For Teaching

Book List for Children
Book List for Adults

Lunch with Looms: Connecting Programs to Create Community

loom with weaving

Middle school – what does it bring up in your mind? For me, and most of my friends, those days were a struggle. I felt awkward, insecure, and was bullied throughout my 7th and 8th grade years by both girls and boys, so much so that I often pretended I was sick just to sit in the peace and quiet of the nurse’s room. Though it was really tough, there were certain realities that I didn’t have to deal with: phones were at home and still attached to cords and there was no internet. School shootings were non-existent in the early 1980’s in Wisconsin and Ohio. Now a parent of a middle school boy, amidst the constant news of school shootings, my troubled memories mix with the new realities. Certain questions are brought to the forefront of a parent’s mind these days: How do we keep our kids safe on… Continue reading

Film Recommendation: “Healing Justice” available through World Trust Films

“As you watch this film you may experience a range of powerful emotions. Please know that you are not alone. May our thoughts and feelings create fires that ignite the gifts of learning, healing, and transformation. May we recognize and honor the depth of our inter-connectedness. May we nourish the flames that burn away hatred and fear. May we utilize these gifts to mend ourselves and our communities.” These words begin the film, “Healing Justice,” which has been recommended to us by a friend familiar with the Justice Conversation project. It is a good film for sharing with educators, law enforcement, judicial professionals, as well as non-profits. After viewing it, I also want to emphasize that it’s a good film for adults in the general public. For anyone who votes. For anyone who may at some point come into contact with our justice system. For you. I will add, though,… Continue reading

Rand Corp Analysis on Restorative Practices in Schools

Rand Corporation has conducted a randomized controlled study, sponsored by the National Institute for Justice, on the effectiveness of restorative practices on suspension rates and classroom atmosphere. The study took place in the Pittsburgh Public School District during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 school years. The researchers sought to answer three key questions: 1) how the specific program used was implemented and what challenged or facilitated restorative practices; 2) what were the impacts of this program; and 3) how likely is it that the restorative practices will be sustained over time? The key findings indicated an improvement in school and classroom climate, decrease in overall suspension rates, and fewer disparities between minority and low-income students when compared to white or high-income students. They did not find academic improvement or a reduction in arrest rates. Recommendations following the report include emphasizing restorative practices that can be woven into the school day to… Continue reading

Positive Discipline

Contributed by Dale Gregory, co-director Broadmoor Preschool, and Kim Vanderheiden, founder of Justice Conversation. I first met “Teacher Dale” as a new parent participating in a local co-op preschool known as Broadmoor. Over the next four years, I watched as Teacher Dale and her co-director Teacher Colleen guided parents as well as children with a patience and care that made a cohesive community out of families with tremendously varied backgrounds. Dale’s knowledge of child development is rich, extensive, and continually expanding. With compassion and realism, She and Colleen have provided countless parents with added positive tools to pull out in difficult situations with their children. Dale also has a strong interest in justice, values restorative justice practices, and has a ready grasp of the connection between family discipline and problem solving and the larger practices of justice in our society. When I began this site, I knew I had to… Continue reading