P.E.A.C.E. Summit At Forest Trail

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Forest Trail School in Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 held its Third Annual P.E.A.C.E. (Promoting Education and Accountability for a Calm Environment) Summit. Designed to teach students that they can be instrumental in putting an end to bullying and enhancing the community and school environments, the P.E.A.C.E. Summit welcomed presenters from a variety of community resources to share their expertise with the school’s seventh and eighth grade students.

In sessions that were presented during a recent school day morning, presenters provided students with valuable information in the areas of social responsibility, cyber safety, improving self-esteem, nurturing healthy peer relationships, and developing community awareness. Speakers represented LaRabida Children’s Hospital, Scariano, Himes and Petrarca law firm, Loyola University, National Run Away Prevention, South Suburban Council on Drugs and Alcohol, Park Forest Police Department, Restorative Justice, Crisis Center for South Suburbia, Cook County Police, Rich East High School.

“The common theme of the P.E.A.C.E. Summit is to encourage children to build inner strength to choose positive methods of problem solving,” related Joan Crusor, social worker at Forest Trail. “We know that society often gives children a blurred view of the difference between being kind and being mean. This is our third year hosting the Summit and exit surveys from our students continue to suggest that they are learning a great deal from our presenters.  The students also suggest that we continue to host the Summit. The Summit continues to require a collaborative effort with the entire staff at Forest Trail and the team from Loyola University.”

In addition to Ms. Crusor, the Summit’s core planning team includes Mary Ellen Lufrano, social worker, Samantha Loughlin, psychologist, Dr. Carolyn Stroud, Forest Trail co-principal, and Cheryl Muench, Forest Trail co-principal. Ms. Crusor noted that this year a session for parents was added. During this session, Dr. David Shriberg of Loyola University shared valuable data regarding anti bullying efforts and how parents can help.