Why Taking Root?

 

Hello! Welcome to Prevention Educators’ new blog, Taking Root.

Prevention Educators is Western New York’s only consulting firm dedicated to violence prevention education and social justice. Since 2004, we’ve had the privilege of partnering with thousands of youth, teachers, parents, and activisits across the greater Buffalo area to “sow the seeds of justice and create safer communities.”

Lately, we’ve been doing what I like to call “wraparound” training. Instead of coming in and doing, for example, a one-hour presentation on bullying prevention with middle school students, we’ve been training the entire school community. Our most recent training (over a four-day period) included workshops for teachers, parents, and the entire middle school student population on bullying and depression.

But even when we speak with a small group for only an hour or two, our trainers are inevitably asked (especially by teenagers) “Do you really think this makes a difference? You’re going to leave here today and then what?” And when I’m training, my answer is always the same. “We are here to plant seeds.” If we can change the opinion of one person who felt it wasn’t his or her job to intervene when a young person is hurt by a peer, or make a student think before he or she opens his mouth and says something biased, or make a parent consider an alternative form of enaging his or her child, then we’ve done our job.

A wise man (i.e., the ancient Greek playwright, Aeschylus ) once said, “From a small seed, a mighty trunk will grow.”  Our intention with this blog is to provide the tools and resources teachers, parents, and activists need to help nourish the seeds we’ve planted after our training ends so they take root and grow into mighty trunks. We don’t want our work to end when we walk out of a training. We embrace an ecological model in which all participants, down to the youngest, take responsbility for creating positive change within the community and we recognize that the best “gardens of peace,” like any other garden, are those that are planned, cared for, and owned by the community. We hope this blog will be a place to offer you our continued knowledge and expertise, so add a comment and let us know what tools or resources you’d like to hear more about.

We also invite you to bring your gifts to this garden as well. Therefore, we plan to highlight the great work that the teachers, parents, and youth activists we work with do through our “Community Hero” profiles. If you’d like to nominate someone for our first blog profile, please email us at info@preventioneducators.com. Tell us a little bit about your “Community Hero” and what she or he is doing to help your community’s seeds of peace take root.

Thanks for visiting.

Jen

Co-founder, Prevention Educators

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