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October 12, 2011
Four Seeds spoke at the SCSD Board of Education Meeting to share their experience at camp, and the impact their experience in Maine was having on their current school year. The students spoke from their hearts about their ability to address conflict in the face of uncertainty and frustration. Their stores were well received and there was a sense of excitement from the council members and audience.
January 28, 2012
The Seeds participated in a Ganz model leadership day retreat. This leadership model was developed by Marshall Ganz after working with Cesar Chavez and the Union Farm Workers. This leadership model is relationship and values based with components of public narrative and strategic development. Seeds learned the beginning practices of conducting one-on-one conversations as a way of building relationships through learning interests and values of peers potentially interested in becoming Seeds through active and reflective listening. They also learned how to develop a strategic plan; beginning with brainstorming, defining their purpose, setting the ultimate goal, establishing roles of individuals based on skills and interest, and ending with tactics needed to reach the ultimate goal. They have taken these skills into their schools as a way of continuing to grow the number of students involved in Seeds of Peace, and develop activities that allow students to have conversations and build relationships across cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and age lines.
The retreat was held at Porter Elementary school thanks to the help and support of Laura Vieira-Suarez, Administrator of ESL, Foreign Language, Bilingual and LOTE, who also donated the food. She and he department have been huge supporters of the Seeds as they gradually change the environment of the schools.
March 20, 2012
Five Seeds participated in an intergenerational dialogue with the five InterFaith Leadership Award recipients in a documentary created for the award InterFaith Leadership Award Dinner (ILAD) on May 15th. The documentary captured the “ah-ha” moment of the Seeds as they saw dialogue as a lifelong endeavor, which has been demonstrated by the recipients.
April 19, 2012
Peaceful schools volunteered their time to provide a sampling of their programming to the Seeds. They looked at different forms of conflict, both good and bad, and who to work through it. We have planned to continue our collaboration with Peaceful Schools in the coming year.
May 12 and 13, 2012
On May 12, 29 Seeds climb onto a charter bus headed for Vanderkamp Retreat Center where they took part in an overnight mentoring retreat as part of our First Niagara Mentoring grant, which proved Seeds with the foundational concepts of what it meant to be a mentor. Larry Williams, Director; and Tonja Wade, Mentor Recruiter of the SCSD Mentoring Program provided the mentoring training for the Seeds. This retreat The materials provided by Mr. Williams and Ms. Wade echoed the skills and materials the Seeds have been exposed to all year, which will strengthen their knowledge and ability to implement these skills in their school and home communities, and prepare them for camp.
The Seeds also participated in a game that puts a twist on capture the flag—Sharing the Flag. Instead of playing the game which clearly divides people into warring teams, we helped the Seeds develop a strategy to peacefully negotiate the exchange of their flags. With this, they had to articulate what values and customs their flags each represented. The purpose was the have an understanding of their teams’ differences and valuing them. Once the flags were exchanged, the Seeds had to figure out how to get both flags from one side of the playing field to the other without speaking, and each person had to touch each flag at least once. The point, or course, is to demonstrate that verbal communication is not always an option if people do not speak the same language, or do not have the same able-bodiedness or vocal capability. The Seeds worked around the silence to accomplish the goal!