Building Caring Schools K–12 &
Anti-Bullying Work

Welcoming Diversity - Building a Caring School Environment Workshop

This NCBI Workshop consists of a series of incremental, experiential activities where school staff and students begin to understand and appreciate each other’s differences toward changing minds and hearts -

  • Learn approaches for encouraging respect and teamwork among all staff and students 
  • Expand their understanding and appreciation of the diversity within their school
  • Identify the misinformation that contributes to prejudice and teasing
  • Learn new information that builds respect among diverse groups
  • Build skills for effectively reducing teasing, harassment, and prejudice

Preventing Anti-Bullying and School Violence Workshop

The NCBI Anti-Bullying and School Violence Prevention Workshop empowers young people to create and maintain healthy, nonviolent schools and communities. Through a guided set of experiential exercises, young people learn to -

  • Identify ways to prevent bullying and violence
  • Recognize the nature and causes of violence
  • Heal from the effects of violence
  • Use nonviolent intervention techniques
  • Develop a school action plan to build safer and more inclusive schools

NCBI Program for Elementary and Middle Schools

The NCBI Program for Elementary and Middle Schools trains staff, parents and students to teach an elementary version of the Welcoming Diversity: Building a Caring School Environment workshop. This age appropriate positive youth enhancement curriculum for grades K–8 is designed to be taught in short modules as part of an elementary school classroom or after-school activity.

NCBI Programs to Reduce Racial Disparity in Schools

The ACLU sued the Antioch, California Unified School District for Racial Disparities in Discipline. NCBI was written into the Settlement Agreement to work with Antioch, as part of the work with Antioch over the next five (5) years NCBI trained hundreds of high school students to lead Diversity & Inclusion workshops for their peers and since has introduced this or similar programs in dozens of high schools across the country. NCBI’s Train the Trainer program has won numerous awards across the country and is the only program we are aware of where students are trained to then lead anti-bias work in their schools.Here’s the Report - http://ncbi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ncbi-antioch-article.pdf

Train-the-Trainer Leadership Program for Middle and High Schools

The NCBI Two-Day Leadership Training for Middle and High Schools trains students to lead the Welcoming Diversity: Building a Caring School Environment Workshop or the Preventing School Violence Workshop. NCBI works with the school to identify critical issues related to inclusion and safety, including:

  • Targeting of minority students
  • Anti-gay bullying
  • Gang violence
  • Gender harassment
  • Other types of mistreatment and violence

Student trainers become a resource team for their school, developing programs and strategies to build a safer and more caring school learning environment. High school student leaders present the Welcoming Diversity Workshop and the Preventing School Violence Workshop in their schools, and may also be a resource to the middle and elementary schools in their districts. This two-day training has been successfully implemented in hundreds of schools and universities in the United States and Europe.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT THEATRE FOR JUSTICE SKITS!

NCBI Director of School Programs and Board Member Ira Baumgarten has recently been combining the NCBI training with Albany, NY area high school theatre programs creating dynamic youth written and performed stories that highlight overcoming prejudice and building strong relationships across diverse cultural groups.

Once in a while a perfect storm of courage, voices, collaboration, and love comes together and a miracle happens. In the 2015 – 2016 school year at Albany High School, Albany, NY the Capital District Chapter of NCBI was asked to build bridges and to reduce tensions between immigrant/refugee and African American student groups. NCBI focus groups and coalition building workshops were held. Where the magic happened was when we brought the speak out stories into an after school Social Justice Theatre Program to form the basis for a student written production.

As each participant told the story of their journey to find a place in Albany, NY a common thread of alienation and prejudice that both groups had experienced in their search for a place of home, a place of belonging came through.

"The project helps people find a place of home in themselves and you learn from it and then you get to share it with the world.” -Bianke, 11th grade participant.

“You can never take what I fought for as a child in the refugee camp, the love of my life, the opportunity to learn.”-Ar, 12th grade participant

“Try to take away my pride, take away my hopes leaping high. But you will hear this beautiful black girl’s voice because I matter.” -Camille, 10th grade participant

The students became character’s in each other’s story and in some cases, they even took the lead in another person’s story. Slowly, steadily, they literally walked in each other’s shoes. Strong bonds of friendship and family were formed. The play began with this narrative:

“Pain that is not transformed is transmitted. Story telling transforms our pain and your pain. Here in this room, tonight, there is no difference between those telling the story and those listening.

Our stories are yours as well. Tonight, we are one. “
“Stand up if your place of birth is outside the United States …”

Which Way is Home was performed in May 2016 at the community repertoire theatre and at the Albany High School. After the play was performed, funding was found to have Youth FX, a local non-profit film arts program video and produce films of the students’ stories. You can see the films by going to: http://www.artslettersandnumbers.com/archive/2016/12/11/which-way-is-home

Which-Way-Is-Home

This coming school year, the students who were in the play will become a Bridge Builder Team of Artist Activists and with training from the NCBI Chapter they will bring their filmed stories into classrooms and lead discussions. They will continue to meet after school to prepare and to create a safe haven for other students to come to share their stories. An audio and video library of student’s stories is being established.

The students’ voices sang out like trumpets, they turned their swords into ploughshares. The arts combined with NCBI principles and practices created a powerful alchemy for healing and change. Through acting in each other’s stories, the students learned to understand each other’s pain and journey. Each day in rehearsal they lived being allies for each other. As audience, we became witness and participants in their effort to build bridges. Their lives were changed and so were ours.

The final verses of the play read –

“Why do I feel like if I go out I’ll die
Why is it I can never feel peace
If we continue to do this we’ll cease
To exist in a world that’s full of hate
And always fearing that horrible fate
Mommy, Mama, Mother, Mom
Tell me that someday it’ll be better
And I won’t live in fear forever
Tell me that there’ll be a bright future ahead
And I won’t have to fear of soon being dead
We’ll stop reliving the horrors of the past
And mankind will forever last”

Adult Allies Against Prejudice in Schools
Adult Allies Against Prejudice in Schools is a training program for elementary, middle and/or high school staff to teach staff how to become more effective in stopping and reducing prejudicial attitudes and behavior among students in their schools. This workshop addresses the need for school staff and administrators to build a foundational climate of respect and inclusion among school staff as well as with the student body at large. The workshop is often used as a staff development supplementary training