Everyone has experiences of being excluded and feeling "less than" -- some more than others because of their race, religion or physical or personal characteristics. I would like a hand in shaping a world in which everyone felt loved and worthwhile, which I believe involves teaching and modeling skills of compassion and positive communication. I helped start a charter school that has had SEL classes for all students since it opened in 2000. At Peacemaker, I have sought out training in best practices in SEL, mindfulness, and have supported actions for equity for indigenous community members.
Thanks, Leanne! I took a look at this Foundation. The mother who started this movement and other parents from that tragedy that I have heard speak are sincerely the most inspirational people that I know. To have faced that event and believe that love is the most important way to respond to that has been life-changing for me. I plan to look more at the work of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Thanks for the recommendation.
Thanks for the comments, Ivette! Although we have not made specific adaptations for students with special needs, we have had participants that have had various disabilities and we can make customized adjustments on the spot such as simplifying the language. Having participants of varying abilities actually enriches the learning; For example, we explain that one of the attributes of cooperative games is that everyone is included so we assist students in identifying strategies in which someone with a broken leg, for instance, might be able to participate in a tag game.
The Speak Your Peace curriculum could work for high school students as many of the concepts are appropriate to any age. We have developed a "Girls Lead" program for high school students that uses many of the STAR concepts as well as delving into more complex issues. We are just beginning to develop "Girls Lead on the Go" materials in a "camp-in-a-box" concept. We hope to design a similar program for boys in the future.