The School Peacemaker Program was created in 2006 to
address the need to reduce violence in our public schools. Our children deserve and require a safe
environment in which they can learn. Bullies and the threat of violence diminish the ability for many
children to focus on their work. It also often inflicts severe emotional trauma that only leads to more
Very often children who are seen as different from the
perceived norm are at far greater risk then others. When this tormenting and abuse is not decisively
addressed by those in charge, or even tacitly endorsed, the abuse continues unfettered. Only profound
education and the promotion of true empathy and understanding can help children to stop being hateful and
violent toward those who are outside of what they are used to.
The School Peacemaker Program was founded by David Shaman
and was developed with the input and insights from a wide variety of
Psychologists, Principals, Educators and Guidance
Counselors have all had a great deal of priceless knowledge and experience to share. The synergistic result
has been an extremely progressive, comprehensive & effective multi-disciplined method. Unique and on the
cutting edge we offer a 5 pronged approach that addresses every known learning
1) The use of group drumming teaches the power of
cooperation and team work. It creates a truly fun environment and greater receptivity to learning. This
aspect of The School Peacemaker harnesses "Kinesthetic/Tactile" learning. Studies have proven that by
getting the children physically involved while they take in new information it will be retained much
2) The use of multi-cultural puppets to demonstrate
creative problem solving techniques utilizes the "Visual" as well as the "Auditory" learning styles. Infused
with humor and laughter, they keep the children engaged.
3) Creative Dramatics, or "Role Playing", is also a very
important teaching tool. By having children act out problem solving situations themselves they are benefiting
from an experiential approach to learning. This reinforces the kinesthetic process. It is also fun and
the children love it!
4) Of course there is a brief, purely auditory segment.
The sharing of new concepts and ideas is crucial in the facilitation of progressive understanding. This part
is kept short and sweet to honor realistic attention spans. It is also delivered in an interactive fashion,
not as lecture. Challenging children to acknowledge and share about situations that they have experienced
keeps them involved. Solutions to difficult circumstances are shared and then they are supported by the
puppets and Creative Dramatics as described above.
5) One of the reasons that children bully is for
attention from other children. The School Peacemaker encourages a new school-wide culture in which attention
is gained by being a "Champion" instead of a bully. This is a strong component of the puppet lessons as well
as the Creative Dramatics. At the end of the program children are encouraged to watch for others who have
stood up for them or someone else. These people are honored by having their name put on a smiley face and
displayed on the "Wall of Champions". In this way we are encouraging an environment where being a Champion is
praised and admired. Being a bully is no longer the "cool" thing to do.
There are two other components that make The School
Peacemaker Program very different and increase it's effectiveness. The first is that instead of addressing an
entire auditorium full of children in an "assembly" style, we focus on a much smaller group. Usually a
maximum of 30 children. This allows a more personal interaction and, due to the drumming and other fun
activity, breaks down barriers to receptivity. The second component is that the sessions are planned in a
series of four presentations. Repetition is a proven tool for assimilating new ideas. With each subsequent
session there is a great deal of overlap in the message that is shared. In addition, the children become more
comfortable with the facilitator. The fact that the facilitator is playing drums with them, not just telling
them what to do, helps them to be more open to the new information.