Summer at PLC

by Tim Nation, Executive Director

While the school year is over, it is not time for a break at Peace Learning Center. Our team facilitates training and workshops for youth and adults throughout the summer.

We are getting many requests for help with equity education including implicit bias and responsive circles. Based in restorative practices, responsive circles are an open forum for sharing, reflecting, and moving to action in response to a problem, opportunity, and/or event. Many groups need time and attention to process how they will move toward racial inclusion, and how life is changing because of Covid-19.

Our Family Learning workshops attract youth and adults together who want to build peace in their homes. Also, schools are working with us to train their administrators and staff on restorative practices to replace their exclusionary systems of suspensions and expulsions.

We continue to provide social and emotional learning to youth through summer camps by providing virtual learning to build conflict resolution skills throughout Indianapolis, as well as hosting Social Justice Camp for teens and Climate Camp through a partnership with Indiana Earth Charter and HEART.  ACT Out Theatre Ensemble performs live at Indy Parks summer camps and other sites around town.

Our new Tribes Learning Communities is also keeping us busy as we schedule trainings and sell materials through our online store at http://tribes.com.

You can participate in our virtual workshops that include implicit bias, family learning, understanding and interrupting microaggressions, and other topics. Check out the list of options at https://peacelearningcenter.org/events/.

We at Peace Learning Center hope you have a safe and healthy summer. Keep working for peace.

2020-06-26T10:15:00-04:00

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by Kate Owens

Summer is a busy time at Peace Learning Center! Summer means it’s time for Peacebuilders camp! One of our most prominent summer programs is Peacebuilders Camp. Peacebuilders Camp takes place from May-July and often focuses on issues like teambuilding, conflict resolution, mindfulness and building communication skills. Different groups come to attend a day of camp throughout the summer, so no two days at Peacebuilder Camp are the same, but each one brings fun, learning, and growth.

Upon arrival, a PLC facilitator goes over the day’s agenda and the students make their own “Agreements for Peace”, which is a list of guidelines the students set for themselves about how they should act to be respectful and get the most out of their day at PLC. Once the guidelines are set and agreed to, it’s time for some icebreaker games! These are important because it helps the kids get comfortable and start opening up, which is important for the rest of the day’s activities.

The game River Crossing is always a hit at Peacebuilders Camp. The group must work together to get from one side of the ‘river’ to the other by stepping on a limited number of ‘logs’ or mats. If anyone falls off their mat, the whole group has to start over. To do this successfully, it’s necessary for the campers to listen to each other and work as a team to reach the other side of the river.

Next, there is a time set aside for meditation. Meditation looks different for everyone and this session begins with a discussion about what inner peace means to the kids individually. After thinking about the meaning of inner peace, a PLC facilitator leads the group in a short guided meditation/breathing exercise. When the group comes back together, they discuss the importance of mindfulness and how it plays a role in conflict resolution and dealing with negative feelings in a healthy way.

Following the meditation session, the group goes on a nature hike! Since PLC is located inside beautiful Eagle Creek Park, going for a hike gives us the opportunity to get out and reconnect with nature. This is important because spending time outdoors can be great for mindful living. It also serves as a reminder that we should treat the earth with the same respect we strive to treat other people.

The day wraps up with the group circling back up with the facilitators to discuss their day. Through this debrief, the kids think about the activities of the day and what they learned from them. Many kids share things like: “My favorite part was the river crossing game because we had to work together. It was cool that the adults didn’t step in and let us figure it out for ourselves.” The activities at Peacebuilders Camp encourage personal development and can have a big impact on the lives of all those who participate.

2019-06-24T11:14:15-04:00

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