|In This Issue – April 2012||
Issue Number Forty-three
News and Success Stories
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Dear ALIVE Colleagues,
It has been inspiring to read about the workshops and activities LVE practitioners are developing in their different countries. Whether in large groups or in smaller ones, the desire to develop values education in our communities continues to flourish.
The contents of this newsletter show the work that is going into the development and support of those who teach and work with young people.
Through our website Country Pages, our trainings and our conferences, we are able to develop our ideas and exchange resources and good practice.
In Europe, we are looking forward to holding a conference at the end of July in Cyprus. We hope to further develop our links across Europe so that we can support each other in our goal of encouraging those who make education policy to think about how essential values education is in their schools and the positive effects it has on young people as they develop their personal values and codes of behaviour for the future.
We live in a world that presents us with the challenges of extreme poverty, violence, destitution and global recession. It is vital that our often neglected young people are given hope of something better through the education we provide and the values we model as we develop their education and hopes for the future.
With best wishes to all,
Shelagh Moore, ALIVE Vice President
ALIVE has a new educational resource, Living Values Activities for At-Risk Youth (LVAARY). Intended for use with young people 14 years of age and older, it is designed for use by educators, counselors, psychologists and social workers. To obtain this resource, participation is an LVE Educator Workshop dealing with these materials is required. Counselors and psychologists, because of their skill set, may use the materials after a relatively short LVE seminar, typically about 12 hours. Educators will be asked to participate in a longer workshop. The first scheduled workshop will be 6-9 July 2012 in Haines Falls, New York, USA.
The resource has 90 activities. It weaves in values activities on peace, respect, love, cooperation,
honesty, humility and happiness, with lessons related to positive choices, goals, violence, drug use, gang involvement, negative influences and concomitant emotional issues, along with the building of positive social and emotional skills.
This approach is based on Living Values Education Program’s methodology. Participants are encouraged to explore and develop values in a group-facilitated process by first exploring their own dreams for a better world. Lessons on peace and respect build self-confidence and a supportive values-based atmosphere in the group, prior to beginning choice-related lessons in which participants are asked to explore and share their journey and explore consequences. The young people are invited to explore many aspects of their experience and build skills through discussion, art, role-playing and skits/dramas. Relaxation/focusing exercise are designed to help them deal with their anger and pain and learn to self- regulate more effectively. Participants are told a series of stories to engage them in a process of healing and to learn about a culture of peace and respect. Positive intrapersonal and interpersonal social and emotional skills are taught throughout the activities. New emotional and cognitive understandings are encouraged and related social and emotional skills practiced in a series of relapse prevention activities.
The lessons may be used in schools or other settings, such as with young people involved with the juvenile justice system and on probation.
Recently a seminar was held in Athens to look at different parameters that contribute to teacher burnout and explore ways to alleviate stress and create a greater sense of wellbeing through personal factors and values education. One aim of the four-hour seminar was to develop awareness of the complexity of the issue, rather than share detailed knowledge of theories. A second aim was to examine how an individual teacher can deal with classroom management, student communication and learning in a constructive way by drawing on her/his own resources – mental, physical, emotional – and applying those despite the number of external factors affecting the job.
After discussing causes of teacher burnout and identifying demands of the job, the focus shifted to the importance of values education. This was seen as a means of improving the learning process and communication in the classroom in a deep, holistic way as values education involves individual philosophy and making conscious, informed decisions which gradually lead to personal transformation. What became clear through dialogue and participatory activities was that the responsibility for one's well- being and effectiveness as a teacher lies mostly in inner factors and that systematic work with one's values and goals enhances effectiveness. It was also concluded that self reflection can definitely make a difference.
The attendees participated in a warm way, shared freely and became genuinely involved in the activities and discussions. A beautiful self-reflection activity absorbed everyone and participants were reminded of the importance of introducing this to students.
The seminar ended with everyone sharing one important reason for wanting to continue being a teacher and/or a personal goal for themselves as a teacher in the future. A new seminar is being planned for this spring.
Esther Khavous, the President of the ALIVE Associate in Israel reported that they are currently running a twelve-session training for teachers of Grades One to Three for a primary school in Givat Shmuel. The name of the training is "The Power to Blossom" and is a continuation of an LVE training done with Kindergarten teachers from the same municipality. The new training is the result of a request from parents to continue the LVE lessons their children received in Kindergarten. The new training began in November 2011 and will continue until May 2012. “The word is spreading as we have been asked to hold a training in the nearby municipality of Kiriat Uno for kindergarten teachers.”
LVE trainers from Hand in Hand, an NGO in the Maldives, and an ALIVE Associate, have been traveling to different islands in the Maldives as part of conducting LVE programs. This has been possible under the auspices of the Soccer Diplomacy Project and with funding from the US Embassy at Hanimaadhoo. The objective of this program was to establish good conduct and decrease violence among young people. Partners of this project were the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Maldives Police Services and Hand in Hand. Living Values Activities for young adults and parents will continue.
With an enthusiastic and dedicated team of LVE trainers, Hand in Hand is also worked on another LVE program with funding from UNDOC. The project involved training all counselors at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre and Community Service Centre in Malè. Risa Ibrahim Manik reports, “These counselors are going to start two programs for 40 clients and, in addition, we will be providing a parenting program for parents of these clients. We are also starting a program for adolescents at an all-girls school this month, followed by a big workshop for all stakeholders.”
In addition to the above initiatives mentioned, this ALIVE Associate continues to operate LVE classes at their centre for children. Congratulations!
A group of newly trained school teachers enjoyed a day of interactive creative activities, coordinated by Ms Laila Al Gharbi, a recent graduate teacher from Nizwa University. The workshop began with a reflection on personal and social values. The group then visualised ‘The School of My Dreams’ from which a lively discussion developed on how to create a values-based learning environment where children/students (and teachers!) feel happy, peaceful and motivated.
All agreed that every child needs to be loved, valued, respected, understood and to feel safe. In small groups, the teachers created a symbol to represent one of 'the five needs of the child'. They then discussed the skills and qualities of the teacher required to meet these needs. The long list included: Caring, Well-prepared, Dynamic, Entertaining, Cooperative, Accepting, Intuitive...
At the end of the day, everyone agreed that they felt ready to start their new teaching assignments with enthusiasm and confidence, and with lots of new creative ideas for integrating values into their daily activities.
Focal Point for LVE in Oman
2012 promises to be a busy year for Living Values Education in Vietnam. In cooperation with the
Children Protection Association and HTV Vietnam, LVE will write and film around twenty-five lessons in 2012 to be aired on HTV Vietnam targeting audiences ages thirteen to seventeen along with a number of lessons for parents. Each lesson is to be fifteen minutes in duration. The program will be called, ‘Awakening Values.’
In March 2012, a wonderful training was held in Cau Giay District, Hanoi with 25 kindergarten teachers, two lecturers from Hanoi University, one educator from the Blue Dragon and one lecturer who wanted to follow a training after attending a TV session with Trish Summerfield. They shared wonderful comments in the closing session. They expressed being inspired by the program’s educational ideas declaring they would teach differently from now on – with much more love. They were very interested in the "time out" idea and asked us to come to talk more about the concept. They plan to invite us for further trainings with the remaining staff. We could also feel huge interest in the idea of a workshop for parents. This school has good relations with NBK school, which has just completed the first parent training. Two teachers expressed interest in becoming volunteers for LVE, helping other teachers and people in Vietnam.
In 2012, at Youth Cultural House in Ho Chi Minh City, LVE will continue to offer twice weekly classes on Living Values Education for university students. Hundreds of students are already wait-listed to join the free classes which have been running since 2009. Recently, a number of students shared the significant impact the classes have had on them with Van, their LVE facilitator. Van learned from the students, most of whom are from the countryside, that they felt so happy to experience the positive bond and atmosphere in the LVE sessions. They added that their understanding of life, values and their meaning had been greatly expanded during the sessions.
The First Training for Parents in the Cau Giay District, Hanoi began in October 2011 and continued on a weekly basis through March 2012. It was organised for the parents of Dr. Hoa’s Yen Hoa School and the feedback has been extremely enthusiastic, highly appreciative and positive. It appears to have provided parents not only positive parenting skills and values activities but also an opportunity to deeply share concerns and challenges they have carried for many years. Each week, the parents arrived enthusiastically and departed ready to experiment with the lessons at home.
From April to July 2011, three LVE trainings were held at the Nguyen Binh Khiem School, Cau Giay, Hanoi. The principal of Nguyen Binh Khiem School, Dr. Hoa, participated in the entire first Living Values Education training conducted at his school and was very impressed by the impact of the program on his teachers. Some experienced teachers shared how special and new this program was for them. Dr. Hoa invited us to return for additional trainings.
Following the second training, the teachers set up a plan to present Living Values lessons to their students. As Dr. Hoa received a lot of positive feedback from the parents, he shared with us the idea of creating a Living Values program for them, as well. For the next training, he also wants to include school’s kitchen staff.
A number of members of the Blue Dragon, an NGO focusing on street children, joined in these trainings with the Nuyen Binh Khiem staff. The Blue Dragon manager commented, "I've had terrific feedback from the staff who attended. One of them just came in to the office and the first thing she said was ‘I'm so glad I went to Living Values!’ Thanks so much for this great work you are doing!"
In 2011, the principal of Yen Hoa School in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Mrs Nguyen Thi Thinh, expressed her commitment for all classes at her school, from grades one through twelve, to have Living Values once a week throughout the school year. It was an interesting training because different participants from a variety of organisations participated together. Two members of the Chamber of Education were present and expressed their willingness to bring this valuable values education to their director.
Again three staff from Blue Dragon participated. Their project manager, an Australian psychologist, was extremely laudable about the program. "Again, thanks for the great training. It has already come in useful as we were facilitating some training in Hoi An, this morning, with human welfare practitioners working with adolescents who are hostile and angry and we used some of the LVE concepts about what lies under anger (hurt, fear and shame). It was received well".
In December 2011, after being inspired by some staff following an earlier LVE training, Chamber of Education Director, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, invited 20 principals from Cau Giay District and some of her staff to participate in a four day LVE training. In addition, a group of workers from the Blue Dragon attended. This was the first time Chamber of Education staff attended a full LVE training and many shared that they gained valuable insights into LVE which is currently being piloted in schools in the Cau Giay District in cooperation with the Chamber of Education. It is anticipated these principals will host LVE trainings in their schools.
Focal Point for LVE in Vietnam
For our next newsletter we are looking at how LVE works with partners. Your articles on this theme would be welcome.Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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For countries without ALIVE Associates or Focal Points for LVE, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask your questions or make comments about Living Values Education: