PSI Annual Report 2009

Annual Report from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2009 and Financial Statements for year ended March 31, 2009 for the PSI Boa...

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Annual Report from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2009 and Financial Statements for year ended March 31, 2009 for the PSI Board of Directors and International Advisory Board July 11, 2009 Prepared by Hetty van Gurp, President, PSI This report reflects the activities of Peaceful Schools International As a volunteer organization, PSI is privileged to have a dedicated and positive Board of Directors. Current PSI Board members are: • • •





• • • • • •

Greg Albers, Teacher - Halifax Regional School Board Alexis Allen, President - Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union Bridget Brownlow, Conflict Resolution Officer - Saint Mary's University Ward Carson, Chief Financial Officer - Peaceful Schools International Mary-Lou Donnelly, President elect - Canadian Teachers’ Federation Heather Harris, Principal - Kingston and District School Terry Kelly, Inspirational speaker, musician, songwriter Clare Levin, Student - Carleton University, Ottawa Ian McAllister, Professor - Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS Hetty van Gurp, President - PSI Lynn Winter, Principal - Champlain Elementary School

Digby Elementary Flag Raising

With guidance and support from the members of the Board of Directors, PSI experienced a “growth spurt” over the past year in terms of its organizational structure and future plans. With revision of the Bylaws, a newly drafted membership policy, a fundraising plan, strategic plan and an organizational plan, maintaining the focus of what needs to be done in the short-term and the long-term has become far less of a challenge. As a mom of 2 kids at St. John Fisher School Jr. and Sr. in Pointe Claire, QC, I just have to say how impressed I am by your program. I think it’s a wonderful resource to have in the school, and its principles are wonderful.... Parent

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As a result of the retreat discussions and follow-up revisions, the newly modified goals and objectives of PSI are as follows: 1. Peace education is part of the core curriculum in all educational institutions that are members of PSI. • The curriculum for elementary, middle and high schools contains an explicit peace education component. • PSI and PSI member schools work to encourage the appropriate authorities to include peace education in the curriculum of elementary, middle and high schools. 2. PSI member schools foster a secure, welcoming and respectful culture in a school environment where all forms of violence are unacceptable. • Member schools report an improvement in school climate and/or a reduction in incidents of violence. • Member schools report providing conflict resolution strategies for students and staff. 3. PSI provides practical and effective peace education resources that are used by its member schools and by others. • Member schools report their use of and satisfaction with the resources provided by PSI. • PSI’s events (workshops, symposia, conferences, etc.) are well-attended and receive positive evaluations. • PSI member schools report networking with other members to share ideas and increase knowledge and resources. 4. There is a greater awareness of PSI and its goals. • There is an increase in the number of PSI member schools around the world. • PSI actively engages in peace- and education-related events and activities in the community (for example, fairs, special days like anti-bullying day, conferences, Dept. of Education PD days, etc.). • Other organizations express support for the work of PSI. The three key strategic directions outlined in the Operational Plan for 2008 – 2009 were to: A. Strengthen our organization in order to function effectively and be sustainable; B. Enhance resources and member support by providing members with new resources, presentations, training and opportunities to share ideas that have been implemented in their schools and organizations, and; C. Expand the PSI network by increasing our capacity to provide support to Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland and other countries in which we have members.

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As I look back on the year, I recognize that we have made significant progress in each of these areas. In this report, I will briefly describe the initiatives of 2008 – 2009 in each of these three areas.

A. STRENGTHEN OUR ORGANIZATION •

Succession Planning This first key area of focus has provided ongoing discussion for our Board members. The sustainability of PSI and succession planning will continue to be a topic of discussion in the year ahead but we have started to focus on a few options for the future of PSI. As a volunteer-run organization that has grown significantly since its inception eight years ago, the Board members agree that long-term sustainability will depend on future funding, staffing and the role of the Board. Our plan is to come up with a definitive succession plan during the 2009 – 2010 year.



Fund Development Plan This summer (2009), Clare Levin has been engaged by PSI to work on some of the strategic goals outlined in our Operational Plan. One of these is creating a Fund Development Plan for 2009 – 2010. A draft version has been completed and is ready for discussion by the Board.



Marketing → Clare Levin and I have held discussions with Jenny Gammon, a recent marketing and public relations graduate. Jenny has agreed to work on a draft marketing and communication plan for PSI. → PSI applied for and was accepted to become part of the Google Grants program. This program provides free advertising for charitable organizations through Google’s Adwords program. Since beginning the program in August 2008, PSI has received over $80,000 in free advertising through this program. → PSI added an online store to its website in the fall of 2008. The store is provided free of charge to charities by a US company called Volusion. This facilitates online sales of PSI resources and products and allows PSI to process credit card transactions online.



PSI Bylaws and Membership Policy A revised set of Bylaws will be presented for approval at the AGM on July 11, 2009. As well, a newly created membership policy will be presented for Board approval.

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Funding →









PSI successfully raised the funds required for our match of the CIDA contribution for the Sierra Leone project. ($28,000.00) The Sheonoroil Foundation of the NSTU made a contribution of $2000.00 towards the Sam book project. The Community Grants Program of the IWK Children’s Hospital awarded PSI a grant of approximately $8000.00 to create a toolkit to use in a series of community workshops aimed at providing parents tools and strategies to help them help their children deal with mistreatment by their peers of persons in positions of authority. PSI was successful in its application to HRSDC for funding to hire a student for the summer of 2008. PSI submitted a short concept paper to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to provide peace education support for our partner schools in Pakistan and has now been invited to submit a full proposal to USIP.

B. ENHANCE RESOURCES AND MEMBER SUPPORT •

Professional Development →



In May 2009 we held a successful PSI symposium in Dorval. This event was organized by Judy Grant, PSI Regional Coordinator for the Lester B. Pearson School Board. The event included the presentation of the PSI flag to the LBPSB for its commitment to encouraging all of its schools to become members of PSI. A day of teacher-led workshops provided an opportunity for schools to share their successful initiatives and program ideas. In August 2008, Rick Lewis facilitated a very wellattended, two-day workshop in Halifax, hosted by Saint Mary’s University. The workshop was designed to offer educators innovative strategies for conflict resolution and included the following two themes: o Persuasion Power: Using Strategic Language to Build Relationships and Solve Problems o Enhancing Healthy Relationships: Skill-based Interactions in the Peaceful School

PSI Annual Report, July, 2009

Board chairman Marcus Tabachnick and the Allion school choir accept Peaceful School award from Hetty van Gurp on behalf of the Lester B. Pearson board. The board is the first to receive the honour.

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Resources •

Yearbook We solicited and received contributions for the 2008 – 2009 PSI Yearbook. This resource will be ready for electronic distribution by September 2009.



On-line Newsletter Peace Signs, the monthly PSI e-newsletter was launched in August 2008. The newsletter has proven to be a popular tool to share ideas, and has grown very quickly. We now have over 850 subscribers around the world.



Newsletters and Monthly Themes We continue to send out the PSI newsletters - Peace Talks International and Peace Talks Jr. on a bi-monthly basis. We also send out a suggested school-wide initiative idea at the end of each month for the following month.



Sam Book Series This year, we have written and published three children’s books and an adult guide. The books are entitled Sam and the Goodwill Sandwich, Sam Speaks Up and Sam Takes a Stand. The Sam books are intended to offer parents and educators tools to help children learn strategic communication techniques to de-escalate problem situations and deal with verbal abuse and unfair treatment in a respectful and assertive manner. These resources are available in pdf format on the PSI website.



“Who Are You Calling Aggressive?” Rick Lewis and I co-authored a 30 page booklet entitled, “Who Are You Calling Aggressive?” This guide is intended as a tool to help adults engage in positive, open discussion with young people regarding the role of aggression and assertiveness in their social experience.



“Peace in Action” DVD The “Peace in Action” DVD contains a compilation of video footage about and by Students for Teaching Peace - their inspiration, their journey and their transformation. This DVD is available through the PSI on-line store.

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C. EXPAND THE PSI NETWORK •

Free Google AdWords The free PSI Google AdWords account mentioned above also helps to promote PSI’s work and activities to potential new members.



Presentations By way of a number of presentations throughout the year, we reached approximately 3000 educators, 2000 children and youth and 500 community members. Keynote addresses: Department of Agriculture, Ottawa Atlantic University Human Resources Administrators Conference, Mount Saint Vincent University South Shore Regional School Board, Diversity Conference Edmonton Teachers’ Conference Shaar Shalom Lecture Series, Saint Mary’s University St. Stephen Teachers’ Association, St. Stephen, NB School District 10 Conference, St. Stephen, NB Lester B. Pearson Symposium, Dorval, QC The Canadian Association for the Prevention of School Presentations: Annapolis West Education Centre, Annapolis Royal, NS Collingwood Collegiate, Collingwood, ON Collingwood Elementary, Collingwood, ON St. Joseph Catholic, Gananoque, ON St. Mark Catholic, Prescott, ON Digby Elementary, Digby, NS Other: Parent workshop, Collingwood, ON Coady International International Institute, Antigonish, NS Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education Conference workshop, Halifax, NS Orientation sessions, Belfast, Northern Ireland Discipline workshops, Sierra Leone

Thanks for giving us all the gift of Peaceful Schools. I want to share one anecdote. Last fall I was working with a group of grade 3 boys who were having trouble getting along, including a student new to our school. I asked them to help me create a card of thanks and draw pictures to illustrate it. All the students were drawing something to fit the theme except the new student who was drawing 'fighting me.’ Without a prompt from me, one of the other students turned to him and said, "We don't draw pictures like that. We're a ....." As he was searching for the word to explain it a third student chimed in, "We're a peaceful school." I felt at that minute, that despite problems that may arise from time to time, the message was getting across. So thanks again for all you do and for being an inspiration to so many. Mary Rutherford, Spiritual Animator, Allion School, Children's World Academy & Orchard School

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Media Although we are not always made aware of news articles featuring our member schools, we do post any that we hear about on the “News” section of the PSI website. This is where we post all news coverage about PSI. This year, we posted ten articles featuring stories about member schools.



School Twinning Through the efforts of PSI volunteer, Carolyn van Gurp, we have engaged in a school twinning project with schools in Canada and Sierra Leone. Activities are mainly focused on letter exchanges; however, some of the Canadian schools have also done fundraising for their Sierra Leonean twin schools. An example of school twinning in action: Champlain Elementary School in Granville Ferry organized a full day of cultural exploration where children learned traditional tiedying techniques from Sierra Leone to create one-of-a-kind bandanas for themselves. They learned more about their Sierra Leonean counterparts through a presentation/sharing circle and they created peace flags. The children also tried their hand at weaving baskets.



Champlain students learn the art of basket making

CIDA project in Sierra Leone This project is in its second year and continues to progress according to the original plan. One major accomplishment of the project is the commitment of the teachers and members of the PTAs to eliminate corporal punishment in the schools involved in the twinning project. In January, I spent three weeks in Mapaki, Sierra Leone. While there, I had an opportunity to visit schools, co-facilitate two workshops on alternatives to corporal punishment and meet with government officials to share the work being done through our CIDA funded project.

Mural made by students at Southdale-North Woodside School, Dartmouth, NS

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PSI in Northern Ireland In December 2008, Rick Lewis and I spent a week in Belfast at the invitation of Barnardo’s. We recently received word that Barnardo’s was successful their search for funding to continue the growth of PSI in Northern Ireland. This includes funds to hire a Regional Coordinator. For the fourth year, students from Saint Mary’s University Conflict Resolution Society, led by Bridget Brownlow, PSI Board member and Conflict Resolution Advisor for SMU, traveled to Belfast in February 2009 to work with pupils and teachers to address issues surrounding peace and the importance of conflict resolution.

‘Peace Room’ – St. Aidan’s CBPS, Belfast, NI

PSI in Pakistan Under the enthusiastic leadership of Nadeem Ghazi, PSI Regional Coordinator in Karachi, Pakistan, several schools in the Karachi area have become PSI members. Nadeem has facilitated numerous workshops for educators in his area and has set up an on-line photo album where he posts regular photos of workshops, presentations and school activities. Nadeem also has a special section on the discussion forum of the PSI website where he posts messages and reports.

Looking Forward Over the next year PSI will build on the many exciting initiatives that have taken place in the last year. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with PSI member schools in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Northern Ireland, and to continuing to develop and enhance the resources and support we provide to our members. In the 2009/10 year, we plan to take a more active approach to engaging new member schools so that our global network of peaceful and caring schools can continue to grow. Ensuring PSI’s ability to provide support and recognition to schools committed to creating a culture of peace over the long term is also a key objective going forward. Planning and implementation has already begun in this area. Developing a concrete succession plan and implementing the fund development plan will be two key aspects of this process. We are most grateful to the many individuals and organizations that support our work. We value the generous donations that make it possible for us to carry out our mission of supporting schools around the world.

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New PSI Members June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2009 Bilal City Grammar School Digby Elementary School Dorval Elementary School Eton House Grammar School Foundations Montessori School Grovenor Elementary Jubilee Elementary School Macpherson Elementary School

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

21.

Milltown Elementary School North Hastings Children’s Services O.M.Y.S. Academy Patni Social Welfare Association Shambhala School St. Anthony Elementary School St. David Catholic School St. Francis de Sales Catholic School St. John Fisher Elementary St. John Fisher Senior St. Luke Catholic High School St. Paul Elementary School St. Peter’s Elementary

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St. Peter's Elementary School

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St. Peter's High School Sunshine Academy True Guide Grammar School Vanier Elementary School

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

Verdun Elementary School Vincent Massey Elementary School West Gate Elementary School Western College Westpark Elementary School

PSI Annual Report, July, 2009

Karachi Digby Dorval Karachi Algonquin Calgary Pointe Claire St. John's

Pakistan Nova Scotia, Canada Quebec, Canada Pakistan Illinois Alberta, Canada Quebec, Canada Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada St. Stephen New Brunswick, Canada Bancroft Ontario, Canada Karachi Pakistan Karachi Pakistan Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada Pierrefonds Quebec, Canada Sudbury Ontario, Canada Smiths Falls Ontario, Canada Pointe Claire Quebec, Canada Pointe Claire Quebec, Canada Smiths Falls Ontario, Canada Beaconsfield Quebec, Canada St. John’s Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada Toba Tek Singh Pakistan Dollard des Ormeaux Quebec, Canada Karachi Pakistan St. John's Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada Verdun Quebec, Canada St. Andrews New Brunswick, Canada West Palm Beach Florida Meme Division S.W. Province, Cameroon Dollard-desQuebec, Canada Ormeaux

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