Adventures in Peacemaking & Diversity (APD)
An Inter-district Cooperative Grant Program
Bristol Youth Services enhances the safe well-being and education of young people with an emphasis on increasing multi-cultural understanding and tolerance of differences. Adventures in Peacemaking & Diversity (APD) is a fully integrated year-long adventure shaping the culture of entire school communities. Participating schools in Bristol and New Britain, joined with Bristol Youth Services, encourage students to embrace a multi-cultural society, as well as inspire them to explore their world. Enhanced academic science lessons engage over 200 students in grades three through five from urban and suburban neighborhoods to collaborate on hands-on/minds-on activities and experiments that integrate literacy and numeracy. Students in both districts learn a common language emphasizing multi-cultural appreciation and aspects of character to acquire the attributes of “peaceable people” and create social contracts based on an overriding philosophy, “P.A.W.S.” (Play fair; Act kind; Work hard; Show respect).
Classrooms of students are paired with a sister-school class on grade level.
The Coordinator and classroom teacher together facilitate the development of a classroom positive behavioral contract using each school’s Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) acronym. The Coordinator will introduce the PBIS acronym of the sister school to each of the classrooms and facilitate a conversation about the similarities and differences, perceptions and common vocabulary. (Bristol’s acronym is P.A.W.S., Play safely, Act kindly, Work hard, Show respect.)
Students are paired with a student in the sister class. Students exchange “pen pal” letters. (writing, exploring similarities and differing perspectives)
The Coordinator facilitates bi-weekly classrooms lessons on heritage, cultural rituals and introduces (reads and discusses) literature in preparation of interdistrict filed learning experiences.
“The Science Guy” facilitates a lab lesson on grade level with each participating classroom (such as: recycling, energy and circuits, lens and eyes).
Sister classrooms share 3 face-to-face field learning experiences linked to science, social studies or language arts infused with character education. Prior to the field learning day, program coordinator(s) facilitate intra-district classroom lessons to prepare students for their experience. During the face-to-face, pairs of students are guided in interactive activities to practice positive social skills while working with someone new and from a different culture.
Weekly Lunch Groups for 8-10 students. Fall sessions assist students with school adjustment referred by teachers. Winter and spring groups focus on mutual support and leadership skills.
Weekly Brief Family Counseling with a trained professional for a select number of referred families; information and referrals as needed services.
Vacation Workshops ranging from 3–5 days engage 90 students, 45 from each district in participating classes, to voluntarily register for 5-8 additional fun-filled experiential educational days. Students work in integrated small groups or villages and come together as a whole to perform or produce a product. Emphasis is devoted to employing the PBIS contract and building aspects of character and leadership to include: responsibility and integrity; effort and persistence; curiosity and creativity; citizenship and community behavior; respect, and appreciation of cultural differences. Through the program theme and design, students work on enhancing skills in:
Life, Physical and Earth Science through experiments motivating children to listen, inquire, discover, gather data, discuss, and write or create a product reflecting knowledge.
Reading, Responding and Writing activities to increase proficiency in oral fluency when reading, communicating ideas and persuading others, and writing, revising and editing using new vocabulary and concepts.
*Transportation, Field Learning Admissions and Vacation Workshops are provided through the grant.