To help create a more peaceful world, the mission of PeaceMaker Minnesota is to help schools be safer places, free from bullying and harassment, and to help youth  learn positive relation skills like empathy, respect, cooperation and how to resolve conflicts peacefully.

 

Developing Empathy and Kindness

In every school that the Ambassadors for Respect visit, you can hear fourth grade students say how they will treat others with kindness in statements similar to these voiced at Otter Lake Elementary:

 

  • Make new friends
  • Help if someone drops something
  • Include everyone
  • Ask someone to play with me
  • Help someone when they need it
  • Ask someone if they are OK
  • Be nice to everyone
  • Stand up for someone.

 

PeaceMaker Minnesota is supporting three teams of individuals with developmental disabilities to lead hour-long Ambassadors for Respect workshops in fourth grade classrooms to help youth learn the importance of 1) including others, 2) using kind, People First language, and 3) being an advocate for oneself and others. 

 

Person First language refers to recognizing that an individual is a person rather than his or her disability.  For example, instead of calling someone autistic, saying someone is a person with autism.

 

While Ambassadors enhance their self-advocacy skills, fourth graders develop empathy, learn to accept people who are different, recognize how language can hurt or uplift someone, and commit to doing acts of kindness.   

 

To deliver the service PeaceMaker partners with Merrick, Inc. (a nonprofit that serves adults with disabilities) and school district transition programs that serve youth with disabilities ages 18 – 21. 

 

PeaceMaker provides scripts and other resources to help the staff at these organizations prepare their Ambassadors.  PeaceMaker pays for some supplies and provides the Ambassadors with stipends. 

 

Merrick, Inc. Ambassadors are visiting schools in the White Bear Lake and Roseville School Districts.  The Next Step transition program Ambassadors are visiting schools in the North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale school district and Transition Plus students are vising Minneapolis classrooms. 

 

Program funding comes from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Bieber Family Foundation and donors like you.

 

More contributions are needed to expand the program to involve more transition programs and to visit more elementary school classrooms next year.  You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support this program here.

 

The Merrick, Inc. Ambassadors for Respect Team

 

 The Next Step Ambassadors for Respect Team

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transition Plus Ambassadors for Respect Team

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information