Kids begin life as profound human beings. If they can continue to trust the world, empathize with others, give unconditional positive regard, and be congruent in thought, feeling, and action, they can come to know themselves, to have high self-esteem, and to cope with most problems. They can grow into adults who live more profoundly.
In the workshops we strive to create a safe and supportive environment with activities that are fun and nurturing. The workshops are structured to develop the recognition, expression and support of Trust, Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard, Congruency, Creativity, and Awareness of the Environment. The enhancement of these six characteristics results in a wider range of choices and a higher self-image. Children who are encouraged to say what they think, to recognize their feelings, and to express these feelings clearly and straightforwardly are better equipped to deal with most situations, including such problems as divorce, poor communication with parents, family moves, and drug/alcohol abuse. They are able to develop the high self-esteem necessary to take risks and to be creative.
The Kids' Workshops are mainly for children ages 3-12. Teenagers can also benefit from them. The Workshops are for all children - not just problem children. They are designed for a six-hour presentation that can be divided into different time segments that best fit a situation, such as a classroom schedule. They can be presented in schools, churches, community centers, privately and in other settings.
It is beneficial to repeat the Kids' Workshop two times a year to reinforce and support the qualities that the children experience in the Workshop. Children often want to repeat the Workshop year after year.
The Workshop is presented entirely through activities such as role-playing, story telling, art, music, movement, working with puppets, and other figures. Materials and descriptions are provided for teachers and parents so that other people in the child's life will understand what the child is experiencing and can be involved.
It is important that the children feel a continuation of the philosophy and this is done through letting children take home things they made in the Workshop as a transition. Also each child takes home a workbook that he or she can continue to work on after the Workshop. The children are encouraged to return to future Workshops and they usually do.
"I was in the Kids' Workshop when I was eleven and now I am fifteen. One of my most important possessions is my workbook from the Kids' Workshop. I keep it in a safe place and when I am discouraged or down or even just for fun or support I look at it and it reminds me that there are people out there who really do care and listen to you and understand and I feel courage and support. "