Peace Learning Center Newsletter
 Back to School
August 2013
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We're so excited school is back in session! This issue of Peace Learning News will highlight why you're never too young or old to learn about peace.

We also have an exciting announcement! We used our summer break to create a new website designed by Javier Barrera.  Visit www.peacelearningcenter.org to learn more about us and how you can get involved in creating a more peaceful world.

Peace on,
Peace Learning Center 
Pendleton Garden
Incarcerated youth working the
vegetable garden at
Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility
Peace Learning Center has a new  
and exciting volunteer opportunity!

Our peace program at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility is looking for volunteers  
to mentor incarcerated youth. Volunteers will  
help facilitate conflict resolution activities,  
oversee community gardening, and encourage service learning. Your time will help these  
impressionable young men build character,  
develop life skills, and create a safe space  
to maintain healthy relationships with others.  Volunteers must complete and pass a background check, attend an orientation and training session, and commit to at least one session per month.

If you are interested in helping to improve the lives of Indianapolis youth, please call our Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, Jay Horan at 317.327.7144 or email her at

Peace Learning Center would like to recognize Ron Hugar as the volunteer of the month! This past month, Ron helped with everything from organizing, filing, researching, and helping with program implementation.
Lisa Jones worked closely with Ron and said, "I'm so glad Ron volunteered to help me get a few things in order and organized.  His help in getting my file pile caught up sure did take a lot off my plate. He's such a nice person, I look forward to working with him again!"

Thank you Ron for everything you have done for our organization.  We are very lucky to have you on our team!

Family enjoying the 2013 MLK Festival
A local family enjoying PLC's 2013 MLK Community Festival

Back to school: How to Nurture Your Child's Inner Peacemaker!


Even though we release our children into the care of teachers, there are still plenty of ways parents can support our children socially and emotionally.  We cannot control the complex relationships and experiences all children endure in school, but we can equip them to deal with their peers and teachers in healthy and peaceful ways.  


1. Listen:  Try to be a good listener when your children tell you about their day at school.   Knowing that a parent will listen without judgment makes it easier to talk about the good and the bad parts of their school experiences.  It is also more likely that you can help them think through problems or concerns as they arise.   It is fine to think things through with them and offer your ideas, but validating their experiences means a lot to children and demonstrates empathy and support.   


2.  Encourage your child to find their voice:  As much as we'd like to solve our children's problems for them, kids need to learn how to speak up for themselves.  These skills will serve them well and when given appropriate encouragement, students tend to feel better when they are the ones who problem solve.  Kids may need the green light to tell a peer not to treat them poorly, to advocate for themselves, or to tell another person how they really feel.  Giving them language and the ability to "talk it out" can also help prevent the escalation of conflict into violence. 


3. Be a good role model:  Think about how you role model your enthusiasm for learning, your relationships and communication with others, your work ethic, and your patience.  Children watch us and learn from us in profound and long-lasting ways.   When their partners someday say, "You are just like your mom" or "you are just like your dad" will that be a compliment?  


4. Caring for their bodies, supports their emotional and mental state!: Healthy eating, exercise, plenty of sleep, and reasonable routines help your child do their best when learning and interacting with peers!


To learn how to bring PLC youth programs to your child's school or organization, please contact Kristina Hulvershorn, Director of Youth Programs, at 317-327-7144 or

Interested in more tips about how to teach peacemaking to children?
Click here to read "7 Tips to Teach Cooperation in Early Childhood" a toolkit post on our new PLC website. Check back often for new peace education resources!

An old friend of Lincoln's quoted in Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

In an imaginary reversal of roles, I sometimes think of a small child coming home from a day at school and asking a parent, "what did you learn today?" Lifelong learners - participants in some of our Community Programs and Focus 2020 Workshops have answered the question in some meaningful ways. They learned to:

  • Inquire more about others' background
  • Become a role model for youth in the area of diversity awareness
  • Move from tolerance to acceptance
  • Pay more attention to how they view people and limit their quick judgments
  • Seek out diversity to learn more about other people (appreciate instead of accept)
  • Learn new cultures, educate grandchildren, and try to respect co-worker's challenges
Not bad for a four hour workshop we call "Appreciating our Differences and Similarities!" We offer this course and other courses to anyone who, like President Lincoln, see life "as a school."

Peace Learning Center offers custom designed and public learning workshops for you and your organization. For more information visit our website at
www.peacelearningcenter.org or contact Community Programs Director John McShane at 317.327.7144 or  jmcshane@peacelearningcenter.org


So, what did you learn today? 


Tim Nation
Tim Nation, Executive Director & Co-Founder

"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." - Franklin D. Roosevelt


While there are billions of dollars invested in education, much  

of these resources are lost if a child drops out of school or is arrested for behavioral problems.  Social and emotional intelligence must be taught to help children better manage their conflicts and emotions, have hope for the future, and take ownership of their own education.


Children need to be equipped with tools for dealing with their problems and adults need to give them room to work things out rather than intervene on their behalf.  If this is done at an early age, youth have a better chance at success.


A study by David Johnson and Roger Johnson concludes, "The effects of conflict resolution education on the interpersonal skills of children appear to be more successful at nurturing positive relationships between students than teacher intervention during student conflict."  They also found that teacher intervention was not generally related to children's peacemaking skills. A negative correlation was found between teacher intervention and conciliation between the opponents. This suggests that relationships between students have a better chance of surviving if the students themselves are equipped with the skills to handle conflicts inside the relationship, as teacher intervention may in fact further damage the friendship.


Peace Learning Center helps youth, parents, teachers and our larger community learn to find the peace and peacemaker within while developing skills and strategies to persevere through hardship and reach out to others when help is needed. We are increasing our reach into preschool and kindergarten because it is never too soon to start peacemaking.


Everyone at Peace Learning Center wishes the best for all children and families throughout this new school year.


Take time to talk, listen and share.  Kids need caring adults who give them time and attention.   


UpcomBlack Focus 2020 Logoing Focus 2020 Workshops:

Join the
movement to make Greater Indy a more welcoming and engaged community! All Focus 2020 workshops are offered at no cost to you, but preregistration is required. To register, click on the date that works best for you.

Focus 2020 Orientation Workshop

During these workshops, you'll learn the tools, techniques, and strategies for understanding each others differences and similarities. Through fun and engaging sessions you will connect with others to practice and demonstrate dialogue, conflict resolution, empathy, and collaboration skills.


Creating a Culture of Peace Focus 2020 Workshop 

Tuesday, Oct. 8,  12:30 - 4:30 pm at Peace Learning Center

 Tuesday, Nov. 12, 12:30 - 4:30 pm at Peace Learning Center  

Participants will learn and practice advanced techniques of conflict de-escalation, dialogue, and communication skills and how to use those skills to build a more 
peaceful community. Participants will design strategies for applying these skills in
their homes, workplaces, and communities.


Small Mustached Turtle
Mustached Turtle 5k, 10k, and 15k Run/Walk & Community Festival
Saturday, September 28, 2013      
"Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you." - Ajahn Chah


This first annual fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 8-3 pm will include unique activities for all ages - a Tiny Turtles play zone with carnival style games, local food trucks, live music, recycled art activities, recovery yoga, zumba, and turtle races.  The festival activities are open to the public - you don't even have to run or walk to enjoy the fun! So you can support a good cause and have fun doing it! 


The 5k, 10k, or 15k road run/walk (walk is a 5k option only) will start next to Peace Learning Center's Eagle Creek Park location. One-of-a-kind prizes will be awarded to the winning runners and hikers. All proceeds will support peace education programs for local youth provided by Peace Learning Center, an Indianapolis based non-profit with a mission to educate, inspire and empower people to live. Race registration ranges from $35-$45 for competitive run with $30 for non-competitive walk/run. The run is being coordinated by Planet Adventure. Park entry fee is $5. To register, table, sponsor or learn more visit www.peacelearningcenter.org


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