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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Civil Rights, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Education, Educational Services, Intergroup & Race Relations, Race

Mission: The Mosaic Project works towards a peaceful future by reaching children in their formative years. We unite young children of diverse backgrounds, provide them with essential skills to thrive in an increasingly diverse society, and empower them to strive for peace. We create a microcosm of the diverse, inclusive, just world we want to see and show our young students that peace is possible. We seed the future population of middle schools, high schools, and all the venues of adult life with thousands of individuals who have seen a new possibility of what the world can be. Not only are our students inspired to work towards peace, they have been given concrete skills to do so and are empowered to take action.

Results: As of 2008, in addition to serving nearly 5,000 4th and 5th graders in our Outdoor School and over 750 high-school students through our Youth Leadership Project, we have run dozens of our in-school workshops and trainings for other organizations, serving over 7,600 additional students and about 820 educators

Target demographics: 4th and 5th graders, youth 15-22

Direct beneficiaries per year: 930

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Our Outdoor School Mosaic's principal program is our unique human-relations outdoor school. This dynamic 4-night, 5-day experience for fourth and fifth graders is offered during the school week. Three classes from schools that differ markedly in socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic make-up participate in the program together, giving the students the opportunity to experience firsthand a diverse setting in which all are welcomed and respected. While typical outdoor schools focus on environmental science, ours addresses issues of difference and builds self-esteem and community. Our students never forget this inspiring learning experience. We reach them before negative attitudes surrounding difference become entrenched and we enable them to live with, learn from, and befriend others with whom they would not ordinarily interact. Together in a beautiful, natural setting, they begin to recognize their commonalities and gain respect and appreciation for the uniqueness of all individuals, including themselves. They are encouraged to overcome ignorance and insecurities which can lead to fear of difference, prejudice, discrimination, hatred, and violence. We provide our students with the profound, personal experience of building an inclusive, egalitarian community across race, culture, and class barriers, empowering and inspiring them to create such communities throughout their lives. Our Supporting Programs In-School Workshops and Assemblies To prepare students for our outdoor school program, we partner with schools to coordinate ongoing in-school workshops and assemblies that begin as early as kindergarten. These programs continue after the intensive outdoor school experience to reinforce lessons learned. The Youth Leadership Project We offer leadership training for high-school students who serve as mentors for the 4th and 5th graders at our outdoor school. The Project's curriculum addresses issues of difference while building leadership skills. The youth leaders undergo extensive training prior to arriving at the outdoor school. Once there, the training continues and they serve as cabin leaders for a session, putting theory into practice. Custom Designed Workshops and Trainings We create and facilitate programs specially designed for educators, classrooms, and youth groups. Popular topics include developing empathy, appreciating differences, positive discipline, assertiveness skills, and addressing bullying. Our Curriculum All of our programs emphasize building self-esteem and community and empower students to create a peaceful future. In particular, we focus on four themes: *The celebration of diversity and awareness of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination *Respect for and appreciation of self and others *Teamwork and cooperation *Communication and nonviolent conflict resolution (including listening skills, expressing feelings productively, assertiveness, and empathy) Our innovative curriculum is experiential. Learning at Mosaic becomes a magical adventure as the curriculum comes to life through hands-on activities, interactive theater, games, role-plays, discussions, stories, and original songs. Our musical curriculum has received rave reviews and is available on CD.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first got involved with Mosaic when I went as a fifth grader. It is was a life changing experience. The last night at the program, we did a solo walk in the dark and then all gathered around to look at the stars. I remember looking up and seeing more stars than I ever had in the city, and this feeling of hope and confidence taking over me. I felt like I could do anything because I now had the tools to communicate with others. When I got into high school, i jumped at the opportunity to go back as a Youth Leader. I have since spend countless hours up at the Camp and time in the office and at events. The Mosaic community is so strong and welcoming, and I have made so many friends and mentors through it.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is extremely impressive! Leadership is thoughtful and strategic, planning is great, but the most impressive thing to me is the quality of the programs and the staff. Lara has assembled a diverse, talented, energetic, creative, committed and loving staff to work with the children, and she inspires them to come together to work harmoniously as a united team. The curriculum is well thought out and effective, and the results are clear. The Mosaic Project is making the world a more peaceful place.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every walk of life has experienced the feeling of wanting to belong and fear of being left out. The Mosaic Project motivates youth to reach to the core of this feeling and learn to embrace self while having empathy towards others. Every walk of life. "It takes a village to raise a child". I will not hesitate to continue to spread the greatness of this organization.

17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through my daughter's work with The Mosaic Project, I have seen how it allows a person to find the best in themselves, to bring this to the community, and affect genuine and needed change. As a psychologist who has worked extensively with children, I appreciate the organization's ability to create a safe place for children to examine their beliefs, explore their hurts, and feel supported by a diverse community.

17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mosaic Project is by far the most effective community working towards social justice that I have ever seen. Children are the ones who will grow up and affect how the world works. I often think about how Mosaic will affect the world, or even the bay area, twn years from now. When I imagine any situation that I am in, and how it plays out now, I compare it with how it would happen if even half of the people involved went to Mosaic when they were ten. It would change things immensely. Important tools are shown and made available in a way that is creative, not preachy. Reaching children at this age, when small seeds of peace can be planted in their lifeskills garden, is infinitely important. Mosaic does it beautifully.

19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mosaic Project is undoubtedly the most inspiring community I have ever been a part of. I first became involved as a high school youth leader about five years ago, and I haven't been able to stay away since. The Youth Leadership Project provided me with the incredibly unique experience of living and working within a community that was more diverse, supportive, and open than any I had ever seen in high school or in the world around me. That experience continues to remind me that a different kind of world IS possible - one in which people from every walk of life can work together authentically and respectfully. Not only did my first experience with The Mosaic Project inspire the 4th and 5th graders that I was mentoring, it was one of the most formative moments in my life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a teacher that brought my 4th grade students to the Mosaic Project camp in Napa and was blown away by how together the program is. After five days and four nights at Mosaic, my kids came home singing songs like "Fighting is not the solution..." and "We can live in equality, embracing our diversity...." They seemed to have really taken in lessons from games and activities they did on topics like prejudice & stereotyping, conflict resolution, assertiveness, and what it means to be an ally. Not only did the students have a great time, it seems to have made a significant impact on the atmosphere at our school. I would recommend this experience to any teacher and wish all elementary school students could attend Mosaic.