School Programs

The following programs are designed for use in schools, or in after school programs, agencies or organizations that work with children and youth. Time frames and fees vary, and these can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your school or group. My goal is to create an atmosphere where children learn to resolve conflict, respect difference, and feel better about themselves. This creates a better learning environment for schools and sows the seeds for a more conscious and involved citizenry.

Teens Rise Up

Teens Rise UpTRU is a cutting-edge program that empowers and educates young people to step into their leadership, engage in honest dialogue and co-create a more welcoming school community.

TRU gets to the heart of teen experience by examining the issues that underlie the bullying epidemic. Students participate in a two-day workshop with activities that elevate emotional intelligence, facilitate honest dialogue, and as a result, create a more caring school community. Research shows that bullying programs must emphasize real dialogue and emotional intelligence in order to be effective. TRU brings the depth that students yearn for and creates a safe environment for essential interactions.

Teens Rise Up:

  • Creates an opportunity for honest dialogue and reconciliation
  • Empowers bystanders and allies
  • Supports students to stand up for and be proud of differences
  • Offers tools to deal with bullying behavior
  • Encourages personal responsibility and youth leadership

Palooza the Polar Bear Problem Solver

Palooza BearHi I'm Palooza the Polar Bear Problem Solver. I teach kids about heart and smarts. That's because you have to have heart and feeling to solve problems and you also have to be smart to find solutions.

Come and meet Palooza the Polar Bear Problem Solver. Palooza is a lovable, cuddly puppet that children are immediately drawn to and who helps children learn to resolve problems by tapping into their own creativity and problem solving abilities. Palooza teaches the children about "heart and smarts," super powers that enable them to approach problems and difference with heartful as well as intelligent skills, that produce creative and helpful solutions.

Pallooza BearI go into the classroom and interact with the children with my dozen puppets. I consult with Palooza and with the children to elicit the problems they are having, and to help them come up with their own solutions. Each child also receives a beautiful booklet in which they can write their own solutions, thus, creating a writing project for the children as well. Palooza also has a mailbox of letters from children who ask for Palooza's help with different issues they are dealing with. The children read the letters aloud, discuss solutions and also write their own responses. Children have also been inspired to write Palooza their own letters and enjoy the on-going dialogue and support. This program is especially useful for children aged 6-9 years old.

Outcomes for the Palooza Project

  • Children learn about Palooza's main super power, "heart and smarts": heartful and intelligent ways to deal with conflict and friendship situations.
  • Children learn to value themselves and each other, which cuts down on teasing and bullying, enhances self-esteem, and increases empathy.
  • Children learn language to express feelings, and find ways to resolve conflict that create learning for all.
  • Children are supported to create their own solutions to conflict situations
  • Children's writing and reading skills are developed by creating a booklet of questions and solutions for other children.

Girl Pride

Girl Pride is a program that addresses issues of self-esteem, body image, and the relationship culture of aggression and bullying amongst girls. This program helps girls with the special social challenges they begin to face in their pre-teen and middle school years, and offers a forum for education, peer support and greater awareness and community. Developed by myself and Dr. Jan Dworkin, this program uses art and creativity to integrate learning, and includes projects such as, body drawings, skits and role play for dealing with bullying, and music, poetry and movement to engage more in authentic relationship and celebrate girls.

Outcomes for Girl Pride

  • Girls develop self awareness and an ability to celebrate their own uniqueness as well as the differences in others
  • Girls learn tools for dealing with conflict
  • Girls understand the culture of covert relational bullying and discover options to intervene
  • Girls find a healthy view of their growing bodies and learn to value the unique nature of their different appearances
  • Girls learn to interact with people who are different than them, which cuts down on bullying.

Bully Busters

Bully Busters is a program that can be adapted to elementary, middle school, or high school. Bullying is a major problem in schools all over the world. In the United States many school districts have anti-bullying policies in order to combat the prevalence of bullying. Bully Busters adds value and depth to policies by engaging children in dealing more meaningfully with bullying situations. This program taps into the inherent intelligence of children and offers a variety of options to respond to bullies and engage bystanders. Instead of demonizing and alienating the bully, our focus is on deepening, understanding, and transforming bullying behavior.

Outcomes for Bully Busters

  • Alleviates the bullying and conflict that often emerges from being different. Teaches children to appreciate and celebrate difference, both inside of themselves and in relationship to others
  • Sows the seeds of respect, understanding and curiosity
  • Cultivates emotional intelligence
  • Encourages the witness or bystander to engage and speak out in group situations, thus creating a safer environment for all children.
  • Gives children and teens tools to deal with bullying behavior
  • Transforms bullying behavior by getting at its roots

Interview From Madness Radio: School Bullying
First Aired 6-2-2009

What are the lasting impacts of taunting, teasing, and physical harassment between children? Why are kids who are different singled out and picked on? What can parents do if their children are victims of bullies?

Listen to the show at Madness Radio | Download the show


Raising Parents Raising Kids: Hands-on Wisdom for the Next Generation Raising Parents Raising Kids: Hands-on Wisdom for the Next Generation is an Award-Winning Finalist in the "Parenting & Family" category of the 2014 USA Best Book Awards. This book puts the spotlight on the magic and joy of parenting the inner development of the child and helps parents and educators deal with power, conflict, bullying and diversity issues in a way that is fun, inspiring and meaningful.

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