PETER: THOUGHTS TO SHARE

Friday, October 27, 2006

Israel

Response to Tova Ben-Ari, from the Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports

Dear Tova,

SHALOM to you as well.

We, respectively, are Charlotte Frank, Chair of the Board of Operation Respect, and Peter Yarrow, President/Founder of Operation Respect, who have developed the “Don’t Laugh At Me Program” (DLAM) seven years ago at the inception of our non-profit organization. We are pleased and honored by your request to translate and implement DLAM in Israel, not only as the leaders of Operation Respect, but also as great and long-time supporters of Israel. (At your request, we would be glad to detail our past involvement in Israel.)

As to your request to obtain the rights to translate DLAM, we are most eager to consider the translation and dissemination of the Don’t Laugh At Me program (DLAM) in Israel, and further would be willing and eager to find ways in which we might be helpful in its introduction. Such help might include free performances by me, Peter Yarrow (as you may know, I am Peter of the folk music trio, Peter, Paul and Mary) to large gatherings of educators and school administrators in key cities in Israel. I have done so in America in over to over a half-million educational advocates and stakeholders. This is one way we have gotten our message across and generated great enthusiasm for the DLAM program. Perhaps I could perform along with Israeli performers.

A small group of us, all of whom have deep ties to Israel for some years, has been spending some time this past week discussing your proposal and various ways in which we might be helpful, should we mutually decide to go forward as you suggest in your email. We are eager to discuss our thoughts with you and do our utmost to help you develop awareness and enthusiasm for the DLAM program so that it is greeted warmly, and in the spirit with which it has been greeted in the United States, where literally thousands of schools have requested and adopted it and where school staff has been trained in its implementation.

In fact, in the past year and a half, virtually every elementary and middle school in New York City has had a team of practitioners, administrators and school counselors attend a 2 day training in Don’t Laugh At Me, thereby assuring base-line competence in its implementation which can guarantee, to the degree possible, real success in teachers’, pupils’ and administrators’ creation of a more respectful, safer, and more caring climate -- and a stronger sense of community among students, teachers and parents as well.

Especially where there has been psychological trauma in a school, this effort is most meaningful as it creates an empathy among the students rather than leaving distress and anxiety to run their course unattended.

Don’t Laugh At Me is not a panacea, but its unique use of music and carefully crafted, highly respected curricula has made it a fine platform for the kind of work that might be particularly helpful to the student populations of Israel.

Last, you should know that a number of other countries have adopted the Don’t Laugh At Me Program outside the United States including places as varied as Hong Kong, Bermuda, Croatia, Canada and soon South Africa and others. In each case, with implementations outside the US we, the national Operation Respect New York-based organization, have been able to join really meaningful efforts to bring greater attention and acceptance to the program outside the US. This has been accomplished mainly through presentations to the Departments of Education of the various countries, sometimes to their parliaments or Legislatures, all including the music of Operation Respect. In each case, the training of staff that would be implementing the program in the various schools, as well as the training of trainers who could continue to do so locally, have been central to our previous successes.

All such strategies could be considered, or not, in relation to a possible introduction of Don’t Laugh At Me to Israel, but we are writing to assure you that, to the degree possible, we are committed to helping you in the ways you choose, and the ways you think best, in terms of going forward.

We are looking forward to further discussions, and thank you for your most welcome inquiry.

Shalom,

Charlotte Frank, Chair of Operation Respect Peter Yarrow, President and Founder, OR



------ Forwarded Message
From: טובה בן-ארי
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 13:20:22 +0200
To: ,
Cc: ,
Subject: RE: Don't Laugh at Me


SHALOM

My name is Tova Ben-Ari, from the Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. I am the Supervisor for the Implementation of the pupils Rights Law, we are concerning student’s rights law (2000) as well as the 8/30/2006on the Rights of the Child (1989) in the Israeli education system.
We view the implementation of rights in the classroom and the school as a way of life.

A booklet explaining students’ rights, in Hebrew, Arabic and Braille, was distributed this year in primary schools. It focuses on the basic values which are the basis for all the educational ties in educational institutions and in the family. In the Students’ Rights booklet, the rights of all students are emphasized: the right to be loved and protected, the right to privacy, to express one’s opinions even though they do not agree with those of teachers or others, the right if the handicapped to receive support, the right to observe one’s cultural practices, to keep the name given by one’s parents, to take pride in one’s nationality and to respect the culture of others. The handbook for teachers was published with the students’ rights booklet, and was sent to every school.

I kindly ask for your permission to translate your project to Hebrew:" Don't Laugh at Me (DLAM) "--for our teachers and pupils and to make similar Educational project and written DLAM materials in Hebrew. I need your cofirmation to make it official permission to use(teach) it here in Israel in Hebrew ,free of charge, certainly with copyrights that will be written there. I woud like to get also the CD and video.

Operation Environmental Respect

Operation Environment Respect could link Math and Science to Civic Responsibility, to Service (by students) to their school and their Community, to building and maintaining a strong democracy, and building civic pride throughout America.


PRELIMINARY IDEAS AND INITIAL PROPOSAL for the possible creation of a Science and Math, school-based program, OPERATION ENVIRONMENTAL RESPECT, that:

• allows students to learn about Science and Math through the study of the environment
• engages students in early critical thinking and problem solving
• leads to students acting locally to help their community make good decisions consistent with maintaining a sustainable, healthy, safe, environment for their own and future generations
• creates the platform for student engagement in hands-on Service Learning projects that can help their school and their community act in accordance with appropriate sustainable environmental policies
• engages children and youth in early thinking and activities that lead to good citizenship and active involvement in later life in sustaining and participating in our democracy


- OR could be an important portion of the long-term strategy of America’s environmental awareness and its protecting its resources and, in turn, the resources of the planet. Although the immediate issues associated with clean air, clean water, global warming, fossil fuel dependence, toxic waste etc are in a state of crisis, future generations need to be alert to ongoing emergent needs of America and the world, and prepared to advocate for sane and sustainable policies that can nurture the environment and prevent future escalation of problems of all sorts, including some that cannot be easily be imagined at this time.

- OR is already training young people to take note of the people around them and take action to make the world a better place in terms of respect for other people, acceptance of differences, adoption of peaceful means for interpersonal conflict resolution etc.

In this way, OR provides a necessary link to “interpersonal” civic responsibility. These concepts of OR can readily extend to students taking note of the environment around them, studying science curricula connected to the environment, and then bringing such awareness to active involvement in simple projects that help their community maintain a clean neighborhood, deter the spread of infectious diseases, assure proper waste disposal, proper drinking water etc. Operation Environment Respect can link Math and Science to Civic Responsibility, to Service to the Community, to building and maintaining a strong democracy, and civic pride in America.

- While you can teach the science of global warming and environmental change to adults, you can't easily inculcate new habits of civic responsibility in them. Not so with students. Early enough education of this sort, including respect on any number of levels, is eagerly learned by students who consider an opportunity to help an empowerment of themselves -- if, and this is a big if, they are reached early enough, before social acceptability of passive aggressive cynicism sets in, and if, and this is another big if, they are engaged as partners with adults, teachers, administrators etc, rather than as pawns to be instructed and forced into unwilling cooperation. In other words, respect needs to be taught, on all levels in an all ways through inspiration and through the modeling respect itself, by the one teaching it.

- OR is already in thousands of schools nation-wide and internationally.
Many of these schools have introduced the DLAM curriculum and are looking for
next steps. Operation Environmental Respect is a logical and important next
step. Easy access to (what we hope will be) free curricular materials by schools who have previously adopted DLAM, would provide a launching pad and a “buzz” that could spread rapidly and (this is very important) create an environment in schools that focuses on Science, increases literacy, engages students through inspiration and empowerment, and…… elevates their academic achievements.


THAT is important in terms of generating interest from potential funding by Science-based corporations who are eager to find graduates of schools, future employees, who not only have a strong science and math interest and background, but interact with a respectful attitude, a keen and active sense of social responsibility, and social skills to match. .

- The current Don't Laugh At Me curriculum ties in to music and other creative arts, to English and creative writing, and to history and social studies. Through OER, students could easily connect respect to math and science as well.

- OER would not be politically partisan in any way. It would intentionally need to avoid taking sides, but it would allow students to come to their own conclusion and give them the opportunity to act on them. Such is the nature of a democracy, and OER could serve and nurture democracy in America in powerful and meaningful ways.

SOME SAMPLE CLASSROOM AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH EXERCISES:

- A variation on the "Torn Heart" exercise, in which a teacher shows the effect
of an accumulation of environmentally destructive actions, from littering,
to overuse of resources, to polluting plants, to deforestation, etc.
Students would see that their small actions, though individually
insignificant, have an enormous collective impact on the planet.

- A similar sort of variation could happen with the "Caring Being" exercise.
Using a large picture of the Earth, students could write in positive (thumbs-up)
activities that help the ecosystem and promote a sustainable environment, and negative (thumbs down) activities that damage the environment.

- Constitution of Earth Caring. As in DLAM's Constitution of Caring,
students as a group, class, or school can make a collective pledge to help the
environment through specific steps, such as recycling, turning off lights,
carpooling, walking or riding bikes, planting trees, etc.

-Teachers would lead, but also join students, as well as provide some guidance to make sure the students' pledges are practical and attainable. Students can pair-share and oversee one another and remind each
other of the pledge they made. They can also encourage their families and
communities to join them in adopting their constitution. (For example, a
student could say, "Mom, we're turning off the lights in our classrooms when
we're not using them; why don't we do that at home?")

- Students might study how other children live in developing nations, in
areas without enough safe drinking water, in other climates, or in areas adversely
affected by environmental change - either through natural disasters or created by people in their unawareness, neglect, unintended or not.

Some situations for study, thought and possible environmental help/retrieval/action by students:

• A neighborhood plagued by certain kinds of illness that might be caused by a nearby plant discarding effluents into ground water or flowing water nearby a polluting plant
• Indirectly, human-caused climate change, such as stagnant or dried-up lake; or through a weather disaster, such as a hurricane).

Possible actions by students to learn about, study, and do critical thinking and perhaps take action to address local environmental problems:

• A class might write a letter with specific questions to another
class, asking how daily life has changed or is affected by their environment. For example, students could write to other students affected
by Hurricane Katrina, and ask them kid-specific questions, such as, “Where do you
live now? Where do you play? Where do
you go to school? Do you live in a house or a
trailer? How is life different now?

• Students might find someone in their community who came from another country who was displaced by a hurricane or flood, and invite that person to speak to their class. They might then find ways they could help other people in the way students helped Hurricane Katrina victims, for example, simply by sending letters of concern and support or by adopting a small town and raising money for medicine of relief.

• Students could continue to celebrate diversity (as they do interpersonally in DLAM) by learning about ecological diversity. They could go to an outdoor location, such as a
playground or park, and catalog the different plants and animals
they see.

Such efforts might even take the form of an ecosystem bingo game. Students
would learn about the food chain, eco-balance, and symbiosis and learn to
appreciate the variety of species around them and understand the importance of maintaining such diversity. Students might study endangered and/or extinct species and list the general and specific reasons why those species are important.

• Students might write letters to their parents and/or to their elected and
community leaders, advocating for some local change or spreading an awareness, indicating their concern for preserving the planet for their children -- and the next generations.


• Students could develop art projects, songs, skits, dances, or videos demonstrating why the environment and its preservation is meaningful to them. They would be passing on what they have learned, but also appealing to others to adopt their perspective

• Particularly dedicated groups of students, clubs or classes might study the civic process, learn about the way laws are made and add their voices to an advocacy for a particular bill.

• High School and Middle School classes might hold mock congressional hearings on environmental issues.

• Students might study energy usage in their schools by touring their buildings and interviewing staff members. Students could learn how heat and/or air conditioning is wasted or wisely used in their school.

• Students could study the schedules of light use in their schools, learn what time the lights are turned on at their school before they arrive, and what time the lights are turned off after they leave. The could calculate the energy used and/or saved and make recommendations based on such calculations.

• Students could see what machines (e.g. computers, printers, copy machines,
refrigerators) throughout their school are on during the day, study the cost,
study the energy efficiency of their classroom windows, monitoring the
temperature outside and inside.

• Students could study how many hours a standard light bulb lasts as opposed to an energy efficient light bulb, count the number of light bulbs in their school, calculate the number of KWH used by their school uses in a year, calculate the number of KWH and money spent on light
bulbs the school could save by switching to energy efficient light bulbs,
petition their principal and/or school board to switch to energy efficient
bulbs, and maybe even propose that the money saved be used for a school
project like planting trees on school grounds.

• Students could also take similar surveys and make similar calculations in their homes, monitoring how many hours the lights are on, how often lights are left on in unoccupied rooms, how often the heat or air conditioning comes on and for how long, how much trash accumulates in a week, and/or how many miles are put on the family car(s) each week etc.

Living, as well as studying, Math and Science

By studying the Math and Science of energy usage and environmental
preservation, students can learn to identify ways to improve
their lives and the lives of others in their community.

A sense of empowerment by students

By making changes in their behaviors and by petitioning leaders to adopt sustainable environmental policies, practice conservation, however small and community-based, children and youth can feel a sense of empowerment and an ability to make changes of significance in their own communities.

Math and Science as the road to developing strong future citizens

Furthermore, as they study science and math and apply what they have learned
to their own advocacies as young members of their communities, they will
learn the essential lessons of participatory democracy. They will be well
on their way to becoming productive, engaged citizens. They can achieve these goals while
learning both conceptual and applied math and science.

Conceived by Rachel Jackson, assistant to Peter Yarrow, Summer 2006

United Voices for Education: NCLB Statement

Recommendations by the
United Voices for Education (UVE)
to the U.S. Commission on NCLB

Respectfully submitted, October 27, 2006

The United Voices for Education - Who We Are
The United Voices for Education (UVE) is a coalition of representatives from 41 educational stakeholder organizations, listed below, that are dedicated to excellence in education for all children.

What We Believe
UVE believes that we cannot reach the goal of all children graduating from high school prepared for success in further education, work, college, and citizenship unless we focus on educating the whole child. Educating the “whole child” refers to meeting both the academic and the social emotional needs of a student.
Educating the whole child includes ensuring that all students are provided with a safe, respectful, bully-free and violence-free school environment that is conducive to and free of crucial impediments to their full, healthy academic, social and emotional growth and development. Educating the whole child also includes programs in the arts, community-based learning, service learning, character development, physical education, and personal wellness programs.

UVE’s Recommendations to the Commission on No Child Left Behind
UVE strongly believes that children’s education should balance elements that address the needs, development and growth of the whole child; that is, the social and emotional growth of children, as well as their academic growth.

UVE strongly believes that success in the academic arena cannot take place if various impediments to children’s growth are not reduced or eliminated through the establishment of a safe, caring, respectful school environment.

UVE strongly believes that effective and proven interventions, strategies and programs that are supportive of educating the whole child, if responsibly implemented, develop social skills, community awareness and civic responsibility among students and will in turn lead to increased academic achievement.

UVE believes that schools should be offered the opportunity, but not be compelled to implement, any single strategy or program; rather they should be given access to an array of alternative strategies and programs that promote the creation of civil, caring school climate embodying conditions that contribute to the development of the whole child. Schools should only implement those strategies and programs that they believe fit the needs of their students. Implementation of such efforts without willingness and belief in their potential success, UVE believes, will be certain to fail.

UVE RECOMMENDATIONS, RESPECTFULLY MADE TO THE COMMISSION ON NCLB
UVE agrees that schools should be held accountable for their continued annual improvement in the area of creating a school climate that is conducive to the development of the whole child, as evidenced in a variety of hard data measurements already being made as part of NCLB accountability in such areas as attendance, school drop out rates, incidences of violence, etc., This data should be combined with other new data sources that assess conditions for learning and school climate to monitor improvement.

UVE further agrees that such improvement should count strongly in the evaluation of a school’s being considered successfulor in need of improvement in regard to its efforts to raise the quality of education for its students, and that such assessment of progress in school climate be counted as centrally and importantly as school success demonstrated by adequate yearly improvement in students’ academic scores on standardized tests.

UVE agrees that it is crucial for NCLB to include accountability structures and metrics for improvement by schools in regard to yearly progress in the creation of safe, respectful, violence-free environments that are conducive to the development of the whole child, with such improvement being given equal emphasis and importance to that of measurements and assessment of students’ academic progress.

UVE acknowledges that such assessment of progress in school climate would necessitate a major change for schools and in light of that fact, UVE suggests that, over the next 5 year authorization, schools, districts and states should only be required to publicly report progress on these new school climate measures when they issue their NCLB report cards -- and that states should identify schools in need of improvement. However, UVE suggests that the calculation of AYP in this area of school accountability to determine consequences for insufficient improvement should be deferred until we have more experience with these new metrics.

UVE unanimously agrees that such accountability is essential; otherwise schools will not address climate improvement as a priority, and will be more likely to focus on students’ academic improvementalone, which improvement, UVE strongly believes, will be severely limited and continue to be so until the conditions that support learning improve as well.

Synopsis of UVE Recommendations:

UVE strongly believes that for the academic success of schools to improve, conditions for learning in schools must improve as well, and that such improvement evolves only when the education of the whole child takes place in an environment that is safe, respectful and bully-free, and therefore conducive to all aspects of children and youth’s growth and developmen

Learn and Serve Advocacy Efforts

Peter asked me to post this email and to include a note indicating that further information on development of UVE will follow.

------ Forwarded Message
From: Peter Yarrow
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:23:07 -0400
To: Victor Kovner , Sarah Kovner
Cc: Larger OR group , BBeth Bradford , Rachel Jackson , OR NYC Staff
Subject: Learn and Serve Efforts -Bird's Eye View

Dear Victor and Sarah,

Re your request:
Could someone give me more detail on where this matter is (before whom, who decides), so that Sarah and I can reflect as to whether either of us can be helpful?

First, thank you so much for your offer of potential help.

Below is the chronology of Operation Respect’s recent efforts on behalf of Learn and Serve as well as an explanation -- particularly for you, Victor, as an OR Board member -- that explains the importance of this development in terms of Operation Respect’s new areas of work and long term commitments. Included are:

a history of OR’s specific efforts to date on behalf of Learn and Serve
a description of the relationship of these efforts to the goals of Operation Respect in the advocacy arena
a explanation of how, looking into the future, this Learn and Serve advocacy effort may have created a platform for Operation Respect to help spark certain advocacy efforts by the leadership of many of America’s educational stakeholder organizations.

The events and how they are related to the documents, attached above:

Amy Cohen, friend and ally for about 6 years, called me up deeply concerned about proposed cutbacks to the Learn and Serve, the 25 year old service learning organization, certainly one of America’s best, of which she had recently become Exec.Dir. Amy was seeking my advice regarding methods for advocating for the elimination of the proposed cutbacks.
I suggested a strategy for such an advocacy which was embraced by Amy, Nelda Brown, Terry Pickeral, Kenny Holdsman etc, all top leaders in the Service Learning world. The first part of this strategy is reflected the first attachment Peter Yarrow Stakeholder Invite re 7-12-06.doc.
Part of the strategy included inviting leaders of major educational organizations and members of Congress and/or their staffs -- see PY Let to L&S advocates.doc, attached- to attend a gathering on July 12 designed to bring increased attention and/or press coverage to the importance of this issue

(Note:This was a kick-off strategy that we had successfully employed a year or so ago to advocate for full continued funding for Even Start, a $140million federally supported program that addresses the educational needs of pre-school children from the lowest 20% income bracket families.)

Further, I wrote and sent out an OP ED piece/Position Paper Learn and Serve Cutbacks - .doc, attached above, and invited the leaders to co-sign it see PY Letter to L&S advocates.doc (Tweaks and suggestions followed from some of these leaders). The top leadership of twenty-two organizations responded positively to this request.

(Note: This effort was initiated on behalf of one of their member organizations! The good of “the whole” was everyone’s first priority, rather than the specific needs or agendas of the individual organizations. Effectively, the organizations “dropped their egos” for the good of the group as a whole.

The strategy we initiated, by successfully joining the efforts of 23 leaders of major educational stakeholder groups on behalf of Learn and Serve. The list of supporting organizations was impressive and was an important factor that produced the commitment of members of the Senate to work towards further reduction, or even the elimination of the proposed cutbacks -- between now and the time bill comes up for a vote, which will probably be after the Nov election. according to Tom Harkin. (see follow-through, United Voices for Education.doc., attached above)

From this advocacy on behalf of Learn and Serve, a coalition of educational stakeholder leaders is de facto coming together to consider other future collaboration, beyond this Learn and Serve effort.

United Voices for Education.doc, attached above, describes next steps which will potentially put this coalition in motion at a meeting on Aug 11 at the offices of the NAESP.

This meeting on Aug 11 is designed to allow attendees to:

ascertain what efforts, by whom, are being planned or are already in motion
identify what our best role(s) might be in future coordinated group advocacy efforts
set up a mechanism for integrating future efforts
help us to make sure that we don’t “step on each other’s toes” when we do work together
coordinate with organizations in related fields who are also stakeholders in education, such as the creative arts organizations

From a macro view, I believe these events may be the beginning of OR’s successful efforts to spark collaborative efforts by the leadership of educational organizations in the future — especially meaningful, perhaps, in regard to the coming dialogue around the 2007 reauthorization of NCLB.

Once again, Sarah and Victor, my thanks to you, for your generous offer to consider advancing the L&S effort— with other significant benefits, perhaps, for future educational advocacies.

Peter

South Africa

------ Forwarded Message
From: Peter Yarrow
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 23:40:17 -0400
To: Essop Pahad
Cc: KWF , OR NYC Staff , BBeth Bradford , Rachel Jackson , Steve Seskin , Stanley Pappelbaum , Suzanne Pasch , Mark Geist , Richard Stoff , Richard Stoff , Bethany Yarrow
Subject: Operation Respect coming to South Africa

Dear Dr. Pahad,

I was delighted to hear of the connection that was made between you Steve Seskin at the 31st Theatre Congress gathering in the Philippines. I was pleased to find out that you were interested in learning more about Operation Respect and its "Don't Laugh at Me" Program (DLAM) which is being broadly disseminated across the United States and has been incorporated into the work of some 15,000 schools.

Actually DLAM is also being implemented in a number of countries outside of the US, and I understand that it has already been introduced in some schools in South Africa.

As fate would have it, Operation Respect was recently invited to disseminate DLAM and train teachers in Port Elizabeth and I am currently solidifying my plans to travel there in late September where we shall be launching DLAM in a partnered efforts with educators and schools.

Next steps and possibilities:

I understand that Steve Seskin gave you some "Don't Laugh at Me" Program materials in the Philippines. When you’ve had a chance to review them, I’d like to discuss the possibility of my meeting with you and any of your colleagues in the South African government during my upcoming trip, now scheduled for Sept 20- Sept 26. At that point, we could consider broadening Operation Respects’ work in South Africa if you and they are positively disposed to the idea. It would also be super if you could see my presentations, and possibly be at a teacher training workshop in Port Elizabeth.

(If for some reason you have misplaced the materials, please let me know and I'll have another packet sent to you, or you could visit our website at www.operationrespect.org where the DLAM curricula, the CD, various DVDs characterizing our work that can be streamed, etc are available.)

There is also a good possibility that I may also come to Johannesburg following my visit to Port Elizabeth, at the behest of another group interested in DLAM, which could open up other possibilities for our getting together.

Other efforts of Operation Respect outside the US.

At present, we have launched partnered efforts in a number of countries outside of the United States; in Hong Kong, Canada, Bermuda, Vietnam and Croatia, from which I recently returned, and where the government has translated the Don't Laugh At Me Curricula and , grades 2-5 and 6-8, into the Croatian language, recorded the song in Croatian, and is planning to implement DLAM in some 200 schools in conjunction with UNICEF and a local NGO. Additionally, we have been invited to Argentina, we are discussing plans to introduce DLAM to Jamaica and have been invited to visit and launch DLAM in Belfast, Ireland, and in Egypt in 2007.

Apparently there is a need almost everywhere for the establishment of a caring school climate where students feel valued and safe, and where they are not encumbered and traumatized by hostility and bullying.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

I am sending my most cordial greetings to you and wish to mention, as a side bar, that I was deeply involved in the
anti-Apartheid movement and in that context I wrote a song called "No Easy Walk to Freedom" honoring the work and amazing leadership of Nelson Mandela. Peter, Paul and Mary sang this song when demonstrating against Apartheid with Bishop Tutu, and later our concerts for many years. I’d be glad to send you our CD of the same name if you wish.

Last, if you wish to consider connecting during my trip, please let me know and I shall email you the intended dates and locations of our presentations in South Africa this coming September, as well as information regarding the training of teachers and school administrators. We shall be a small team from Operation Respect that will include

Dr. Suzanne Pasch, an Operation Respect Board Member from the beginning, and Provost/ Vice-President of Wheelock College in the US
one of our top trainers, Lynne Hurdle-Price, who will be conducting workshops in Port Elizabeth and, though this is just in the talking stages, in Johannesburg as well.
perhaps my daughter who is an amazing singer and might perform with me in Johannesburg and elsewhere

I can be reached at the email address above and the telephone #'s printed below.

Sincerely with warmest regards,

Peter

P.S. I would be remiss as a proud father, if I were not to mention that my daughter made a most remarkable film in the townships surrounding Cape Town documenting the struggle of the women to build an Apartheid-free society which I would be honored to send you if you are interested in seeing it. She filmed it in the early 1990s on a fellowship grant and it was subsequently shown on national public television in the United States.

Peter Yarrow - Peter Paul & Mary
Founder/President
Operation Respect: “Don’t Laugh At Me”
www.operationrespect.org
(212) 580-5308 (off.)
(212) 874-1973 (fax)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Former/Longer DRAFT:PY OR Position Paper (2mo.ago but valid still)

The Urgency of Addressing Both Sides of the Report Card
Transforming Schools To Become Respectful School Environments

“While schools must rightly focus their attention on standards and high achievement, they will not be able to meet the goal of increasing student achievement without providing a safe, supportive community in which their students can learn. The creation of safe and supportive learning community must be comprehensive, school wide, and woven into the curriculum and culture of the school. It cannot be an add-on effort, satisfied by special programs to address specific topics such as bullying, character education, or dispute resolution.”

Learning First Alliance
Every Child Learning: Safe and Supportive Schools, 2001

The education community is hoping that recent school reform efforts will improve students’ academic progress and close the education gap, but research now strongly indicates that unless such efforts also focus on crucial environmental factors which dramatically affect academic progress, these efforts will never deliver more than limited success.

Environmental factors that determine whether or not a student feels safe and valued, conditions that are essential for students’ academic achievement as well as their healthy personal growth, must be addressed and prioritized as make-or-break determinates of academic success, teacher retention, teacher satisfaction, in fact the overall success of schools.

Dedicated efforts to improve school environments so that teachers and students truly feel safe, respected, and trusted by one another, need to be pursued with an urgency equal to efforts dedicated to assuring the excellence of teachers’ skills, competencies and curricula – if we are ever to see a time in which “no child is left behind”.

Rigorous tracking and evaluation of schools’ efforts to assure a positive learning environment are at least as important as the tracking of academic success, since the latter evolves only if the former exists.

In short, a commitment by schools to improve the academic side of the report card must be matched by an equal commitment to address the affective side, the “other side of the report card”, reflecting the character, integrity and wholesomeness of the students, as well as the prevalence of such character traits of the student body in general.

Addressing these factors requires a shift in perspective, and a reallocation of resources, by schools who rely almost exclusively on pedagogical cures to remedy students’ failure to meet academic expectations and standards. Schools must also take responsibility, with absolute seriousness, for creating an environment conducive to learning, which involves much more than improving rigor in academic instruction. It means that schools must become accountable to a variety of measurements that indicate the degree of their success, or lack thereof, in creating a positive, respectful and nurturing school environment.

The introduction of safety measures such as the installation of metal detectors, uniformed guards, and punitive zero-tolerance policies, might temporarily help address emergency situations, but such measures ultimately will not aid in the process of school transformation of the kind that must be sought. Indeed, many administrators agree that such strategies can frequently engender the opposite effect to the one intended; increased tension, mistrust and stress among students and teachers, all of which have a negative effect on academic progress.

A positive school climate can only be created by virtue of an enthusiastic embrace by faculty and staff, as well as students, of efforts to proactively improve school climate. Once the need for improvement is fully recognized and given top priority, then the implementation of new programs, new school policies, new traditions and strategies can begin to take effect.

Some new elements of school life might include school-wide participation in gatherings, assemblies and service to the community activities. Others will be incorporated on a class-by-class basis, part of the daily life of students, and imbedded in regular classroom curricula. Some of these elements will give students the tools to interact compassionately, to walk in each other’s shoes, and treat each other with respect. Some elements teach students to accept differences between themselves and their peers, resolve conflict peacefully, value themselves for their intrinsic worth and generally treat each other, and their teachers, with kindness, trust and respect.

Changes in such dimensions of school climate can be measured through surveys that generate “soft” data that rely on surveys to track the opinion of students and teachers who report on changes that make them feel more or less safe, valued, respected and trusted. Such soft data is invaluable, but only part of the story.

The other part refers to “hard” data (concrete facts, as opposed to attitudes and opinions) which measure changes due to the implementation of new strategies and programs. Such data will accurately report on, for example, the diminution of disciplinary actions, reduced student suspensions and expulsions, a change in the percentage of engaged classroom time, better or worse attendance records and students’ academic prowess as measured by improvement in standardized test scores. Together, such hard and soft data can accurately document school climate improvement and the effects of such improvement on academic, behavioral, and attitudinal outcomes being sought.

Perhaps equally importantly, students who graduate from schools which have successfully improved their climate will be far more likely to become productive, positive, and contributing adult members of society.





Some Research That Supports The Above Premises:
Research has started to document the factors that can produce such results, and illuminate their crucial importance in supporting student achievement and the healthy growth of the whole child. Examples include:

• A research overview of over 300 studies, conducted by Joseph Durlak of Loyola University and Roger Weissberg of CASEL and the University of Illinois (2005), indicates that social and emotional learning programs significantly improve students' academic performance. The study shows, for example, that an average student enrolled in a social and emotional learning program ranks at least 10 percentage points higher on achievement tests than students who do not participate in such programs.

• High school students reported in a 2003 Public Agenda study teachers spend more time dealing with classroom management issues than instruction and that only 1/3 of their peers show respect to teachers.

• In 2002, the University of Chicago studied schools with the greatest and least gains in standardized testing over five years. They found that schools where teachers and students reported a high level of trust were three times more likely to show significant gains in math and reading test scores.

• A 2003 RAND reports that up to 50 percent of youth today witness acts of serious violence in the school or community and unless they are offered skills to cope and address such issues they will be adversely impacted through adulthood.

Taken as a whole, studies focusing on “the other side of the report card” have helped to establish that poor school culture, not academic success of students, are the primary reason for student drop out rates, low student attendance, high teacher burn out/drop out rates.

Improving School Culture: Proactively Addressing “The Other Side of the Report Card”

Operation Respect hosted a symposium in June 2005 on “What Works” to create and sustain a school environment and an academic approach that can counter and, in large part, eliminate factors that work against academic success in schools. This symposium has given us at least a partial, preliminary, answers and a clue as to how we might approach the task of truly moving educational practice to make sure that no child is left behind.

Core findings from the Symposium, which are consistent with the latest research, include:

• There is no single program that can alter and sustain the kind of change needed for ongoing academic improvement of students, and close the “education gap”.

• A multi-faceted approach is absolutely necessary to employ, integrating various strategies which can create and sustain an environment conducive to learning, in which teaching can be successful, and academics can improve. Such strategies involve a host of areas including character education, service learning, school readiness, parent engagement, social-emotional learning, conflict resolution, and so on.

• Willing, enthusiastic, buy-in by teachers and school leadership to commit to a multi-year effort aimed at transforming the school’s environment is absolutely necessary if continuous and growing improvement in students’ academic progress is to be expected.

• Mandated changes with forced teacher compliance, rather than sincere, enthusiastic embrace of such efforts to transform a school culture, are doomed to failure.

No One Answer
The bottom line is that there no one answer - no curriculum, no single intervention, alteration, or practice - that can alter and sustain the kind of change needed for ongoing academic improvement of students, and enable America to close the “achievement gap”. As a result, a multi-faceted approach is absolutely necessary to integrate the various programs and strategies that together, can assure students an educational environment that is conducive to learning.

For many practitioners, administrators, and others devoted to students’ health, education, and welfare, the results of the Symposium not only confirmed their intuitive sense of “What Works” but also seemed obvious. For others, because the results intrinsically demand attention to efforts that seem somewhat unrelated to academic achievement – the driving force behind educational decision-making and resource allocation at this time – they were as confusing as they were “enlightening” and posed problems of execution as daunting as the faulted system they inherently criticized.

Changing School Culture: The Will But No Clear Way

The Will
Advocates for focusing on “the other side of the report card” and implementing strategies and programs that improve school environment, have many important allies: Educators do generally agree on the seriousness of negative student attitudes and destructive behaviors that are both the cause of, and the result of, unsafe and fractious school environments. The awareness of the importance of this problem, and its devastating effects on academic and personal growth of students, has fueled a strong commitment on the part of educators and administrators to address such problems as a top priority.

……but No Clear Way
However, what educators do not yet have is an agreed-upon approach or a series of strategies to address and solve the problem. Neither has there been an attempt to find agreement on the desired outcomes from such approaches and, therefore, there is no general agreement on the dimensions that should be measured to track the success of such efforts.
Operation Respect’s Former Path, Present Opportunities, and Future Path

The Past and Present
Operation Respect, up to this point in time, has been mainly focused on alerting the major stakeholders and organizations in the educational field to the seriousness of problems that are caused by negative school environments and hostile student behavior. Additionally, OR has offered a partial, beginning, solution to such problems through the implementation of its “Don’t Laugh At Me” Program (DLAM) offered free through the generosity of The Mc-Graw Hill Companies. The reputation of OR as an advocate for positive educational change, as well the fine reputation of its limited, but highly respected DLAM Program, has allowed OR to evolve into an organization that might look forward to a larger and more effective role.

The Future
OR can, and should, grow in its capacity to be a leader among organizations that offer different, but effective, strategies; ones who seek similar objectives and embrace a similar mission. It is time for Operation Respect to apply its resources to address the big picture rather than continuing to focus on the meaningful, but limited, objectives of the past.

Having sparked the willingness of, literally, hundreds of thousands of school leaders to work towards positive change, OR has built the foundation of strong relationships to move on to next steps. It is time to unite with allies, who, mutually and cooperatively, wish to bend their efforts to make sure that educational practice addresses both sides of the report card,

How OR Must Forge Its Future Path: With Others

Collaborations
Other organizations who have made similar inroads to those of DLAM should be approached as potential collaborators with OR, combine their various strengths and thereby sustain and cementing the work that each one of them has initiated.OR should look for collaborative co-leaders in an overarching effort to build a network committed to uniting its efforts in the service of school transformation, improved academic performance of students, and the closing of the education gap.

No Silver Bullet: Together, We Can Succeed
We are not alone. Dozens of effective programs related to “the other side of the report card” have bombarded school leaders for years with their approaches that address only one aspect of what is necessary to improve school culture. They, like DLAM, can no longer characterize their efforts as being sufficient to produce the changes needed. In other words, all of the organizations working towards the same objectives as OR, must cease to think of themselves, and any others, as “a silver bullet.”

Together, and only together, organizations such as OR must create a common and easily accessible approach to creating the school environments we all desire. Simply stated, the “other side of the report card” organizations must accept their limitations, drop their organizational egos, and work together, creatively and synergistically.




The Future Role of Operation Respect

Building On OR’s Past Strengths
Based on the recognition of OR’s strengths, as well as our limitations Operation Respect could assume an appropriate leadership role by respectfully and humbly issuing a call to action, inviting other effective organizations, programs, and leadership groups to join together with us, and with each other.

Three Strands Of Focus For OR : NCLB Re-Authorization, Collaborative Efforts, A Growing Advocacy and Awareness

• Advocate for revisions in the re-authorization of the “No Child Left Behind Act” that would incorporate standards and measurements of school and district outcomes related to behavioral and attitudinal data, as well as hard data, on school’s success (or failure) to create safe, respectful school climates -- thereby addressing and prioritizing “the other side of the report card.”

• Create a common language and framework for inter-organizational collaboration, and thereby prove, by example, in various pilot sites across the country, the efficacy of a collaborative approach to the transformation of school culture,

• Build a broad advocacy and awareness, locally and nationally, by virtue of the above two efforts, of the importance of schools’ addressing, and being accountable for the prioritization of “the other side of the report card” and the kinds of successes possible when incorporating a collaborative approach. Such an advocacy will be its own powerful step towards the ultimate adoption of an educational approach, across the United States, and beyond, that aims to teach the whole child and address both sides of the report card with equal priority and commitment.

Advocating for Revisions to No Child Left Behind

There is general agreement among educators in the United States that the overarching objectives of the No Child Behind Act of 2001 are laudable. The focus on academics and accompanying accountability provisions has refocused the education community on ensuring every child learns at the highest standards. Unfortunately, this focus on academics has forced educators to zero in on classroom learning at the expense of the learning environment. The invaluable lessons learned by creating positive relationships in schools often lost in the pressures of standardized testing.

Therefore, it is appropriate that the many organizations that are dedicated to the health, education and welfare of children and youths in America help take stock of NCLB’s progress and join in an essential dialogue that can hopefully bring the achievements of NCLB to their fullest potential, moving as swiftly as possible towards its stated goals. These leaders look to ensure that the standards movement not only looks at academic grades, but at “the other side of the report card” as well.

A Call To Action: Improving The Methodology of NCLB in the Reauthorization of NCLB, 2007 and/or Beyond.

If we, as advocates for education, come to a common agreement on language that expresses the premise, above, we might make our collective voices heard, and successfully alert Congress, and those who advise and counsel members of Congress on their decisions, to include – in the reauthorization of NCLB in 2007 and/or beyond – standards of accountability by schools that relate to their insuring an environment for students that is conducive to academic pursuit and achievement; that allows children and youths to feel safe and valued – that addresses the “Other Side Of The Report Card”

Create a Common Language and Framework

Convening the other leaders in the field would lead to a set of common tools and resources that could enable districts and/or schools to assess their school culture. In so doing, they could identify how to most efficiently and effectively target limited resources on behalf of efforts that would lead to meaningful change. The common language, tools and resources would incorporate their interests and expertise of all partners, enabling them to identify opportunities to work with districts and/or schools that have made a mutual, proactive, decision to improve school culture.

Build Awareness and Support for “The Other Side of the Report Card”

The advocacy efforts around No Child Left behind and the convening of stakeholders to create a common framework will naturally lead to increased awareness of the importance of this work. A purposeful campaign must be waged around these efforts to build upon the momentum they generate in the education community and public at-large around “the other side of the report card.” Etc. etc.

Conclusion:

Operation Respect is poised to play an important national role seven years after its inception. The organizational leadership must act now, recognizing the importance of improving school culture on academic success. It must do its utmost to fill the leadership vacuum that currently exists to develop collaborative efforts with an appropriate action strategy.

This requires a careful analysis of the current organizational outcomes and structure, as well as the external school reform environment as it relates to “the other side of the report card.” In this process, there must be mutual understanding that our efforts are mission driven, not “star” driven, and all decisions need to reflect our common purpose: to empower and improve the lives of students and educators. Making decisions with this in mind will enable Operation Respect to create partnerships and an organizational structure that profoundly impact the lives of children every single day.

ACQUIRING HARD DATA RE EFFICACY OF OR'S "DLAM" PROGRAM?

PY ANSWERS A QUESTION ASKED BY ONE OR MORE BOARD MEMBERS ABOUT RESEARCH NEEDED RE THE DLAM PROGRAM:

2. DOESN'T OR NEED HARD DATA ON THE EFFICACY OF THE DLAM that outside sources can relate to when we request grants and funding?

The many types of evidence of the effectiveness of DLAM, some through surveys we have conducted, and others through powerful anecdotal testimony by students as well as practitioners, have provided a limited, but powerful, testament — by those who implemented DLAM in schools — of DLAM’s effectiveness in changing school climate and culture.

For many, accomplishing this result in terms of changing attitudes and behaviors of students, resulting in a school climate change, has traditionally been viewed as valuable in and of itself, by practitioners, administrators, academic researchers, and schools,. More recently, however, unless such changes in climate can be shown to produce improved academic results, programs such as DLAM are not, as you note, able to get funding or serious consideration, reflecting a national, prevalent, policy perspective. (A fairly comprehensive summery of the indices of DLAM’s effectiveness is presently being compiled by Elizabeth and will soon be available for your, and others’, perusal.)

Notwithstanding the evidence that has been gathered to date verifying the effectiveness of OR in creating various kinds of change, what is truly needed, as you point out, is a full experimental-model research analysis, with a control group, that incorporates both hard data (school attendence, drop out rate, incidences of disciplinary actions, promotion rate, teacher turnover, etc, and academic improvement by students) as well as essential “soft’ data such as the degree to which students feel safe, respected, their perception of the degree to which they are ridiculed, bullied, ostracized, etc feel trusted, or not – These soft data are an important, in fact an essential, dimension to evaluate in the efforts to prevent violence, help teachers manage classrooms, increase the amount of engaged classroom time, and provide a climate which encourages students to grow, academically, as well as emotionally and socially.

(Such research is very, very costly, and must be done over a period of time. Fortunately, as a result of our new, declared, direction, AED, read below, has indicated that they are eager to help us find the funding to do such research, and help us to design the research, itself.)

Having said all that, it is essential to note that DLAM, alone, does NOT, and should NOT, claim to be able to effect all these changes, particularly on a sustainable basis. Studying the effects of DLAM by itself is, in certain ways “barking up the wrong tree” and a waste of time, if one is trying to find the best ways to transform a school and produce lasting change (which is our ultimate goal). We cannot do this work alone! We must not claim to!

We CAN, however, with our new collaborative approach (again, as discussed and outlined at our OR Retreat) that incorporates a series of school-based strategies or programs to be introduced over a period of three years, seek to find out the long term, longitudinal, effects of a series of interventions, including DLAM. Such a study can help us find out the best ways to utilize DLAM, and learn what DLAM truly accomplishes, as part of a continuing effort by a school to transform its climate. With the help of the Academy for Educational Development, the “gold standard” of such research, and their recent embracing of the concept of finding funding for such a research study, we could very well demonstrate, with hard and soft data, that:

A collaborative approach which includes the implementation of a series of strategies, chosen by a school from an array of alternatives, including the DLAM program, with the school’s commitment, and guaged enthusiasm for implementation of such as series of strategic interventions over a period of years, can, indeed, produce lasting, sustainable, transformational change in a school’s environment.
DLAM is a valuable tool that uniquely incorporates music, inspiring and introducing, or enriching other programs and strategies, to accomplish the above objective.

Given the above perspective, questions about the effectiveness of DLAM, implemented by itself, are best answered in a larger context; one that examines DLAM in terms of its ability to help us reach our ultimate goal as an organization, and as a way to advance our full objective in terms of school climate transformation, as we work alongside other partnering organizations. Again, DLAM is not, should not be thought of as, a silver bullet. DLAM is a tool, a very good tool in my opinion, but should not be expected, or tested, in terms of its ability to transform a school by itself, or reach OR’s ultimate goals.

(By analogy, I propose we think of a particular diet proscribed by a doctor for a recovering heart attack patient. This diet is only one, but an essential, element that can help bring bring a patient back to real health. But the health sought also needs exercise, rest, a limitation of stress, etc. to produce the ultimate result. Studying the effectiveness of diet change without the incorporation of other essential intervention, has limited value. Not that there is no value at all, but better to look at the whole picture, and diet as part of convalescence and recovery. Such is the case with DLAM’s efficacy as an agent to achieve OR’s educational goals.)

WHY SOUTH AFRICA OUTREACH FOR OR AND OTHER INT'L OUTREACHES?

FYI: PETER AND ELIZ.K ANSWER A QUESTION ASKED BY ONE OR MORE BOARD MEMBERS.

Question 1: Why we are taking on new activities such as S. Africa while we have not fully developed the areas we presently serve.


(EK) We have been providing presentations, professional development and program materials to educators throughout the world since OR’s inception. This international outreach is both valuable and important. It is a part of our ongoing programmatic and advocacy efforts and has already been factored into the staff time allocated in the OR matrix. Virtually all of our international work has produced revenue for OR. (EK)

(PY) We have received many important benefits from our International Outreach:

Both in the US and abroad, OR has established “beach heads” for efforts to be pursued with our collaborative partners who also wish to educate children and youths to be productive, responsible, citizens who grow up and learn in a safe, respectful environment, which is supportive of their social, emotional, and academic growth.

Our allies in Service Learning programs, in parent involvement and education programs such as EPIC, student leadership, SEL and CE, and now, Mega Skills (teaching the whole child) etc are currently being approached to consider extending their work, in conjunction with our OR work, to other countries, which they also see as very much a part of their mission. Going outside the US is, however, a new concept for many of them, but our work in countries outside the US does, indeed, provide a new opportunity for them, and can be a terrific launching point for collaborative efforts among us, here in the US, and outside the US.

One of the aspects of OR that has defined us since our inception is our ability to “break ground” where others have been unable to do so. Some of our unique successes, a few mentioned below, have identified our special profile in the educational field, and established OR’s leadership as an effective advocate for our, and our allies, mutually-held educational goals. Our successes have brought us special respect and helped other organizations to see us as being effective, collaborative, and inclusive in our work

Our sometimes unique efforts have also given us our current platform to implement the new strategies and additional directions for OR that were articulated at our recent Board retreat; strategies that to one degree or another, crystallized out of our “What Works” Symposium embodying what we all learned from it: To wit: A multi-faceted approach to school transformation is necessary for sustainable, long term change of a school climate and student achievement- in all ways. No one program, such as our DLAM program, can produce the results we seek on a sustained basis. Organizations like OR need to work together, non-competitively and collaboratively, with other organizations committed to a similar goal, if we are to all, ultimately be successful.

We are now, as perhaps as is no other organization, positioned to help ignite and inspire such collaborative efforts that can, over a period of time, re-define the national educational paradigm. This effort will also allow us do our part in what will shortly be very energetic effort by many educational organizations and educational leaders, as well as legislators and others, to improve and evolve NCLB so that education in the US teaches the “whole child”, as a way to improve academic achievement, and build the kind of citizenry that most supports a vibrant democracy, here and elsewhere.

Below, I have identified some of our efforts that have helped to establish our unique national identity and profile (which efforts were at one point questioned as potentially taking us away from our stated purpose, though no such criticism or concern currently exists). I believe that such objections were caused by a lack of clarity as to the really ambitious nature of OR’s objectives, and a lack of clarity as to our identity.

To me, we are, primarily, an advocacy organization, not the dispenser and implementer of a program called “Don’t Laugh At Me”. DLAM is an advocacy tool that introduces the type of perspective for which we advocate, and/or enriches other programs and strategies that are seeking to achieve the same objectives.

Most emphatically; We are not a silver bullet. We do not claim to provide more than part of a solution. OR is NOT a Program called “Don’t Laugh At Me”. We are advocates, and effective ones at that, and we will do all we can to produce the outcomes we desire whether or not such efforts are reflected in the utilization of “Don’t Laugh At Me”. We seek results, not acclaim or “real estate” for our program, DLAM. On the other hand, DLAM is a fine program and educational intervention strategy, especially when deeply implemented; a powerful tool in and of itself, as well as a way to uniquely reach the hearts of students, teachers, administrators and parents with our message -- and add the DLAM tool to their toolboxes.

Here are a few of our efforts that have afforded us a unique profile in the field:

OR’s efforts have been uniquely effective at the National Conference of State Legislators. With the President of NCSL, we crafted a resolution, with the input, approval and support of virtually all of the leading educational organizations that embrace the importance of including programs and efforts that address the emotional and social learning of students — for their own sake, and as a pathway to increased academic achievement. No other organization has been able to accomplish this.

Our access and profile has allowed us (through me) to make presentations to both the Republican and Democratic Congressional caucuses, producing a body of over 40 Republican members of congress, and an equal number of Democratic members of congress, who gave me their cards after my presentation, personally volunteering to help us in our efforts (This group of suportive voices in Congress might well prove to be invaluable in our future, ongoing, advocacy efforts.)

We have been able to present to, and ignite, the enthusiasm of several state legislatures; Ohio (which garnered us a proclamation honoring our, and specifically my, work; presentations in both houses, on a non-partisan basis, which led tol as a line item in Ohio’s state budget for DLAM in one of the least likely times to get such an appropriation – most of this was due to the vision and leadership of Richard Stoff); Connecticut, which has been at the forefront of initiating efforts to address school violence and bullying, partially because of the State Legislature’s caucus convened to address these issues, at which I appeared; Iowa, which has approved DLAM as one of its mandated choice of strategies that schools must adopt, to address student violence and bullying; Colorado, where I recently addressed the State Legislature, helping our ongoing effort to change education to a perspective of the “whole child” and a focus on the “whole school transformation” perspective.

OR has been honored by a unanimous, bi-partisan, vote of the entire U.S. House of Representatives; a great achievement born of the respect we enjoy. This honor, I believe, also came as a result of the fact that we conceive of ourselves as being part of a movement, not an educational initiative alone.

Similarly, as have our legislative efforts paid off handsomely, so are our international efforts beginning to bring the message home to America that we can be the leaders, abroad, and respected and valued for bringing our heart, passion and expertise, humbly and collaboratively, to other countries beyond the US.

We project America in our work as a non-selfish, non-self-centered nation. Just as the wonderful profile the Peace Corps paintedthe US character, so do our OR efforts being viewed as a gift from caring Americans.

Doing this work outside the U.S., if properly nurtured, will bring handsome results, not only to the US in terms of the perception of other nations as to what Americans are really like, in their heart, but such efforts will, I am sure, pay off handsomely in terms of our OR efforts within America itself. Such efforts will help to validate the exceptional profile OR enjoys as a groundbreaker, in the US. These efforts can bring in outside confirmation of the value of what we are doing (You can’t be a prophet in your own home, being the concept to which I’m referring.)

Hence: Our efforts outside the US are unique and important, in my opinion, part of our ultimate vision. They nurture our work in the US, and not in any way incompatible with our “old”, nor our newly broadened, Strategic Plan. (In fact, the collaborative perspective we are seeking to establish in the US in specific pilot sites – a key to our perspective as articulated and mandated by the OR Board at our recent retreat -- might well be first kicked off in other countries, so eager are some of the leaders of our allied organizations to work together with us in this arena.)

Great Baby Jay Feedback

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Zuvic Karen (28Q086)"
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 20:20:21 -0400
To:
Subject: Thank you

Dear Elizabeth,

Well, where do I begin....

I have never been take by a person or group of persons, as I am taken by
Baby-Jay and his entourage. I so admire Baby-Jay - from where he comes from
and where he is going. At a young age he made a choice that it takes some
people a lifetime to make - to take the right road. His brothers didn't
make that choice, but perhaps Baby-Jay can be a positive influence on them,
as well as the children of PS 86. That is my wish. Having experienced some
hard times in my own life, he gives me hope for the future and the future of
all our kids.

I admire you and Mark for what you do for kids. Mark was wonderful the way
he took over a room - so much like a principal... The children related to
him and what he was saying. He spoke with respect to them and they reacted
to that - and this follows what I have been trying to instill in the
students since I came on board as principal in September - respect yourself
and respect others.

Operation Respect has played a huge role in PS 86. The teachers have been
doing lessons and having many discussions in their classes. April was
poetry month, and many of the students wrote poems relating their feelings,
and used much of the vocabulary of Operation Respect. The teachers and
students have thanked me for bringing Operation Respect to PS 86. They all
agree that it is a wonderful program. We are focusing on positive behaviors
- trying to reward those - and to get the message out to those who need to
amend their behaviors. Yes, it takes time - but children are worth every
second, minute and hour.

We have many potential Baby-Jays in our school and I hope that I and their
teachers can nurture them the way Baby Jay's teachers nurtured him.

The program is so necessary - not only here in NYC, but all over the
country. The respect that shines from Baby-Jay is glaring - it is the
respect that he has for himself AND others. There is a special presence
about him.

My teachers were so taken by his assemblies. Ms. Greene, the teacher who
requested the lyrics of the songs, was the most outspoken to me regarding
her feelings. She will definitely use the lyrics to continue the message,
along with Mr. Dudutis and the other teachers. Ms. Kimmel has arranged for
Floral Park to visit on May 17th - another special day for PS 86. This
program will continue through the years - with each component being explored
by the different grades. So, by the time our current 3rd graders are in 6th
grade, they would have completed all the components!!! WONDERFUL.

PS 86 is on its way to being a great place to showcase Operation Respect.
We would love another visit - and would love to plan more events for the
years to come. As in the words of Humphrey Bogart - "I think this is the
start of a wonderful relationship.'

Let me know what I can do for you - you have done so much for us.

Regards,
Karen

Karen Zuvic
Principal
PS 86
87-41 Parsons Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11432
(718) 291-6264

Emails on Planned South Africa Trip in Sept./ OR Rollout

Dear Colin, et al

This scheduling of a Trainer-of-Trainers session in Port Elizabeth will mean that one of one of our Master Trainers, Lynne Hurdle- Price will be available a bit later than she would have been if this Trainer-of-Trainers workshop had not been added.

When and if she does, depending upon your desires, she would first do a training of practitioners and administrators (2 days), and then, if you want to go ahead with it(as they apparently do, in Port Elizabeth) she could do a with a Trainer-of-Trainers workshop (3 days, I believe).

All seems to be going well towards our objective.

Your happy, and enthusiastic, magic dragon,

Peter

Dear Elizabeth,
Thank you very much for your email, I am looking forward to Peter’s visit and you will be really surprised at how many people know Peter from this side. I will start to make the ball rolling so that we can make all necessary arrangements. I would suggest Burninghill Foundation distribute and disseminate the program in South Africa during the initial phases, so that it would be easy for us to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the program in its initial phases. We would then be able to offer coordinated efforts with advocacy, training and distribution of the materials, etc. Let me know what you think.

Leroy

------ Forwarded Message
From: Elizabeth Kolodny

Dear Leroy:

Peter Yarrow has just confirmed his availability to visit South Africa 9/19-9/26. He will be accompanied by Suzanne Pasch, a member of the Operation Respect Board and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wheelock College in Boston and by Lynne Hurdle-Price, one of our top trainers. Stanley Pappelbaum, a good friend of Peter’s, has also made a connection with a colleague in Johannesburg who may be interested in supporting the work of Operation Respect.

On a related note, Steve Seskin, the co-author of the “Don’t Laugh at Me” song, recently presented at a conference in the Philippines where he met Dr. Essop Pahad, Minister to the President of South Africa. Dr. Pahad expressed great interest in introducing the “Don’t Laugh at Me” Program to schools throughout South Africa. Peter has contacted Dr. Pahad to inform him of the plans we are making with the Burninghill Foundation in Port Elizabeth and to explore the possibility of linking our efforts so that the work might expand throughout the country.

Thank you again for your ongoing interest and support. I will keep you informed of any additional plans as they develop.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth Kolodny
Program Director
Operation Respect

PY w. Gt. Feedback re NYC Middle School Counselors Conf.

From: Cuttle Connie
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 10:53:24 -0400

Dear Peter,

I wish you could have been with us after the conference when we sat down to read the evaluations of the day. In the words of the counselors at yesterday’s conference, YOU WERE AWESOME!!! Counselor after counselor wrote about how inspiring you were, how much the day meant to them, how uplifted, validated and energized you made them feel. The words inspirational and awesome were used over and over and over again.
Thank you so very much for being there for us yesterday. You were the icing on the cake of a great day. The words of one counselor’s evaluation sum it all up: “The morning’s keynote and workshops were excellent, and I thought the day couldn’t get any better. Then Peter was here and it did!”
What more can I say!!!
Connie


Connie Cuttle

Director of Student Engagement

Office of School Intervention and Development
NYC Department of Education
52 Chambers Street-Room 210
New York, New York 10007

STEVE SESKIN (CO-WRITER OF DLAM) APPEARS AT MANILA CONFERENCE FOR OR – GREAT RECEPTION – GREAT POSS. RE S.AFRICA AND PHILLIPINES F/U

Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 18:16:20 EDT
Subject: Manila Conference

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the opportunity to go to manila. I had a great time and met some amazing people. I got to sing Don't Laugh At Me and talk about Operation Respect for about 10 minutes during a plenary session for all the attendees. Most people there were theatre folks, directors,playwrights and presenters. There were some educators. The song went over very well. i got to sing one other peace anthem called bridge of Hope at an evening concert. All in all it was a great experience.
There are two people I think you should followup with. They are Dr Essop Pahad who is the Minister to the president of South Africa. He said he is in charge of the welfare of chidren for the nation and was very interested in Operation Respect. FYI, I gave him a CD,DVD and a copy of the curriculum. You can email him at minister@po.gov.za You can phone him at 012 300 5331 or 021 464 2122 he was very aware of you and Peter,paul and Mary. I think this could be an excellent contact.

The other person is the secretary of education for the Philippines. her name is FE A Hidalgo. She said she'd like to get every school a copy of the song/curriculum. You can email her at fahidalgo@deped.gov.ph and you can call her at (0632) 687 4146/633-7202 or on her cell at 63918-9104890. Both of these people are expecting to be contacted by you or someone from Operation Respect. Let me know what happens.

Two other things. I thought I should let you know that an amazing play called Don't laugh At Me is being written by a 20 year old college student at Boston University. I know him from here and asked him to write a piece that could be done in schools and/or theatres. His name is Michael Moran. He is almost done and it is quite remarkable work. i'd love to show it to you sometime and talk about how we could include it as a possible Operation Respect work and help get it staged . I am writing some additional music for the play. Very exciting!!
I also want to reiterate to you that as we go forward with Operation respect with you as the President, I am willing and able to be more involved doing presentations/assemblies etc on behalf of the organization. I have been doing more shows than ever before at schools and for teacher organizations and I enjoy it immensly. In many ways I feel like I've finally hav found my lifes work and the best way to apply my musical/performing talents. So.... Please keep me in mind as we forge ahead. There's much to do and I wanted to make sure you know how committed I am to the cause.
Take care and I'll talk to you soon......

Much love, Steve

Note: Earlier email from Cecile Alverez, long time friend of PY

From: Cecile Alvarez
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 02:36:34 -0800 (PST)
To:
Subject: from the Philippines

Dear Peter,

We were glad to hear of your special concert at the Carnegie Hall on December 9. We wish we could be with you. We will never forget your kind heart and brilliant talents that you shared in the Philippines right after our liberation from the dictatorship.

Now, at the 20th Anniversary of EDSA, as the Philippines hosts the 31st Theatre Congress in May 2006, We wonder if you could come to the Philippines. The thrust would be mobilizing Cultural Diversity from Ancestral Roots to New Artistic Routes of Expressions to achieve the U.N Millennium Development Goals.

On the 23rd in the morning, the UNESCO Director General will preside over the Leader’s Forum to focus and flesh out the themes of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals demonstrating how arts can be a powerful tool for education.

We wonder if you might come for the opening, Peter, if Paul and Mary could not come please come and lead the singing of “Don’t Laugh at Me” and “Music Speaks Louder than Words” as the Earthsavers DREAMS Ensemble perform to focus on the theme of tolerance. Please let me know if you are interested, so that I could arrange for the Asian Cultural Council to sponsor your air ticket with Ellen Stewart. The Philippine ITI Center will host your stay in Manila Hotel.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Arts

Dear All,

I’m seconding Charlotte’s comment to Noel that recognizes the importance of his words; so meaningful for us to remember. I highly recommend them for your review. Noel advises we be mindful of the heart of what has given OR the opportunity to get this far. His perspective is right on target, in my view, and so valuable, now as always.

With the staff, I will be discussing the solidification of our relationship with Hugworks as a priority in the next few months and reaching out to Americans For The Arts to energize our connection. Also, with the staff, I’ll be examining the ongoing role of our various performers who can do, and/or have done, assemblies and educational gatherings for us with an eye to adding to our arts connections in the schools.

Last, we’ll be investigating further connections with Terre Jones, head of Wolftrap, as Noel suggests (I just saw him at a gathering at my apartment recently. He’s a delight and a real supporter of the legacy of folk music and PPM.)

Thanks, and onward,

Peter


Noel:

Thanks so much for forwarding your note to me. Your comment was soooo SWEET and very much appreciated. I don’t know Terre Jones of wolftrap education but I do know that the performing and visual arts can be so important in the lives of young people.

Very Best Wishes,

Charlotte

------ Forwarded Message
From: noel paul stookey
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 21:53:45 -0400
To: Peter Yarrow , Elizabeth Kolodny
Subject: i listened with interest for over an hour...


it's a little after two on the sunday afternoon. i thought my best contribution to OR's retreat would be by way of this note rather than interrupt what appeared to be a flow of comments by the folks at hand.

i was greatly informed by wendy's talk and her illuminating response to some of the queries in the Q&A section...yet, as the end of the hour approached, i could not resist returning to the concept so well captured in charlotte frank's words "...music opens the heart so that learning can begin".

there is no doubting the importance of integrating respect into the educational system - we have the data - and yet the points wendy made about the individual environment (particularly in the low income circumstances) adversely impacting the ability of the message to reach the student were well taken.

in response and, at the risk of 'harping' on the same old subject, i would want you to remember that OR was established initially to acquaint and disburse to the educational community a curriculum of social awareness and tolerance (inspired by one single song) that has performed so well and produced so many 'aha' moments for so many participants. and i believe it's our mutual expectation that OR will at some time in the future expand the current curriculum (perhaps using the songs of HUGWORKS) to reach a even wider age group.

as wendy spoke of the reauthorization process of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, and 'partnering' with other organizations it occured to me that the selection of partners should be on the basis of best fit (and yes, it wouldn't hurt that they were already lobbying to reevaluate the NCLB to include more character work) and involvement in the ARTS. i say arts because that's what makes OR unique. i'm thinking a phone conversation leading to a meet with terre jones of wolftrap educational might be hugely rewarding since they're promoting (and have the data to prove the educational advantage of) the integration of the ALL the arts and have done so in 14 major cities including washington!

so.

enjoyed the dismembered duet with you. it IS magic. and the faith of belief...

in you, in Love,

noel

ps / please forward to charlotte (love that gal)

Monday, February 06, 2006

PY at Patterson Elementary School, Jefferson County, CO

OR possible linkages to Law Enforcement orgs.

Bro, Jeff (I’ll be putting this on my blog today.)

This is an email to Jeff Kirsch, a good friend, whose organization, Fight Crime: Invest In Kids is one potential link we might condsider exploring with to law enforcement groups working with kids.

> ----------------------------------
> Jeff Kirsch, Vice President
> Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
> NEW ADDRESS!!!!
> 1212 New York Ave., NW Suite 300
> Washington, DC 20005
> jkirsch@fightcrime.org
> ph: 202-776-0027, ext. 115
> cell: 703-501-6694
> fax: 202-776-0110
> www.fightcrime.org

Jeff was a high level leader in Families USA before his affiliation with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

Let’s put on our radar to consider as well as going to Jack Calhoun, the head of, and organizer of the NCPC National Crime Prevention Council, an umbrella group for about 150 law enforcement orgs allied to US, State and local efforts. He’s a sensational resource and a great friend of ours from the get-go.

Calling you soon to catch up.

P.

P.S. These emails below are some of the Invest In Kids’ postings in recent years that will give you an idea of some of our connections.



Dear Friend, Jeff,

So good to hear from you. How are you and the family, and especially your talented daughter?

We must join forces this year or we're missing the "boat", don't you think?

Bro, Pedro

High-quality Pre-K: The Key to Crime Prevention and School Success

Law enforcement leaders release state reports on the importance of high quality pre-kindergarten.

Arkansas Report
Maine Report
New Mexico Report
Ohio Report
Oregon Report
Tennessee Report

State Pre-K two pagers

FIGHT CRIME: INVEST IN KIDS
2,000 Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, Prosecutors, Crime Victims Dedicated to Preventing Crime and Violence
2000 P Street, NW • Suite 240 • Washington, DC 20036 • 202.776.0027 • Fax 202.776.0110 • www.fightcrime.org
KEY FINDINGS: KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS POLL
Conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc., a national independent polling firm, the poll is the
first national survey in more than a decade to solicit kindergarten teachers’ opinions on the value of pre-
kindergarten. Pollsters interviewed a national sample of 800 kindergarten teachers. The margin of error is
plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Among the key findings were:
• In nearly half the classrooms (46 percent), at least one out of five kids was inadequately
prepared for kindergarten when they started school last year.
• Eighty-six percent of the teachers said the time they devote to dealing with disruptive behavior
by poorly-prepared children, and helping them catch up, negatively affects the progress of well-
prepared children.
• Sixty-six percent of teachers rated kids who attended pre-kindergarten as “substantially better
prepared” to start school ready to succeed compared to one percent who said pre-kindergarten
kids were “less prepared.”
• Ranging from 78 to 93 percent, the teachers said children who had attended quality pre-
kindergarten programs were more likely to get along with others and be sensitive to their
feelings, count, have problem-solving skills, know letter of the alphabet and follow directions,
were far less likely to be disruptive in class.
• Eighty-six percent of teachers agreed with the statement: “Children in your class last year who
attended pre-kindergarten typically will do better in school than those who did not attend pre-
kindergarten.” Fifty percent said they “strongly” agreed.
• In many schools, dealing with disruptive behavior in kindergarten requires far too much of
kindergarten teachers’ time. One out of ten kindergarten teachers said more than half of
classroom time is spent coping with noise, horseplay or fighting.
• On three characteristics deemed most important by the teachers —“is not disruptive in class,”
“pays attention,” and “gets along with other children and is sensitive to their feelings”—
children with preschool were rated “much more likely” to possess the skill than children who
did not attend preschool.
• Nine out of ten teachers agreed that “substantially more” children would succeed in school if
all families had access to quality pre-kindergarten programs. The agreement rate rose nearly
100 percent among teachers with mostly poor, minority children in their classes.





CONTACT: Michael Kharfen, 202-776-0027 ext.127; cell, 202-262-3996
Sheryl Shapiro, 202-776-0027, ext.108; cell, 202-320-4953
FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, August 11, 2004
New Poll of Kindergarten Teachers Shows Kids Without Pre-K
Unprepared for School; Well-prepared Students Suffer
Oregon Law Enforcement Leaders Call for
More Federal Investment in Pre-K to Cut Crime
Portland, Aug. 11— A national poll of kindergarten teachers found that children who had not had access to pre-kindergarten programs were substantially less prepared to succeed in school than those who attended pre-kindergarten. Eighty-six percent of the teachers said poorly prepared students in the classroom negatively affect the progress of all children, even the best prepared.

Nine out of ten teachers agreed that “substantially more” children would succeed in school if all families had access to quality pre-kindergarten programs. The agreement rate rose to nearly 100 percent among teachers with mostly poor, minority children in their classes.

The poll is the first national survey in more than a decade to solicit kindergarten teachers’ opinions on the value of pre-kindergarten. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization of more than 2,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and victims of violence, including more than 60 in Oregon, released the poll today at the King Elementary School with Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk; Dorena Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Sharon Edwards, Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto; Portland Police Bureau Captain Dorothy Elmore; and Amy Dawson, Vice President of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

Oregon law enforcement leaders called for increased federal and state funding to expand access to pre-kindergarten and cited research showing that high quality pre-kindergarten programs help children do better in school and cut future crime and violence.

“Today’s poll confirms that quality pre-kindergarten is critical for all children,” said District Attorney Schrunk. “The voices of kindergarten teachers and research tells us that pre-kindergarten can unlock tremendous learning for children and keep them from crime when they get older.”

Sheriff Giusto cited a 22-year study of the High/Scope Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti, Michigan. At-risk three- and four-year-olds left out of the program were five times more likely to become chronic lawbreakers by the time they reached adulthood compared to kids in the program. The program was also shown to save $7 for $1 invested as a result of the future reduction in crime, welfare and other costs.

Sheriff Giusto said: “Those of us on the front lines of in the fight against crime understand that we’ll never be able to just arrest and imprison our way out of the crime problem. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper to pay now for quality pre-kindergarten than to pay later to put a kid in jail.”

Captain Elmore said: “An investment in quality pre-kindergarten not only prepares our children for school, but prepares our country for the future. We learned today that poorly prepared children could negatively affect even the most prepared child in kindergarten. When all children have access to pre-kindergarten and can enter kindergarten with the values and skills to succeed, then no child’s success will be jeopardized.”

Mason-Dixon Polling and Research interviewed a national sample of 800 kindergarten teachers. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Among the key findings were:
Sixty-six percent of teachers rated kids who attended pre-kindergarten as “substantially better prepared” to start school ready to succeed compared to one percent who said pre-kindergarten kids were “less prepared.”

The overwhelming majority of the teachers, ranging from 78 to 93 percent, said children who had attended quality pre-kindergarten programs were more likely to get along with others and be sensitive to their feelings, count, have problem-solving skills, know letters of the alphabet and follow directions, and were far less likely to be disruptive in class.

In nearly half the classrooms (46 percent), at least one out of five kids was inadequately prepared for kindergarten when they started school last year.
As kindergarten teachers confirm the benefits of high-quality pre-kindergarten, the fact is that most low- and moderate-income families need assistance to afford quality pre-k for their kids. Tuition for pre-kindergarten programs in Oregon cost $5,580, exceeding the cost of tuition at most state colleges. Head Start, the principal federal pre-kindergarten program for lower-income families, is so underfunded it can serve only three out of five of the three- and four-year-olds below the poverty line. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is designed to help low and moderate-income working families, can serve only one out of seven eligible kids, and provides grants that are often far too small to purchase quality early childhood care.

Edwards confirmed that the poll accurately depicted her experience as a teacher: “Too many children arrive in kindergarten unprepared to learn. After 13 years as a teacher, I can see the difference between kids who had the benefit of pre-kindergarten compared to those who didn’t. High quality pre-kindergarten gives children the chance to succeed.”

Dozens of state and national law enforcement and victim organizations, including the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the National District Attorneys Association, have called for increased investment in pre-kindergarten, child abuse and neglect prevention, and after-school programs as means to prevent crime.

To view the poll results click here.

Copyright 2004 Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Last modified: 11 August 2004. 08:56:39



CONTACT: Clay Wilkinson, 202-776-0027, ext. 108; cell, 202-550-6172
FOR RELEASE: September 4, 2003
Report From Law Enforcement Shows up to Half of all Bullying Can Be Prevented
Miss America, a bullying victim as a teen, says anti-crime group's recommendations can help millions of kids
WASHINGTON - A report from a national anti-crime organization shows that new anti-aggression programs can prevent up to half of all bullying which now affects one out of three children in grades six to ten and can lead to violent crime and death.

The law enforcement leaders called on policy-makers to implement the proven bullying prevention programs in every school.

Miss America 2003 Erika Harold helped release the report, “Bullying Prevention Is Crime Prevention,” at a National Press Club luncheon attended by the 51 state pageant winners seeking to become Miss America 2004.

A victim of bullying in school, Harold hailed the report, saying its recommendations, if implemented, “will prevent millions of young people from going through the agony of bullying, prevent thousands of suicides, and prevent thousands of kids from graduating from an apprenticeship in bullying to a graduate degree in crime and violence.”

The report was produced by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an organization of 2,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and victims of violence. Among the authors of the report were James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and Delbert S. Elliott, director of The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado.

Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, board chairman of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, said bullying is a serious concern of law enforcement. It’s not just “boys being boys,” Kerlikowske said. The report shows:

- For children in sixth through tenth grade, nearly one in six —3.2 million—are victims of bullying each year. An additional 3.7 million bully other children.

- Kids who are bullied are five times more likely to be depressed than other kids, and also far more likely to be suicidal.

- Bullies are much more likely than other kids to carry a weapon to school.

- A study in Norway showed that four of every ten boys who bullied others as kids had three or more convictions by the time they turned 24.

“Bullying is a ticking time bomb in our schools and our society,” Kerlikowske said. “America needs to defuse this problem before more children are harmed, killed or take their own lives.”

Sanford Newman, president of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, said that creating untested programs and calling them “bullying prevention” doesn’t work. Fortunately, he said, the report identifies newly tested programs that have cut bullying by as much as half, including:

- A program developed in Norway that produced a 50 percent reduction of bullying there, and a 20 percent reduction when it was replicated in South Carolina.

- A program for fifth graders called LIFT that cut in half the number of kids arrested by the eighth grade, compared to arrests of kids in similar schools without the program.

- The Incredible Years program which has been able to stop a cycle of aggression in almost two-thirds of the families receiving help.

Newman said that none of these bullying prevention programs require huge investments. When preventing one child from adopting a life of crime saves $1.7 million, he said, the modest investment required to implement anti-bullying programs will be recovered many times over.

That’s why the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ 2,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and victims of violence are calling on local, state and national policy makers to invest in proven anti-bullying measures for every school in America, Newman said.

“When violence occurs in school or out of school, law enforcement must act appropriately,” Newman said. “Yet it’s far wiser to act before anyone gets hurt. Let’s invest in America’s kids so they never become bullies, victims of bullies or adult criminals.”

As a teenager in Illinois, Harold was a victim of sexual and racial harassment at school. She was attacked verbally and physically, and her home was vandalized. Throughout her reign as Miss America, she has spoken out powerfully against violence and, especially, bullying.

The contestants for the 2004 Miss America crown were in Washington for the first time ever in advance of the Atlantic City Pageant on September 20. While here, they will visit with members of Congress and administration officials to discuss their individual “platform” issues.

Harold has been a spokesperson for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids since she was first selected as Miss Illinois. Tomorrow evening (Sep. 5) she will be honored by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids at its first “Champions for Children Gala” at the Washington Hilton along with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Edward A. Flynn and Charles E.M. Kolb, president of the Committee for Economic Development.

For Kids' views on bullying visit http://www.familiesandwork.org/askthechildren.html

Download Report here (PDF)

Copyright 2004 Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Last modified: 03 September 2003. 13:58:35


> From: Jeff Kirsch
> Date: Mon, 06 Feb 2006 09:09:23 -0500
> To: Peter Yarrow
> Subject: Your letter about Bob Creamer
>
> Peter: It was kind of you to send out the solicitation for Bob. I have also
> known him and Jan for many years, and I was happy to make a contribution.
> Jeff
>
> ----------------------------------
> Jeff Kirsch, Vice President
> Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
> NEW ADDRESS!!!!
> 1212 New York Ave., NW Suite 300
> Washington, DC 20005
> jkirsch@fightcrime.org
> ph: 202-776-0027, ext. 115
> cell: 703-501-6694
> fax: 202-776-0110
> www.fightcrime.org
>
> Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is the crime-prevention organization made up of
> more than 2,500 sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors, and victims of
> violence who believe the best way to prevent crime is to give kids the right
> start in life. (www.fightcrime.org)
>