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Promising Practices in Character Education Announced for 2012 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:12:35 PM

Washington, DC – The Character Education Partnership (CEP) has recognized two practices – Peers Making Peace (PMP) and Positive Action Center (PAC) – from the organization paxUnited, located in the North Texas area as 2012 Promising Practices.

CEP awarded 297 Promising Practices to schools, districts, and organizations from across the United States, as well as from Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, and Mexico.

Peers Making Peace

paxUnited has helped over 10,000 schools, juvenile justice settings, and community-based organizations establish effective peer-led mediation programs by providing training and technical assistance in the Peers Making Peace (PMP) model. Available in age appropriate curricula for grades pre K-12, PMP trains selected participants, including 1 existing staff member and 16-24 youth demographically representative of the school or site, in the PMP program. The comprehensive three-day training is largely experiential and highly interactive. In addition to introducing and enhancing critical mediation skills, participants learn and practice fairness, self-discipline and interpersonal skills. Trained mediators use their new knowledge to help peers resolve conflicts and reduce school distractions.

The program is easily replicable, applicable to all youth environments, self-sustainable and affordable. By exhibiting non-judgmental care and respect for others on their campus, the mediators model behavior that easily rubs off on their peers, having a dramatic impact on the school culture. Moreover, as students do the bulk of the work in resolving their peers’ conflicts, teachers can concentrate on teaching and students can concentrate on learning.

Positive Action Center

The Positive Action Center (PAC) program is available in age appropriate curricula for grades 6-12 and utilizes students already on campus to bring positive change to their school. Selected participants, including 1 existing staff member and 16-24 youth demographically representative of the site, will be trained in the two-day training that is participatory and highly interactive. Through the training, participants will take part in activities that will help them understand and develop specific communication, problem-solving and decision making skills. Trained mentors will meet with students who are to be mentored on a 1-to-1 basis and begin to establish a relationship with them. Speaking at some length about the mentored student’s current situation and his/her feelings and thoughts about it, the two work collaboratively to develop an action plan for resolving whatever is interfering with the mentored student’s success in school and, with the help of the mentor, the student takes responsibility for that success.


PAC is a peer-driven process built on a foundation of empowering one’s peers to actively resolve their own difficulties through the development of communication, problem-solving, and anger-management skills, thus developing self-efficacy and relying less and less on others.

“These practices showcase so many creative and unique ways of dealing with challenges educators face each day” said Lisa Greeves, Manager of the Promising Practices program. “CEP is proud to recognize these educators and to give them an international platform upon which to share their hard work.”

This year’s winning practices include unique anti-bullying programs, successful integration of academics and character, self-motivation and goal-setting strategies, service-learning activities, and community outreach. 

CEP’s 2012 National and International Promising Practices in Character Education represent:

  • 5 nations
  • 30 states and the District of Columbia – with the largest numbers from Missouri (107), New Jersey (31), New York (15), and Kansas (13)
  • 209 public schools, 18 charter schools, 15 private schools, 12 school districts, and 4 youth-serving organizations.   

CEP sponsors the annual program to showcase innovative best practices that are having an impact across the nation and abroad. CEP encourages educators with similar needs to learn from and even replicate these successful initiatives. CEP will honor the 2012 recipients at the 19th National Forum on Character Education, to be held in Washington, DC, November 1 – 3. Learn more by searching CEP’s database of Promising Practices.

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