Living Values: An Educational Program, Inc.
Phone and fax: tel:1 518 589-4111
During our first year doing LVE our principal was enthusiastic about LVE and gave classroom teachers support and encouragement. Every teacher in our building has a copy of LVE Activities for their grade level. We continue to have 10 bulletins boards around the building that promote the value for the month. The gifted teacher at our school, Kelly Britcher, is a talented artist and creates posters for each value and maintains our values bulletin boards.
The high staff turnover makes it difficult to grow programs. We continue to have a monthly value. However, not all of the teachers are using the LVE resource with fidelity. Recently, I have been trying to think of ways to promote the value of each month with school wide student activities found in LVE.
For example, this month our value is FREEDOM.
LVE Ages 8 – 14: Students will complete Freedom Lesson 3, page 230.
School wide activity: School Freedom Quilt
Students will be given a 4x4 inch piece of brightly colored paper (quilt patch).School wide Assembly: At our Black History Month Assembly, two students from each classroom will read their Freedom square.
On 4x4 patch students will write, "I feel lucky I have freedom to _____.
They may include a visual representation on patch.
Patches will be tied together with yarn to create a quilt that will be displayed in hallway.
My goal is to create a meaningful experience for our entire student body each month based on the value of the month using LVE as a resource guide.
Thank you for creating such a valuable resource for students around the globe.”
The Living Values Education booth this year at the Peace in the Park Festival at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park featured puppet shows and story boards. Children were enthralled as they watched Josh the Dragon and the Sponge from the Ocean of Love. Children and adults had the opportunity to spin a values wheel and receive a values card of the value where the needle landed. Thank you to LVE teachers and enthusiasts Annie Jorgensen, Deborah Burnham, Johi Roberts and Carolyn Huffine. USA: LVE Workshops in New York and California The Living Values Education Association in the USA held two workshops in July in the USA. The three-day LVE Workshop in Haines Falls, New York, at the beautiful Peace Village Learning and Retreat Center attracted both educators and parents. Natasha Panzer and Stephanie Keer joined Ed Wondolowski and Diane Tillman in facilitating the workshop. The weekend retreat in Novato, California, was an experiment for us this year. We did a Mindful Parenting Retreat, along with a half-day workshop, featuring the content from Diane Tillman’s new book “Nurturing with Love and Wisdom, Disciplining with Peace and Respect: A mindful guide to parenting”. The workshop attracted parents, counselors, teachers, a clinical psychologist and a pediatrician. We had meaningful discussions, very real role plays and a wonderful time sharing and being with each other.
This summer, members of the USA’s LVEP, Inc. Board of Directors created an IndieGoGo Campaign to create an opportunity for people to contribute to Mindful, Bully-free Schools. We would like to thank Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., for their very generous contribution as well as Brian of New York and Dr. Larry Keer, both Helpful Stars, Alex Renko, a Loving Star, and Ed Wondolowski, a Happy Star. We very much appreciate your support in offering workshops and materials to educators to help them co-create with students a mindful and bully-free atmosphere.
We are sharing the wealth already – with free workshops in San Francisco. Let us know if your school would like to learn more about create a culture of peace and respect. We have a limited number of scholarships available to help defray costs. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Living Values Education is an important part of the curriculum at Mizzentop Day School in New York, and has been for at least 14 years. An evaluation of the 2013-2014 school year of this K-8 school revealed an outstanding school climate where teachers care about students and students feel safe, valued, respected and loved by their teachers as well as a sense of belonging. The former Head of School, Steve Cash, reported that there were no disciplinary referrals, nor suspensions or detentions. Student attendance was 96.7% and teacher attendance was 97.5%.
Laura Kang, the current Head of School at Mizzentop Day School, began the 2014-2015 school year as a strong supporter of LVE – demonstrated by attending an LVE workshop during the summer. In a video, she shares about implementing LVE school-wide: “I see these living values being demonstrated every day.”
Natasha Panzer and Rachel Kellogg are the awesome educators who coordinate LVE throughout the school, in classrooms, extracurricular activities, assemblies and in community service learning. Natasha shared a photo of fifth graders and their thoughts about the value of humility.
Thank you Steve, Laura, Natasha and Rachel, and all the educators and staff at Mizzentop, for your dedication and excellent work with children through educating hearts as well as minds.
Lórien Eck talks LVE
Lórien Eck, shares her experience of using LVE in the Los Angeles Unified School District: “Living Values Education has been an invaluable tool whilst teaching at the secondary level for a decade in the Los Angeles public school system. Year after year, my personal number of referrals to the disciplinary team, including counselors, deans, and school administrators, was close to 0%! I garnered the respect of my peers and administration with the reputation as the teacher who could manage her classroom and where students joyously chose to be daily! Through my consistent application of the Living Values tools and my most favorite "Values-Based atmosphere", my students felt safe, understood, loved, valued, and respected. I am pleased to share that my personal practice of LVE reflected in my classroom, provided over 2,000 students ages 11-18 a solid foundation and philosophy of living lives filled with courage, character and values.”
The Milagro Center, in Delray Beach, Florida, is an arts and education program that nurtures the seeds of creativity, “builds an indestructible sense of self-worth”, and empowers children to reach their fullest potential through Living Values Education. Each month the Director sends out a newsletter, sharing the children’s thoughts about the value of the month. This month, the "STARS" focused on the value of humility. Below is how the youngsters explain!
"Having humility saves the day." - Ethan, age 5
"When you act respectful to others." - Jazmin, age 9
"Showing humility is the right thing." - Kaya, age 10
"Humility is when you don't brag about yourself." - Angely, age 9
"Humility is when you listen to other people and don't do all the talking yourself." - Laniya, age 9
“A COOL THING MRS. PANZER and MRS. KELLOG DID OVER THE SUMMER” wrote students in the independent student newspaper at Mizzentop School in New York. Students selected the LVE Workshop in New York as their front page Fall Edition news item. A school that has been doing LVE for 12 years, Mrs. Panzer and Mrs. Kellog’s participation in the workshop has given values a new life. Natasha and Rachel gave their colleages an LVE workshop upon their return and as their student author wrote: “I think we should all focus on our Living Values and try to be peaceful. This year, we have been more focused on Living Values compared to last year, and I think that’s great.”
The summer workshops in California and New York were full of loving energy, renewing our hope, skills and determination as we reaffirmed what we already knew: We do make a difference. As one teacher wrote a couple of months after taking part in the LVE summer workshop: “As you know, teaching is sometimes really tough. But I can honestly say, the training I received this summer is helping me navigate the more difficult moments with more confidence. Thank you!”
Santiago Navila, a new member on LVEP, Inc.’s Board of Directors, has a passion for art, creating a better world for all and letting people know about the magic of LVE. He has written the following to ask you to “like” our Facebook page and spread the word!
Dear LVE lovers and supporters,
In a brave attempt to further the work of LVE, we are asking all of you who participate in the social networking phenomena (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ...) to please help us spread the word by requesting your friends to "Like" our LVE page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-Values-Education/273547435443
and link your friends to the international website: www.livingvalues.net
If you have time, please write a note to those wonderful friends who have a wide network of friends and engage them in spreading the word. For those of you who are teachers and facilitators, please ask your students to tell their friends about LVE. By having our network of family, friends, students and colleagues engage with LVE, we will be able to reach more educators throughout the world who can take benefit from this wonderful method that re-invigorates, re-ignites creativity and enthusiasm and empowering us with the ability to build a more nurturing and dynamic environment for learning. We thank you all in advance for all your wonderful efforts!
The LVE team in Florida initiated “TheLivingvaluesusa” channel on YouTube and has posted more than 20 clips. You may wish to create a “Livingvalueseducationyourcountry” channel as well! To see some of the videos posted, please link below. You can also find them by searching The Living Values USA.
Many thanks to the LVE team in Florida for spreading the word!
In 1998, a few teachers in California and Massachusetts, and a School Psychologist in Alaska, began piloting the LVE values activities that had been developed — with good results. In 1999, a Professor of Management at Bentley College was innovative in involving college students interested in service learning. Business majors deepened their understanding of personal values, and worked collaboratively with the staff at a near by multicultural elementary school to offer values activities with young students. This service learning resulted in several major transformations of priorities of the college students as well as greater feelings of acceptance by the elementary school students.
Living Values: An Educational Program, Inc., was incorporated in 2000 in the USA, becoming a national non-profit organization which serves as a training and educational corporation. The board of directors is a nonsectarian group of educators and other professionals who envision the future success and happiness of children.
Honors: With the publication of the Living Values Series of five books by Health Communications, Inc., in April 2001, implementation spread. The series was awarded the 2002 Teachers' Choice Award, an award sponsored by Learning magazine, a national publication for teachers and educators in the USA.
While on-site professional development workshops and trainings are available available on request to schools and other organizations throughout our country during the year, annual LVE Educator Trainings are currently held in Haines Falls, New York and in Novato, California.
Shanon Flowers-Downing, a teacher at Redhouse Montessori School in Kansas City, wrote: "I have used the Living Values Education Program from start to finish this past school year with my preschool students. I absolutely loved it, the children loved it, and the outcome was really spectacular. I was dealing with a very angry and aggressive boy at the beginning of the year. After the unit on respect with a few added lessons of my own, the child found respect for himself, for others, and for the environment. He was truly my 'Star' this year. Through the teacher education center that I teach at, I have encouraged many other teachers from many other Montessori schools to use the program in their schools. Several have and have found some very similar results."
Samantha Florek, a teacher with the Montessori Elementary Charter School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shared, "These Montessori children have a shelf that is just for cosmic education and living values activities. We love this program and continue to grow more each year. The children here are greatly loving the activities and music. They love singing the songs. The LVEP program has blended with both Montessori and state standards."
Impact in Day Care Centers
Sheryl Rhodes, the director of the Thousand Palms Child Care Center in Thousand Palms, California, sees an enormous difference in children that have been involved with LVEP for several years. She notes, "We've been very pleased with the results of Living Values Education Program. There is a peaceful atmosphere. The younger children have good communication skills. They talk about values, are positive and resolve their own conflicts. They use the language that the teachers use about values to discuss behavior." The teachers even adapt some of the lessons from Living Values Activities for Children Ages 3-7 to use with the two year-olds!"
Chithra Laksmanan used LVEP for several years at her Jack and Jill Preschool before she retired. Her enthusiasm for the program continues. She tells one story about two four-year old boys who were quarreling during free play time. One boy was so upset he told the first boy that he would not be invited to his birthday party. Three other boys observed this. They spontaneously stopped swinging, went inside to get their peace stars, and began to circle around the two boys singing a peace song. The two boys stopped arguing, ran to get their peace stars and joined them for the circle dance! Mrs. Laksmanan notes, "This program works. I could see a difference the very first day. Not only have I observed children imbibing and experiencing the values, but I have seen them dialogue with each other to ease situations with great wisdom. I have had feedback from the community that many of these children who were in my preschool with LVEP are now role-models in school."
Connie Leek, the Director of the Holy Rosary Pre-School in Davis, California, noted, "I love this program. The children enjoy doing the LVEP activities. 'Lily the Leopard' is their favorite story. One of the teachers reported to me that when she asked a five-year old what 'respect' meant, she said, 'Respect means I treat others nicely, the way I want them to treat me." Many parents comment on the improvement of the children's communication skills. I encourage other teachers to use this program."
Joyce Lee, the Director of The International Parent-Child Nursery School in Davis, California, wrote: "Our school comprises of global children whose parents are from different countries, hence the LVEP activities of Peace and Tolerance are vital components in our curriculum. The children love singing the songs and enjoy the stories and art activities. They hug and bond with each other. The atmosphere in the school is peaceful and we are one happy 'bunch' since we blended the LVEP activities in our pre-school curriculum."
Mizzentop Day School in New York implements LVEP school-wide, along with the STEP program. LVE was strongly adopted by the whole school ten years ago. Educators from pre-school through eighth grade do a different value every month and relate it throughout the curriculum. Small groups of children meet to do the values activities and discuss the issues that are current for them. The students contribute to a values bulletin board and have done a 10 by 20 footmural on values. Mrs. Farrell noted, "LVEP creates such a positive environment and attitude for everyone – for the whole school community. The students use the positive skills they have learned to solve challenges and use values in their everyday language."
In Florida, the Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES) began implementing LVEP school-wide in the Fall of 2003 after an LVEP Educator Training under the leadership of principal Katherine Murphy. The subsequent leadership implemented LVE through June of2012.
"The Aventura City of Excellence School Vision Statement is to join with the community to become the premier Charter School in the nation where academic excellence coexists with the promotion of social responsibility grounded in an atmosphere of human dignity. Our Living Values programsupports the ACES Vision.
The ACES Living Values Education Program provides students with a safe, caring environment based on values to assist students in developing social skills and making wise choices. Students learn how to treat themselves and others with respect and dignity. Values inform discipline, e.g., no bullying goes on at ACES. In addition, the ACES Living Values Education Program provides Parenting Workshops so the entire family can learn to practice these Values. ACES Parents enthusiastically participate in the 'Knock Your Socks Off' Parent Workshop series, which won the 2005 National Award from the Character Education Partnership.
As the Miami Herald's Monica Hatcher reported in the newspaper on November 29, 2004 in "Educating with Values":
"In the cafeteria at Aventura City of Excellence School, where the lunchtime noise sometimes sounds like a 747 at full takeoff power, Principal Kathleen Murphy has a solution for silence.
She brings some noise of her own.
'Ladies and gentlemen. Ladies and gentlemen!' says Murphy, her voice blasting through the din.
The quiet was immediate. And then Murphy had the floor.
'It is WAAAY too loud in here.' she boomed. 'You are showing a lack of respect to your peers when you talk while you're eating.'
Then Murphy flashed one of her million-megawatt smiles and squeezed the shoulders of a student seated in front of her.
'You big social animals, you,' she laughed, as the room began to hum again, but at a considerably lower decibel level.
Whether they realized it or not, the students at Aventura City of Excellence School, known as ACES, got a mini-lesson in the experimental Living Values Character Education program, one facet of academic and social life that sets this public charter school apart.
'As a charter school, we can push the envelope a little bit,' explained Murphy, who has headed Miami-Dade County's only city-sponsored charter school since it opened in the fall of 2003.
The Living Values program seeks to integrate 11 core values, such as respect, responsibility, honest and love into the school day, beginning with reflection on a special values message in the morning.
Cheating is against the rules, of course, but it's a topic of frequent discussion among the 600 students at ACES.
'It also means we have no bullies,' Murphy said.
The Living Values program is one way administrators and teachers say they try to mold child as both good citizens and good students at the only public school within Aventura's city limits.
'It's important because love, peace and respect are values to have in our lives,' said Julianne Garber, an 8-year-old in third grade.
Parents agree--because there are 600-plus families on the admissions waiting list. ...."
An Award: The school was selected as a National Schools of Character Promising Practices citation recipient for their Living Values "Knock Your Socks Off Parent Workshops" in the spring of 2005. A few quotes from parents at ACES:
"I think my child listens to me better because I learned to talk at his pace, not yell out orders or demands across the house."
"I am more consistent with how I advise him when he doesn't do what he is told."
"My child is using new terms regarding respect for others, e.g., "waste" of someone's time, or money (when food is disposed of). He has an appreciation of friendship and (demonstrates) other values that I have noticed throughout the year."
Budlong Elementary School in south central Los Angeles, California, implemented LVE for during the 2007–2008 school year with very positive results. The No Child Left Behind Program Improvement Review Team commended Budlong Elementary School’s leadership team and staff for implementing the Living Values Education Program. A two-day training was held before school in late August, and the teachers at Budlong agreed to implement Living Values school-wide. The NCLB Review Team, in their commendation, noted that LVEP “has helped to ensure an orderly school environment that is conducive to learning” and would like to see us continue with Living Values Education. (However, as the school had been a “failing school” for many years, the program was not continued when the leadership changed at the end of the year.)
Positive Results at Budlong
The Review Team was pleased that teachers noted during interviews that this school year began more calmly and easily than in previous years. The Living Values mid-year assessment showed that when compared to the same period of time last year:
Additionally, administrative ratings showed that there was considerable improvement in students being respectful at school. There were also improvements in students being respected by teachers and other students, and students feeling safe, valued, and that they “belong”.
From the few teacher assessment forms collected, there was a considerable decrease reported by teachers in the number of disciplinary referrals, student fights and incidents of bullying, by teachers who were doing Living Values Education activities threetimes a week. Teachers doing the LVE activities three times a week also reported a much higher percentage of time when the students were caring and respectful and good gains for their classes in the following areas: students having positive methods to deal with conflict, including conflict resolution; students being able to name several of their positive qualities; students listening to others with respect; students showing respect to peers in words and behavior; and students being able to discuss the values studied. One teacher noted when asked about changes that might be attributed to their experiences in Living Values, that the students were “more peaceful,” and “understanding of others when others are angry.” A kindergarten teacher who does LVE activities three times a week shared that her kindergarten students could solve their own peer problems with conflict resolution skills after only seven weeks of LVE activities.
In California, Lorien Eck began implementing LVEP at John Muir Middle School in South Central Los Angeles in the Fall of 2002, her first year there and her first year of teaching. During her second year at the school, she invited the rest of the staff to join her in teaching LVEP. Twenty teachers, twenty percent of the staff, responded with a "yes" and obtained the activity books midway through the year. This 2004-2005 school year, LVEP students have posted peace slogans around the school, banners, and created values word art as a culminating project on the Tolerance Unit.
Ms Eck comments: "After teaching for three years in South Central Los Angeles in a middle school and implementing Living Values Education Program in my classroom, I have personally felt safer, more at ease, and have enjoyed teaching overall much more than I thought I would have! I have seen that at the school-wide level, there is a climate of peace within the school grounds, despite shooting and rampant gang-related activity outside. One of our school administrators mentioned at a staff meeting this spring that the school atmosphere has been very peaceful this school year. And, finally, I have noticed reduced fighting amongst students in and outside of the classrooms, as well calmer and more tolerant day-to-day behaviors in general."
Ms Eck continued using LVE when she moved to West Adams Preparatory School, a high school a few miles away, to teach art. She continued to do LVE with her students and taught many other educators in LAUSD best practices for implementing LVE during salary point courses several times a year. In June of 2012 she took a leave to pursue a career as an artist.
A testimonial by middle and high school teacher, Lórien Eck:
“Living Values Education Program (LVEP) has been an invaluable tool whilst teaching at the secondary level for a decade in the Los Angeles public school system. Year after year, my personal number of referrals to the disciplinary team, including counselors, deans, and school administrators, was close to 0%! I garnered the respect of my peers and administration with a reputation as the teacher who could manage her classroom and where students joyously chose to be daily! Through my consistent application of the Living Values tools and my most favorite "Values-Based atmosphere", my students felt safe, understood, loved, valued, and respected. I am pleased to share that my personal practice of LVEP reflected in my classroom, provided over 2,000 students ages 11-18 a solid foundation and philosophy of living lives filled with courage, character and values.”
"We are currently using the activity guides with several homeschool groups in the area and everyone loves it. It makes my heart smile to hear my (four-year old) daughter reminding everyone to be a peace star, and she sings the peace star song constantly!"
"There are many band-aids in the market today; Living Values is a program of integrity and self-reflection for the whole child."
Cristina Casanova, Former Citywide Coordinator for Professional Staff Development,
New York Board of Education, New York, USA
"This book (Living Values Activities for Children Ages 3-7) is an essential tool to implement values teaching. It creates positive change for children and educators. No school should be without it."
Penny Morris, Kindergarten Teacher, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, USA
"There has been so much improvement. My students grew in self-confidence, awareness of the world and ability to relate to each other respectfully. Instead of talking about other students, they began really talking to each other. LVEP made the most difference with the marginalized, antagonistic students."
Susan Hustad, Teacher, Long Beach, California, USA
And, a few comments from participants at the LVEP Education Training in Seattle, in response to the question: "What did you enjoy the most?"
"Building trust and allowing us to be ourselves."
". . . working on activities, sharing ideas and resources."
". . . your calm and comfortable presentation style."
"The videos, the appreciative inquiry, the group work, the gentle spirit of it
"That is like asking if I require food, water, sleep or shelter to survive. I enjoyed all."
"Working with like-minded educators that understand the importance of values in education and everyday life."
"Meeting others with common interest … nature walk, etc."
"Being given time and space to reflect with others and alone. Beautifully balanced!"