The Mosaic Project Overview
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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.
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.
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.
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