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Featured Sites

PeacePartners, Inc. honors our valued partners by celebrating their passion for peace, their creative ideas, and the wonderful implementation strategies they incorporate.

As we continue to support our partners, it is our privilege to showcase PeaceBuilders sites. Don't just take our word for it. Read about some featured sites as they explored their problems, developed their PeaceBuilders solution, and discovered positive outcomes! We invite you to sit back and explore the fantastic PeaceBuilding events happening throughout the United States and U.S. Territories.

Carlton Oaks School - Santee, CA
Carlton Oaks School is a K-8 PeaceBuilders school. The wise people (adults and students) at this school have developed very smart ways to include everyone in the culture of PeaceBuilders no matter their age, interests, or developmental level.

Younger students participate in classroom and site-wide lessons and activities, as do the teens. However, the middle school students are offered extra responsibilities, rights, and recognition as PeaceBuilders leaders and role-models.

A small group of eighth grade students at Carlton Oaks last year decided to use their natural leadership skills to make it "cool" to be PeaceBuilders. It didn't take long before other students wanted to be part of the peace. This year, the Peace Patrol was expanded so that thirty students could participate. In no time, all thirty spots were filled with students who showed natural leadership skills and, now, had a positive outlet in which to use them!

The Carlton Oaks Peace Patrol Leadership Team Back row (left to right): Leighanna Papstein, Director; Kayla Pridemore, Student Mentor Lead; Briana Hollenbeck, Fashion Patrol; Brianna Herndon, Peer Mediator Coordinator; Tessa Williams, Safety & Environment. Front row: Chelsea Snarr, Student Voice Lead; Amanda Massey, Lunch Bunch Coordinator; Dakota Hitson, Fashion Patrol.
The Director of the Peace Patrol is Leighanna Papstein. She is the glue that holds the leadership team together and she is the face of the Peace Patrol - recognized by all Carlton Oaks staff and students. Her skills of organization, her skills as a facilitator, her strong work ethic, and her PeaceBuilding skills make her an extraordinary leader.

Some Peace Patrol members, coordinated by Brianna Herndon, are trained as Peer Mediators. This group works hard to reinforce school rules, to teach others the art of compromise, and to promote respect for everyone. Due to their hard work and leadership this year, out-of-school suspensions at Carlton Oaks are down 80% with not a single administrative review!

Other Peace Patrol members act as Mentors for younger students. This group is led by Kayla Pridemore. They help with class work, spend time reading together, or just talk together to build relationships and self-esteem.

The Safety & Environment members of the Peace Patrol are a very visible presence on campus. They help teachers on duty. They hand out PeaceBuilders tickets to students who follow the rules. They ensure students who ride bikes to school follow all the rules, register their bikes, and wear helmets. This group, led by Tessa Williams, also helps to keep the school clean and they provide suggestions for school modernization and improvement.

The Peace Patrol also has a Student Voice team led by Chelsea Snarr that works to ensure students' concerns are heard and considered. This team has developed surveys, poster campaigns and a Peace Patrol blog.

The Lunch Bunch team, led by Amanda Massey, makes sure no one has to eat alone by handing out specially created invitations to join them for lunch. The team does a fantastic job of making sure everyone knows the invitations are sincere. They want all students to feel welcomed and valued.

The Fashion Patrol team, with leaders Briana Hollenbeck and Dakota Hitson, helps students by modeling how to dress fashionably while still following dress code policy. They also encourage and recognize others who are following guidelines.

In the fall, the fashion patrol created a bulletin board to spotlight photos of students looking good while following the dress code. Their titles tied into the district's character education themes with catchy phrases like "PeaceBuilders show RESPECT by following the dress code."
Along with all their other duties, the Peace Patrol helps plan and organize assemblies at school.

Peace Patrol members and other Carlton Oaks students lead their peers in the PeaceBuilders pledge.
The only problem the school has with their Peace Patrol program is that there are more students who want to be involved than there are positions in the program! So, to make sure everyone has an opportunity to be involved in building peace, the Peace Club was created for additional teens who wanted in on the action.

A recent lunchtime workshop provided by PeacePartners, Inc., was attended by over 45 members of the Peace Patrol and Peace Club.

They discussed how to positively affect their environment by choosing to respond to unexpected, even unwanted circumstances in peaceful ways. Students learned that their real power lies in how they choose to respond to life's unexpected events.
At the end of the workshop, everyone participated in a team-building activity: Back to Back. Participants had to rely on each other to stand up from a seated position without the use of their hands to push up!
We praise Vice Principal Leighangela Brady who oversees the Peace Patrol and Peace Club but who is wise enough to let the students take part in decision making and do the work. She encourages all students to take charge of their environment and their future. We praise the Peace Patrol and Peace Club members for taking responsibility and being strong, capable leaders and role models.

The Peace Patrol and Peace Club have used the skills they've learned as PeaceBuilders to create a cultural change at their school that has been nothing short of inspirational. They have been given important roles to fulfill and problems to address and they have achieved great success along with the realization that they can make a difference in their school environment - next stop, the world!

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