis Public Schools requires restorative practices to replace outdated systems of punishment focusing on suspensions and expulsions.
Have you thought about getting involved in Peace Learning Center? Why don’t you attend one of our workshops or be a volunteer? Check out our events and opportunities at www.peacelearningcenter.org today!