Thursday, December 20, 2007

Maine Students Take on Name Calling

From Teaching Tolerance:

Mix It Up Grants for Students
Earlier this year, 56 students and twelve teachers from Maine's Lincoln Academy participated in an experiential learning day in order to raise awareness and tolerance levels in their school, thanks to a Mix it Up Grant. Plagued by verbal harassment, slurs, and degrading language, students at Lincoln Academy admitted their, "school climate was becoming hostile and confrontational". The smaller group of students and faculty shared their lessons with the entire school throughout the semester, resulting in greater personal responsibility, cross-group understanding and compassion for others.

Students (like you and those at Lincoln Academy) know better than anyone what social boundaries are like in their schools and communities. That's why the Mix It Up Grants Program gives away thousands of dollars each year to student-led activist projects. Get a $500 Mix It Up Grant to support your project!

They also e-mailed a great pep-talk for 2008:

Poet Maya Angelou reveals--

I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes-it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all (1995).

As we reflect on this past year, let's think of our glass as "half full" instead of "half empty." Let us be proud of the accomplishments we made, and forgive ourselves of any faults. Let's learn from our mistakes-as well as those of our friends, families, and even teachers-and make a positive change in 2008!

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