Art/Theater/Literature

It is important to incorporate the arts when creating a healthy school environment program. By integrating a broad range of creative art activities - such as visual arts, music, dance, and poetry - into the general PreK-12 classroom, students are able to foster compatible relationships with each other and with themselves. The arts provide a bridge to understanding others, a way to find self-expression, and to explore expression through creative non-verbal techniques. Using the arts to teach safe and healthy school environment concepts is an effective teaching method for any grade level.

Art

  • The Clothesline Project : The Clothesline Project is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. With the support of many, it has since spread world-wide.

Literature

  • Books in the area of nonviolent communcation : Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, is essential reading for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills. Applying the concepts within the book will help guide the reader towards a more loving, compassionate and nonviolent way of understanding and functioning with others, and foster more compassion in the world.
  • I Can Play it Safe, a picture book for children (PDF: 566KB/2 pages) : "Teaching kids about personal safety without making their world seem like a scary place"
  • Living Justice Press : A nonprofit publisher for restorative justice
  • My Body Belongs to Me : The story is a simple scenario involving a gender neutral child who is inappropriately touched by an uncle's friend. The powerful message really comes through when the youngster tells on the offender and the parents praise the child's bravery. The last page shows a proud, smiling child doing a "strong arm" pose. The text assures them that it wasn't their fault and by speaking out the child will continue to grow big and strong. It is a compelling and uplifting message.
  • Nonviolent Communication Schools : Nonviolent Communication training and practice in school communities helps teachers, administrators, students, and parents to make school a place where students love to learn, teachers love to teach, and where parents feel confident that their children's needs--for safety, respect, and learning--can be met.
  • On Those Runaway Days : When children feel overwhelmed, angry, or unsafe at home or in school, they may see running away as a solution to their worries instead of what it really is a dangerous way to avoid working out a problem. Written by an expert in child safety, this book provides kids with an important set of coping strategies to use on those 'runaway days.' Strategies include deep breathing, listening to gut instincts, seeking out and talking to trusted adults, and remembering they are loved--all of which will help them handle high-stress situations throughout life.
  • Research Annotated Bibliography from the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking : This collection consists of summary annotations on all available restorative justice dialogue research the Center has been able to locate to date. The forms of restorative justice dialogue represented in the collection include Victim Offender Mediation (also known as Victim Offender Reconciliation, Victim Offender Dialogue, and Victim-Sensitive Offender Dialogue), Group Conferencing (including family group conferencing and community group conferencing), Circles, and Other (reparation boards and other dialogue services).

Theater

  • Illusion Theater : Welcome! Illusion Theater's mission is to create theater that illuminates the myths and realities of our times and to catalyze personal and social change.
  • In the Heart of the Beast : "Puppetry's power lies in the act of transformation - of bringing something inanimate to life. This act in itself speaks to our lives, which rise and fall and rise again. As we share this act of building and performing, we find that theater brings people together. It builds community. It is with great respect and awe that we see the power and joy of this ancient art flourish in unsuspecting ways and places. Since 1973, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has been using water, flour, newspaper, paint, and unlimited imagination to tell stories that explore the struggles and celebrations of human existence."
  • Stages Theatre Company : "Stages Theatre Company is committed to the enrichment and education of children and youth in a professional theatre environment that stimulates artistic excellence and personal growth." Located in Hopkins, MN. Youth workshops may be found at http://www.stagestheatre.org/education/families-and-mentors/workshops-youth
  • Youth Frontiers : At Youth Frontiers, our vision is to change the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line, and classroom of every school in America so that today's young people can make tomorrow's world better." Located in Minneapolis.
  • Youth Performance Company : Youth Performance Company fuels the creative spirit of youth by developing, empowering and advancing young artists. Through direct programming that includes productions, classes, in-school residencies, community appearances, and a leadership development component, YPC provides affordable and meaningful arts experiences for Twin Cities families, children, and teens.
  • Youthrive : The mission of youthrive is to engage young people with adults in strengthening leadership and peace building skills. Their purpose is to inspire and engage youth and adults through education, leadership and service to integrate peace making activities into their lives, their communities and the world. To provide opportunities and experiences for all youth to engage in civic dialog and civic action on issues of social justice, human rights, non violence and anti-racism. Reduce the barriers and foster connections for the full and authentic engagement of all youth in addressing community concerns. To create an environment that values youth voice.

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