Friday, June 18, 2010

Learning to Manage Conflict

SISCL AP Donna Nilsen, Myles Williams, Harold Gibson, Cheolieces Shannon, Ervin Gaskin, SISCL Principal Rose Kerr, Jennifer Gutierrez, Nia Salce, Tasheé Fulmore and NYCID Training Institute Manager Regina Shields.
On June 16, the Staten Island School of Civic Leadership (SISCL) completed the New York Center for Interpersonal Development’s Peace Power workshop series. Over the course of the spring semester, NYCID’s Training Institute lead 8 first grade and 10 sixth grade students in 8 weeks of after-school sessions focusing on conflict resolution, positive communication and anger management concepts and techniques.

The lessons learned in these workshops concentrated on understanding the nature of conflict and the personal feelings and reactions that we all experience in a conflict situation. A guiding principle of Peace Power is that once an individual has greater self awareness, is able to grasp the positive outcomes that may arise from a dispute and becomes skilled in constructive communication techniques, they can empower themselves to make more productive choices towards resolving conflict in a mutually beneficial manner. 

After the first 8 weeks of the program were completed in late April, 7 of the sixth grade students elected to continue on for another 6 weeks of intensive training to become peer mediators. SISCL hopes to launch a full school-based Peer Mediation program in the fall.

The approaches and principles emphasized by the Peace Power and Peer Mediation programs fit in well with SISCL’s mission to develop student leaders who are invested in the public good and the success of the community as a whole. A ceremony celebrating the students’ achievements was held on the last day of group, with students stating that they were eager to come back in the fall and participate in their school’s mediation and civic leadership program.

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