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Not for Profit: Conflict Resolution Organization for Peace

Nov. 18, 2007– "Bullying is serious business," said Officer Charles Nibbs of the V.I. Police Department. "It can affect your general happiness."
On Saturday, Nibbs spoke about bullying to 40 students at a conflict-resolution and bullying workshop at the University of the Virgin Islands. Presenting the workshop was Annette Jacobs from the recently formed group Conflict Resolution Organization for Peace (CROP). The students in attendance are enrolled in the St. Croix Unity Coalition Teen Summit program.
CROP founders Jacobs and Michell Lacoss began the organization because they feel there is too much violence in schools. "We have a burning passion to stem that violence." Lacoss said. "Conflict resolution is not working with high school students, so we are working at the elementary-school level."
The women want children attending elementary schools on St. Croix to have a safe learning environment.
"We want to help elementary school children and mold their young minds on how to resolve problems before bad habits are set." Jacobs said. "This needs to be done before middle school where it's a hotbed for conflict."
CROP provides education to agencies and schools with train-the-trainers workshops, online services and technical assistance. CROP's goal, according to Jacobs, is to enhance the quality of life for elementary-school children and their caregivers by providing skills to discourage negative behavior.
Instructors from CROP will offer training sessions at Charles H. Emanuel, Claude O. Markoe and Alfredo Andrews Elementary schools in December.
"The principals at the schools are very receptive of the program," Jacobs said.
Once the program is set up in the schools — by the new year, if all goes according to plan — principals will refer at-risk students to CROP. Hour-long sessions will take place two times a week for students who need help with conflict resolution. The instructors from CROP will make recommendations if students need more professional help.
The research-based model communication curricula selected for this project are the Children’s Creative Response to Conflict (CCRC) and the Peace Works Peace Education Foundation Safe Schools Better Schools program out of Miami, Fla. Jacobs and Lacoss feel the program can be beneficial for the general student population and students at risk of violence.
The all-volunteer staff realizes that most incidences of school violence or serious disruption start as less-serious behavior that may accelerate to the point of requiring attention. To stop these aggressive and disruptive behaviors from spiraling out of control, CROP shows alternative responses that can work in the classroom and don't include violence.
The core group of seven volunteers in the organization have combined more than 16 years of facilitating social-service programs with skills to build community mobilization and partnership, according to Jacobs. They also have 10 years of experience dealing with life skills, disability issues and laws, advocacy, education and parent-empowerment topics.
According to Jacobs, the goals envisioned by CROP are to see visible changes in students, parents and teacher attitude and behavior; reduction in incidents of conflict; increased parental involvement; greater involvement of collaborators in the school community; elementary schools becoming a model/example for others; and reduction in student and teacher absences.
The workshop Saturday was a volunteer collaboration between the VIPD, CROP and the coalition.
"Volunteers are working together with things such as the workshop on the front lines," said Jacobs. "I am happy to be working with Officer Nibbs."
Nibbs has a background in crime prevention and teaching the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. At the workshop, Nibbs talked about why kids bully and the effects of bullying. He discussed conflict resolution and how problems can be resolved peacefully. Communication and mediation are key to resolving problems, he told students.
Students should call the school security unit at 778-9757 for help in bullying matters, Nibbs said.
"Don't give in to bullies and stay calm is what I learned in the workshop," Alizah Brooks said. "And tell someone if I need help."
The students received certificates from CROP for attending the workshop.
"I will think about how bullying affects others now," Shelby Franklin said.
"Growing Peace on St. Croix" is the motto the women have coined for CROP.
CROP is a pilot project operating under the auspices of the St. Croix Foundation, a locally licensed agency providing fiduciary and operational guidance to programs. For more information, call the foundation at 773-9898 or email CROP.
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Nov. 18, 2007-- "Bullying is serious business," said Officer Charles Nibbs of the V.I. Police Department. "It can affect your general happiness."
On Saturday, Nibbs spoke about bullying to 40 students at a conflict-resolution and bullying workshop at the University of the Virgin Islands. Presenting the workshop was Annette Jacobs from the recently formed group Conflict Resolution Organization for Peace (CROP). The students in attendance are enrolled in the St. Croix Unity Coalition Teen Summit program.
CROP founders Jacobs and Michell Lacoss began the organization because they feel there is too much violence in schools. "We have a burning passion to stem that violence." Lacoss said. "Conflict resolution is not working with high school students, so we are working at the elementary-school level."
The women want children attending elementary schools on St. Croix to have a safe learning environment.
"We want to help elementary school children and mold their young minds on how to resolve problems before bad habits are set." Jacobs said. "This needs to be done before middle school where it's a hotbed for conflict."
CROP provides education to agencies and schools with train-the-trainers workshops, online services and technical assistance. CROP's goal, according to Jacobs, is to enhance the quality of life for elementary-school children and their caregivers by providing skills to discourage negative behavior.
Instructors from CROP will offer training sessions at Charles H. Emanuel, Claude O. Markoe and Alfredo Andrews Elementary schools in December.
"The principals at the schools are very receptive of the program," Jacobs said.
Once the program is set up in the schools -- by the new year, if all goes according to plan -- principals will refer at-risk students to CROP. Hour-long sessions will take place two times a week for students who need help with conflict resolution. The instructors from CROP will make recommendations if students need more professional help.
The research-based model communication curricula selected for this project are the Children’s Creative Response to Conflict (CCRC) and the Peace Works Peace Education Foundation Safe Schools Better Schools program out of Miami, Fla. Jacobs and Lacoss feel the program can be beneficial for the general student population and students at risk of violence.
The all-volunteer staff realizes that most incidences of school violence or serious disruption start as less-serious behavior that may accelerate to the point of requiring attention. To stop these aggressive and disruptive behaviors from spiraling out of control, CROP shows alternative responses that can work in the classroom and don't include violence.
The core group of seven volunteers in the organization have combined more than 16 years of facilitating social-service programs with skills to build community mobilization and partnership, according to Jacobs. They also have 10 years of experience dealing with life skills, disability issues and laws, advocacy, education and parent-empowerment topics.
According to Jacobs, the goals envisioned by CROP are to see visible changes in students, parents and teacher attitude and behavior; reduction in incidents of conflict; increased parental involvement; greater involvement of collaborators in the school community; elementary schools becoming a model/example for others; and reduction in student and teacher absences.
The workshop Saturday was a volunteer collaboration between the VIPD, CROP and the coalition.
"Volunteers are working together with things such as the workshop on the front lines," said Jacobs. "I am happy to be working with Officer Nibbs."
Nibbs has a background in crime prevention and teaching the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. At the workshop, Nibbs talked about why kids bully and the effects of bullying. He discussed conflict resolution and how problems can be resolved peacefully. Communication and mediation are key to resolving problems, he told students.
Students should call the school security unit at 778-9757 for help in bullying matters, Nibbs said.
"Don't give in to bullies and stay calm is what I learned in the workshop," Alizah Brooks said. "And tell someone if I need help."
The students received certificates from CROP for attending the workshop.
"I will think about how bullying affects others now," Shelby Franklin said.
"Growing Peace on St. Croix" is the motto the women have coined for CROP.
CROP is a pilot project operating under the auspices of the St. Croix Foundation, a locally licensed agency providing fiduciary and operational guidance to programs. For more information, call the foundation at 773-9898 or email CROP.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.