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
Volunteer of the Month: Peace Learning Center would like to recognize Keir Morris as volunteer of the month! Keir is a longtime supporter of the PLC and has served on our board, hosted PLC fundraisers, and helped us with many other events. Jay Horan, our volunteer and intern coordinator, has worked closely with Keir and says, “Keir is a joy to have around the PLC. Her infectious positive attitude and out-going personality are always a highlight of anything she is a part of. Recently, at a volunteer night at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, I had the opportunity to watch Keir connect with some of the youth through laughter and kindness and I felt proud to have her representing Peace Learning Center once again.” Thank you Keir for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!
Please join us in congratulating Brenton Oechsle for being the May Volunteer of the Month! Peace Learning Center would like to recognize Brenton Oechsle as volunteer of the month! Brenton has been donating his time and talents to work on PLC’s be the change (btc) project that will help residents of Indianapolis understand the impact of their everyday choices on the world around them. Brenton has been working to create a video that helps explain the message of btc to the public. Lesli, our public ally, has been working closely with Brenton and says, “Brenton Oechsle came to help Peace Learning Center simply because we asked him. Prior to asking however, we’d heard of his kind heart and saw some of his beautiful work which helped us to feel comfortable asking him for his advice and direction. When we did ask him he lived up to his reputation and was so willing and happy to help. He is a delight to be around and very professional. With his direction and skill, he created a beautiful video we feel tells the story of ‘be the change’ in a way we are excited and proud to present.” Thank you Brenton for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!
By Tim Nation - PLC Executive Director and Co-Founder "Many people come to our school and give presentations on bullying, but really all of them fail to scratch the surface of the problems. They all have the same talk, 'Bullying is not ok, bullying hurts, bullying is bad.' It's like a broken record. It's because they aren't like you, they are afraid to talk about the real world, they sugarcoat stories of pain and suffering, and they only pluck the leaves of the bullying tree. Without people like you and the Peace Learning Center, the leaves would continue to grow back fuller and stronger every year." I took this from a letter written by an 8th grader who participated in one of our PLC workshops. A stack of forty letters with similar sentiments from other students touched me deeply because they understood what Peace Learning Center does - we strive to build relationships that help us ask deep and thoughtful questions for rich and life-changing dialogue. With this student and his classmates, we explored the root causes of violence while learning peacemaking strategies. Our facilitators often hear from high school students who say, "All the time I've been in school, no one has asked me what I think." Education is not just math and English - it is our ability to think for ourselves and ask for what we need while building positive relationships. Many people ask me to describe
Make a tribute donation of any amount to Peace Learning Center and we will send your loved one a holiday donation card so they will know a gift was made in their honor. All donations made this year will be used to support our $1 million Be Peace campaign to serve 10,000 people and accomplish three major goals. As of 12/3/13 we've raised $123,717 so only $876,283 left to go. Click here to learn more about our Be Peace campaign. Click here to donate now. Directions for making a Tribute Gift: After selecting the amount of your donation, select "Go to Checkout" and then check the box next to "Make this a gift."
On Tuesday November 19, 2013 a group of students and leaders began a journey that will forever change their lives. These individuals are part of the Peace Learning Center. This is an organization in Indianapolis that “educates, inspires and empowers people to live peacefully.” In 1997 the center was started by a couple of residents who were concerned about neighborhood and family violence. These residents took initiative and the results of their vision have begun a movement of peace that is far-reaching. Now the Peace Learning Center serves schools, community nonprofits, businesses and juvenile correction facilities. This organization has reached over 165,000 people locally and internationally to help promote peace-building and conflict resolution. Building a community of peace begins here in Indianapolis, but it most certainly does not end here. This is why this group of peace-makers is traveling to Africa to bring students from the Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, an administrator, social worker, two Saving Orphans Through Healthcare Outreach representatives (host organization for the trip), two RN’s, a photographer and Jay Horan, Volunteer Coordinator at the Peace Learning Center. I had the privilege of interviewing Jay Horan personally before the group left for their journey. When asked what the group will be doing while in Swazi, Africa, she replied: “We will be leading health education initiatives at four Swazi High School Convocations. In addition, we will be participating in extensive dialogue with the Swazi Youth Leadership groups,
Nominate a local peacemaker today for the 2014 Power of Peace Award! Do you know someone who does extraordinary work to further peace and justice in your neighborhood, family, business or community? Nominate them today to win the Power of Peace Award - an annual award to recognize a local leader or group which has demonstrated peacemaking in action within the central Indiana community. Past awardees include the Latino Youth Collective, Tarik Glenn, Rupert Boneham, J. Stewart Goodwin, and the Efroymson Family. To submit your nominee, please click here to complete the short questionnaire and submit it no later than Friday, December 27, 2013. The Power of Peace Award will be presented at Peace Learning Center's 16th Annual Martin Luther King Community Festival on Saturday, January 18 from 11am to 3pm at Christian Theological Seminary, 1000 West 42nd Street in Indianapolis. For more information click here to visit the MLK Community Festival page.
"Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts." - Henri Frederic Amiel Gratitude if the active process of acknowledging goodness and recognizing its source, according to Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychologist who specializes in researching gratitude and happiness. His research has shown that a person's level of gratitude is directly related to their level of happiness. At Peace Learning Center, we believe happy people are peaceful people. That's why we're dedicating this issue of PLC News to gratitude. (Plus, it's a theme that works well for this time of year!) We hope you will join us in showing your gratitude for the many people and things in your life that bring you joy. To see a few simple new ways you and your family can give thanks together click on the link below: Gratitude in Action - 30 Ways to Give Thanks One of our favorite new ideas to give thanks is by baking "thank you" bread using a monkey bread recipe. Then, as each family member pulls off each piece, ask them share something for which they are grateful. Here at Peace Learning Center we are grateful for so many things - most of which are a direct result of people like you! Thank you for everything you do to promote peace in our community. Peace on, Peace Learning Center Click here to read more.