Mediator Mentors | Peter Fortuna
Mediator Mentors is a university-public school partnership in which future teachers, counselors, social workers and school psychologists support the development of conflict resolution skills in school children. At California State University, Fresno, Dr. Negin Tahvildary directs the program. Teachers and students in the public schools receive 12 hours of communication and conflict resolution training and university students coach and mentor at lunch periods. More than 7,000 children and teachers have participated in the program.
The Mediator Mentors project offers an opportunity for future helping professionals (teachers, counselors, social workers, school psychologists, etc.) to support the development of respectful conflict resolution skills among school children in our community.
The school-based peer mediation programs are active in Central, Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Chowchilla, Dinuba and Kerman school districts. Students from California State University, Fresno’s, Peace and Conflict Studies program students may select one of the schools as an internship site. Training in mediation is provided, and all service learners have opportunity to spend lunch periods or after school time helping young peer mediators develop into skillful problem-solvers. Mediation is voluntary, facilitated problem-solving in which two student conflict managers help disputing peers come to a mutually satisfactory solution to their problem. University students mentor the mediators (elementary and middle school) and assist them with communication and strategies for effective interpersonal problem solving. Service learning credit and stipends for Fresno State students are available, and all Mentors receive training and curriculum to use in their future professional settings.
Mediator Mentors is a Win-Win situation for our schools and for students of all ages!