Elementary and high school students from throughout the Valley will gather in Hanford on Monday, Jan. 27, to celebrate their function as peacemakers on their campuses in a program sponsored by California State University, Fresno, and Hanford Unified and Central Unified schools.

The 180 participants, the largest group of student mediators ever to gather in the Central Valley, will learn conflict resolution strategies from each other as they participate in guided role play of dispute scenarios.

The peer mediators will take buses and trains to Hidden Valley Park in Hanford where they will get to know each other as they re-enact problem situations experienced at their various school sites. Professional mediator Doug Noll will speak to the students about careers in which mediation skills are critical.

Participating schools are Lincoln Elementary, Washington Elementary, John F. Kennedy Jr. High and Woodrow Wilson Jr. High, all in Hanford; Herndon-Barstow Elementary in Central Unified; and Fresno State, whose students served as mediator mentors in several of the programs.

A new round of mediator training will begin in February. For information about school mediation programs contact Dr. Pam Lane-Garon in Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development at pamelalg@csufresno.edu or Dr. Arthur Wint at Fresno State’s Peace & Conflict Studies Program at arthurw@csufresno.edu.