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AG FISHER & STATE BAR ASSOCIATION TO HOST ANTI-VIOLENCE TRAINING CONFERENCE FOR PA SCHOOLS

- Twelve schools selected to attend conference -

HARRISBURG (February 4, 2002) - Twelve Pennsylvania elementary schools have been selected to represent their regions at the third annual Project PEACE training conference Feb. 21-23 in Harrisburg.

Sponsored by Attorney General Mike Fisher and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Project PEACE (Peaceful Endings Through Attorneys, Children and Educators) works to reduce conflict and violence in Pennsylvania elementary schools by teaching students how to discuss and mediate disagreements peacefully. Teams of principals, educators, parents, counselors and attorneys representing the 12 elementary schools from across the commonwealth were selected to participate in the Project PEACE training conference through a competitive application process.

The Project PEACE training model was developed by LEAP-Kids. It initially was created for a program in Indiana and has since been modified to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s schools. Pennsylvania is the second state in the country to offer this type of peer mediation training to elementary schools.

“We are pleased to have these twelve schools join the Project PEACE training conference,” noted Attorney General Mike Fisher. “Project PEACE provides schools with a valuable learning opportunity to help children resolve disputes peacefully.”

During the conference the school teams will be introduced to the peer mediation process through hands-on learning activities. They will receive instruction in such areas as adjudication versus mediation, diffusing conflict situations and the necessary skills of conflict resolution. By the end of the training, the schools will write their own mediation plans, which will be introduced to their local schools. Each school then will select and train its own student mediators.

“The past Project PEACE schools have seen great results in the reduction of conflict among their students,” Pennsylvania Bar Association President H. Reginald Belden Jr. said. “We look forward to this year’s group of schools seeing the same improvements.”

The instructors at the Project PEACE training conference are experts in mediation within the courts and schools. The trainers include Artemus Carter, Street Law Inc., Washington D.C.; Mary Ellen Schaffer, director of student services, Lamont IL; Karla Taylor-Temple, a mediation trainer, Indianapolis IN; and David Keller Trevaskis, Pennsylvania Bar Association pro bono coordinator, Harrisburg PA.

The twelve schools include:

  • Finletter Elementary School, Philadelphia
  • Robeson Elementary Center, Birdsboro, Berks County
  • Brecknock Elementary School, Denver, Lancaster County
  • Middleburg Elementary School, Middleburg, Snyder County
  • Mount Carmel Elementary School, Mount Carmel, Northumberland County
  • Monsignor McHugh School, Cresco, Monroe County
  • West Hempfield Elementary School, Irwin, Westmoreland County
  • Hickory Grove Elementary School, Brookville, Jefferson County
  • Juniata Valley Elementary School, Alexandria, Blair County
  • Jarrettown Elementary School, Dresher, Montgomery County
  • College Square Elementary School, Beaver, Beaver County
  • Cornell Intermediate School, McKeesport, Allegheny County

For more information about the Project PEACE program, visit the Pennsylvania Bar Association Web site at www.pabar.org.