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Phone: 510-452-3377
580 Grand Avenue, Suite 303
Oakland
California 94610
USA
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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.

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

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12/19/11
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 ... more »
02/14/11
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... more »
Review from Guidestar
01/26/11
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 ... more »
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