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Monday, May 16, 2022

Forest Trail End-Of-Year Peace Summit Stresses Responsibility

Peace Summit 2011
Representatives of Loyola University’s Psychology Department discussed cyberbullying with Forest Trail students and what to do if they are targets of it during the P.E.A.C.E. Summit at Forest Trail. Ashley Ausikaitis of Loyola was one of the presenters. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Forest Trail Middle School in Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 closed the school year with a P.E.A.C.E. (Promoting Education and Accountability for a Calm Environment) Summit that provided sixth and seventh grade students with information about appropriate summertime activities and strategies to avoid making wrong decisions.

“We wanted to make the students more aware of what is happening around them,” said Maya Carr, a Forest Trail teacher and one of the committee members who planned the P.E.A.C.E. Summit. “Our presenters brought information and gave recommendations to the students that would improve their self-esteem, provide them with the skills to make right decisions and make them aware of fun summer activities.”

Presenters’ topics dealt with leadership skills, dating, summer programs, dealing with cyberbullying, teen dating, babysitting tips, strategies on how to cope with anger, the building blocks of good character, water safety issues, and the importance of avoiding negative groups. Students registered for the sessions that were offered throughout the day at Forest Trail, said Ms. Carr.

Ms. Carr said that presenters included representatives of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, Rivers Edge Hospital, Loyola University’s Psychology Department, U. S. Army, Crisis Center of South Suburbia, Aunt Martha’s, the Park Forest Police and Fire Departments, and high school students who offered advice that would help the students be successful in high school.

“The Summit involved months of planning,” said Ms. Carr. “We hope to offer a similar Summit earlier in the upcoming school year.”

Forest Trail Middle Grade Center principal Cheryl Muench added, “I am grateful to the volunteers who participated in our P.E.A.C.E. Summit this year. Each presenter saw the importance in letting our students know that we should be working together to create a better community. The students evaluated each of the sessions for the day and the responses were overwhelmingly positive.”

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