The 10th Annual Mediator Appreciation Day from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday, May 21, at Fresno State will recognize peer mediators, their teachers and mentors for their role in helping resolve conflicts among students at local elementary schools.
More than 1,000 elementary and middle school peer mediators will attend the event in the Satellite Student Union for what organizers call one of the largest gatherings of student conflict managers in the West.
“It’s unfortunate the gang activity gets so much attention when we have these future young citizens who are making a difference,” said Dr. Pamela Lane-Garon, director of the Mediator Mentors Program.
In observing the program’s 10th anniversary, she notes the Mediator Mentor program has been able to help many students and schools.
“We rejoice in the long-term effect this project has had on our community,” said Lane-Garon, who supervises the mentors with coordinator Karen DeVoogd. “More than 7,000 students and teachers have received communication and conflict resolution training in 65 schools and seven districts.”
The program gives Fresno State students studying to become teachers, counselors, school psychologists and social workers the opportunity to mentor public school students in peer conflict management and communication skills.
Public school teachers and students who participate in the Mediator Mentor program receive eight to 10 hours of conflict resolution and communication training from university student-coaches.
This university-public school partnership is based in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development in collaboration with several university centers.
Lane-Garon said students enjoy working with others to resolve conflicts. Graciela Heredia, a mediator and sixth grader at Southeast Elementary said, “I love solving problems and seeing their faces when they got a solution to solve their problem.”
Other university partners are the Center for Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Dissemination, the Bonner Center for Character Education and University Outreach Services in the Student Affairs Division.
Appreciation Day events include awards, lunch, campus tours, inspiring words, mediator team videos and Cha Cha Slide dance.
For more information, contact Lane-Garon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559.278.0320.
(Copy by University Communications student news assistant Reganie Smith-Love).