Calling all colors

Published 7:04 pm Thursday, March 17, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Niles Community Schools is beginning a new program at EastSide, Oak Manor, and Ellis elementary schools. The innovative concept is titled "Calling All Colors" and is designed to help chilren appreciate diversity.
The idea for the program began after the Office of Continuing Education at Coastal Carolina University sponsored "Healing the Wounds of Racism: Education's Role" in response to issues of racial tension.
Following the conference, 19-year-old Anisa Kintz and the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education, Dr. Sally Hare, organized the first annual conference of Calling All Colors in 1992.
By March of 1999, Rotary Clubs began hosting commuity workshops from which the all-volunteer Calling All Colors committe was formed. Since then, the group has planned over 2,000 workshops for students.
In this program, high school students are trained to use a variety of teaching methods on diversity in education and then visit elementary school classrooms to give the workshops.
The topics explored in Calling All Colors includes developing problem solving and conflict management skills, a sense of belonging, while addressing anxiety in social relationships and learning to utilze available resources.
One of the examples in the presentation uses several large bricks, each representing a negative emotion such as fear or prejuduce which, when added together, can build a wall that might separate people.
Calling All Colors is designed to promote diversity in education. Its goal is to match younger kids with older kids, help them to be more sensitive to social situations, and to become aware of the cultures of other people.
The program was presented to the students at EastSide School on Wednesday, and will be given at Oak Manor on Wednesday, March 23, and again at Ellis School on Thursday, March 24.