The theme for the 2019-20 school year is BUILDING FAITH AND FAMILY. Through this theme, we have committed to more fully reach out and work with others to be there for and with them on our journey to live our FAITH daily as we continually grow each day working to build community.
We are delighted to share with you two programs that we will continue to use this school year that support our theme wonderfully as well as our Holy Trinity Parish School Mission Statement. The first program, The PeaceBuilders Program, is utilized in many Archdiocesan schools (and a number of schools across the U.S and World). The PeaceBuilders Program is described as a comprehensive program launched in schools that shifts the entire climate to a more peaceful, productive and safe place for children, parents, staff, and faculty. The program is designed to alter the climate by positively changing our language and allowing us to be more consistent across all grade levels in teaching peaceful and nonviolent attitudes, values, beliefs and promoting that ALL people display the behaviors in the school and/or community setting. The program essentially teaches six basic principles through school-wide reminders, events, teachers and staff incorporating the principles and language in the curriculum and always being on the lookout for “teachable moments” and coaching opportunities as well as offering instructional support: Praise People, Give Up Put-Downs, Seek Wise People, Notice Hurts, Right Wrongs, Help Others. These daily practices and reminders become routine, and when taught and used faithfully, move youth in the direction of “caring, altruism, self-regulation and positive relationships with key social agents in their lives (peers and adults)”.
In order to help us be better PeaceBuilders, we will continue the Second Step Program (from the Committee for Children). I often explain that this program reminds us (and helps us learn and develop) the skills that we need to live daily to be better PeaceBuilders. This program is used in the classrooms and tied into the curriculum in support of Peace Builders. Second Steps is a classroom-based social-skills program for children 4 to 14 years of age that teaches social-emotional skills aimed at reducing impulsive and aggressive behavior while increasing social competence and helping students relate to each other better. Each grade level features developmentally appropriate ways to teach core social-emotional skills such as empathy, emotion management, and problem-solving. The program builds on cognitive-behavioral intervention models integrated with social learning theory, empathy research, and social information-processing theories. The Second Step lessons teach children to identify and understand their own and others' emotions (which ultimately increase empathy and COMPASSION), reduce impulsiveness, helps them choose positive goals, helps them to manage their emotional reactions and to use the decision-making process when emotionally aroused. Lessons are sequential, developmentally appropriate and provide opportunities for modeling, practice, and skills reinforcement. The program is teacher-led with counselor support and generally takes place every other week to once a month during various classes for a portion of the school year. Most levels tie it into their PeaceBuilders lessons.
We are very excited once again to incorporate these two programs into our daily routines. We feel both will help us more fully become PeaceBuilders in our school and community. We hope they will allow us to truly live our theme and have a great school year as we BUILD FAITH AND FAMILY. We all know that Christ is the reason for our school and our goal is to walk in that awareness daily.