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Ivan Canada

NCCJ Executive Director


E-mail Ivan

ANYDAY for Middle School Students

The Need

Learning to appreciate differences as assets rather than as obstacles in human relations is particularly important for middle school students. Struggling to create an independent sense of identity and facing with physical changes, young adolescents often feel self-conscious and alienated. The culture of middle schools reflects the tension students feel about needing to “belong” as they become increasingly subject to peer pressure. Exclusion of individuals outside an immediate peer group and cruelty to those perceived to be “different” are common behaviors in middle schools. Appropriate intervention is critical for countering these powerful tendencies.

The Program

A six-hour human relations day incorporating discussion, videos, games, and activities will develop a core group of up to 35 students who are committed to creating a positive school climate. Students are encouraged to validate themselves and others as they explore such divisive topics as:

  • stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and harassment;
  • bullying and cliques
The final session of the day focuses on action planning and asks students to brainstorm about ways they can be change agents who impact the climate at their school.