30 09, 2022

Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

2022-09-30T12:54:47-04:00September 30th, 2022|Tags: , , , , , , |

Peace Learning Center joins the nation in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15). We believe this country is made greater by the culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic Americans. In this blog we have included 1.) a brief explanation of terms, 2.) local groups whose work center the Hispanic community, and 3.) local events where we can join others in celebrating this special time! 1. Terms Hispanic refers to people of Spanish-speaking origin. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity.  The term was adopted in the 1970s by the U.S. government to try to classify people from Latin America under a common identity (NPR). Under federal policy, Hispanic is not a race. However, many multiracial Americans consider their Hispanic background as part of their race (Pew).  Latino (grammatically masculine) or Latina (grammatically feminine) refers to people residing in the U.S. who are of Latin-American descent (NPR). Some use Latinx or Latine as gender-neutral terms.  “Brazilians are Latino because the country is located in Latin America. But Brazilians aren’t considered Hispanic because the country’s primary language is Portuguese. Meanwhile, Latinx identity brings together people in South and Central America, who may share a history of Spanish colonization, but that category isn’t defined by having Spanish-speaking ancestry,” (Vox).  2. Local Groups La Plaza OUR MISSION: La Plaza strengthens Central Indiana by advocating and preparing Latino students for educational success and by connecting Latino families to health and social services. OUR

10 02, 2021

Tribes Learning Communities is Now Peace Learning Circles

2023-01-09T09:21:31-05:00February 10th, 2021|Tags: , |

Peace Learning Center has begun a rebranding process for the social emotional learning program formerly known as Tribes Learning Communities. Beginning February, the organization will now refer to the program as Peace Learning Circles or abbreviated as PLC. David Gibbs, former owner and son of Jeanne had this to say about the renaming, ". We support the name change decision and look forward to witnessing the continued growth and development of Peace Learning Circles. The importance of building healthy, caring communities for learning has never been greater." The name change and rebranding come in an effort to update the program materials, designs, and language to meet the needs and knowledge of the ever-changing educational and equity landscapes. During this transition period Peace Learning Center will be notifying stakeholders, updating materials (both in design and content), and continuing to build the program and its outreach. “We are forever grateful for the opportunity to further Jeanne’s [Founder, Author of Tribes] legacy and grow the program for a better and brighter tomorrow,” stated Tim Nation, Executive Director of Peace Learning Center. Peace Learning Circles better reflects the intentionality and inclusivity that the program and its curriculum’s objectives aim toward. “When Jeanne conceived of the Tribes program in the 1970s, many would have heard the name and thought little of its cultural connotations. ‘Tribes’ evoked images of community and connectedness. This line of thinking likely persisted into recent years in large part because

10 06, 2020

A New Chapter for Peace Learning Center

2021-05-20T17:41:23-04:00June 10th, 2020|Tags: , |

When Jeanne Gibbs wrote the first Tribes book in the 1970’s, little did she realize that the Tribes Learning Community process would help build community in educational settings well into the 21st century. In the last 25 years, with the support of many dedicated staff and district trainers, Tribes has reached over 46,000 educators and their students in over 10,500 schools in 43 countries. This leading social emotional learning (SEL) program currently offers training for elementary, middle and high school educators, as well as after school and youth development programs. The future of Tribes is now brighter than ever! Peace Learning Center (PLC) is pleased to announce that Jeanne and her home tribe have chosen us to lead Tribes Learning Communities moving forward. PLC has been working in the Indianapolis community for 23 years, serving over 230,000 youth and adults. After years of collaborative efforts between Tribes and Peace Learning Center, two like-minded organizations, we are collectively excited about this new chapter for Peace Learning Center. TLC to PLC… a perfect fit! Peace Learning Center's programs fall into three pillars 1) Social Emotional Learning 2) Equity and 3) Restorative Justice. Tribes will fill a gap in services with an evidence-based curriculum that all of our program facilitators have now been trained in. PLC staff will continue working in Central Indiana schools and the community with youth, teachers, and youth-workers using what they have learned from Tribes in addition to the

15 01, 2019

Coming Soon, Everyday Circle Cards

2021-05-20T17:41:30-04:00January 15th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

What an exciting day! We just received some of our freshly designed Everyday Circle cards and we can’t wait to share them with the world! They are a brand new tool to help teachers who want to do this work but don't know where to start.  We have partnered with two other incredible organizations: Tribes and HEART to create Everyday Circles for teachers to implement SEL, restorative practices, humane education, and more.  There are 180 cards in the deck and each card has everything you need to lead your group through these processes, including images, prompts, and directions for interactive fun. We have had this vision for quite a long time and the stars finally aligned for us to make this happen! We have long thought that the actual work we do isn’t all that complicated but the support that you need to begin and maintain it, often is. Usually, this is a function of the need to change our mindset and learn new ideas incrementally to have time to actually implement and adjust.  All of this requires a lot of teacher training…a luxury many schools and teachers do not have.  So, without a lot of access to teachers, we thought, how can they learn how to do the work at the same time as they are doing it? That is exactly what these cards are designed to do.  If teachers can make a bit of time and commit

26 10, 2017

Inside Our Programs: Lew Wallace #107

2021-05-20T17:41:40-04:00October 26th, 2017|Tags: , , |

Any visitor is a special treat to a group of kindergarten students. But these kids don't have any old visitor today. "Ms. Maria! Ms. Maria!," they chirp in glee as Maria Ruiz, Youth Development Facilitator enters their classroom at Lew Wallace #107. She sits on the floor, in the circle that all their activities take place in, and waits patiently as they take their seats around the circular rug. Without saying a word Maria pulls out a singing bowl and taps the side of it causing a ring to emanate across the classroom. Immediately the wiggles and giggles cease and each student begins taking deep, calming peace breaths. After three of these breaths, where you can literally feel the room's energy mellow, she begins an empowerment chant that the kids clearly know by heart as they join in. "I love myself." "I loooooooovvvvvvveeeee myself." "Because I am smart." "I am strong." "I am kind." "I can help." "Yes, I can." "Yes, we can." "Si se puede." "Because I'm a good kid." "I'm a good kid." It's been a few weeks since Maria has seen this class; this is their first week back from fall break. She pulls out a stuffed animal, a black poodle with red bows in its hair. This is their speaking piece. When anyone in the circle wants to speak they have to have the speaking piece in their hands and everyone wants a chance to

25 05, 2015

The Mindful Path – Mindfulness Skills for Teens

2021-05-20T17:42:16-04:00May 25th, 2015|Tags: , |

In this post, we continue with this quarter’s theme of Mindfulness in Education. Recently, Harvard Business Review published an article on “Teaching Teenagers to Develop Their Emotional Intelligence,” which can be accessed through this link: https://ow.ly/Nou9a The article, written by researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, makes the point that unless today’s teens learn emotional intelligence skills, they will not be equipped to be competitive in the future workforce they will soon join. Recognizing these concerns, some business schools are implementing courses that incorporate components of emotional intelligence. Although this kind of education can be very helpful, is it happening too late, when college students are challenged to learn behaviors that support their future professional success? Research has demonstrated that an approach for teaching Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) created at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, assists children to learn mindfulness skills to effectively manage their emotions. This creates a foundation for success in school that can carry over into adult life. For more information about this work, click here: https://ei.yale.edu/ruler/. Click on the different areas of the site to access a variety of helpful resources. Why aren’t there more SEL programs for children? The article emphasizes taking advantage of opportunities to support mandates to provide and fund these programs. Additional suggestions are also listed. Consider the emotional intelligence skills of children and young adults in your life. What opportunities do they have to learn the mindful

26 08, 2014

The Mindful Path – A New Resource for Teachers

2021-05-20T17:42:44-04:00August 26th, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this week’s post, I want to tell you about a great new mindfulness resource for teachers. It’s the book, “Teach Breathe Learn” by Meena Srinivasan. Here is a link to the author’s web site, where you can view a short video trailer that presents the book: https://teachbreathelearn.com/ Other resources are also available here. The book is arranged in three parts: Practicing Mindfulness, Sharing Mindfulness, and Mindfulness as a Learned Skill: A Curriculum for Mindful Educators. If you want to learn more about how to integrate Social and Emotional Learning into your teaching practice, you will want to find out more about this book. However, what makes this book even more useful is that its teachings can also be applied in personal and professional life outside the classroom. To virtually look inside the book, click here: https://ow.ly/AFDin. I continue to learn from the program in “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World,” where I’m spending some extra time on Week Four. I’m getting a lot out of examining how my interpretation of events can lead to negative emotions when I’m not practicing mindfulness. I have also incorporated a beginner’s yoga class into my regular exercise routine. This is greatly assisting my mindfulness practice by helping me to slow down and pay attention while the poses are also enhancing my strength and fitness. Please feel free to leave any comments or

5 08, 2014

The Mindful Path – Stop, Breathe & Think

2021-05-20T17:42:47-04:00August 5th, 2014|Tags: , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This week, let’s explore an app created for the iPhone and iPad that’s so wonderful, I hope that it will also be offered on other mobile devices. The app is called “Stop, Breathe & Think,” a free offering from Tools for Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting emotional and social intelligence as well as academic and professional success.   See more about Tools for Peace at their web site here:  https://toolsforpeace.org/about/interesting-resources/  This link takes you to some helpful resources posted, and also provides you with the details needed to get to the main web site.  On Twitter, see @ToolsforPeace. Here’s a short video about the origin of the “Stop, Breathe & Think” app: https://vimeo.com/77258913 I’m pleased to find this tool, which although originally designed for teens, is also very helpful for adults.  After opening the app, there are different paths to take, depending on your mood and needs.  You can identify what you’re feeling, and then let the app suggest some different meditation options to use. For example, after selecting the emotions of “concerned,” “open-hearted”, and “hopeful,” the app suggested that I might try meditations on Great Compassion, Gratitude, or Body Scan.  After doing the Gratitude meditation, I was awarded with a potted plant “sticker” that begins tracking my progress in the app.  I felt more calm and grounded, which was also good. Other paths I could choose include “Learn How to

29 07, 2014

The Mindful Path – Ask the Right Questions

2021-05-20T17:42:47-04:00July 29th, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I’ve been following an 8-week mindfulness program.  I still am, and will give you another update about that soon.  This week, however, I want to return to mindfulness in education because I’ve found something too good for me to keep to myself. The link below is to a post on www.edutopia.org  by Professor Maurice Elias.  He discusses the work of Irving Sigel, who found that the way we ask questions to students can enhance their social and emotional development. https://ow.ly/zGw2E  Instead of asking a closed question that leads to a yes or no answer, ask an open-ended question that encourages the student to apply their current understanding and use critical thinking.  This can help the student to deeply consider their awareness of self and others, and to understand the consequences of taking one action versus another. Another method is to follow one question with a second one that encourages thinking more deeply about one’s responses and what they really mean.  This is powerful; I wish I had this method in my toolkit a few years ago when my stepson who is now almost 16 would answer just about every question with, “I don’t know.” So, my excitement grows as I think about how adults can also benefit from learning that comes from deliberate critical thinking.  I could write many posts going into details about neuroplasticity,

15 07, 2014

The Mindful Path – Synergies in Mindfulness

2021-05-20T17:42:49-04:00July 15th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This week presents a great opportunity to find more synergies between mindfulness practiced intentionally by adults and mindfulness as experienced by children in school as part of social and emotional learning (SEL) exercises. Mindfulness Program I’m continuing to work through the program in “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.  In ‘Mindfulness Week Two: Keeping the Body in Mind,’ the meditation is a body scan.  By experiencing this, you can learn to pay attention to your body, identify messages your body is sending you about anxiety and stress, and enhance your awareness by carefully scanning all areas of the body. I have been really enjoying this mindfulness program.  I really think that it’s helped me to be more centered and calm, which has resulted in being more present instead of focusing on the past or the future. Meditation Resources If you’re interested in exploring some free meditation resources, try this link from UCLA Mindful Awareness Resource Center. https://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22 Yoga Enhances Mindfulness I have found that starting a yoga practice along with mindfulness makes my whole experience even more rich.  Although I took some yoga classes in the past, it was so long ago that for all practical purposes, I’m a beginner again.  I’ve been working with some recorded content for beginners; this has helped me to stretch my muscles, tone them, and to relax

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