Buildabridge Safe Spaces Model Overview

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• build on the strengths of the student • allow for student choice • lead to experiences of mastery • facilitate or re-establish creativity • improve intellectual discovery, academic skills, emotional expression, cognitive and spiritual development • facilitate positive peer relationships • facilitate brain repair 7. Use of culturally sensitive ritual to create a predictable, supportive and cooperative community. Aspects of the ritual include: • A threshold and entrance protocol that is defined and welcoming • An engaging welcome song that affirms names, uses rhythm as an organizing element and builds community • A motto that communicates positive values • Behavioral expectations and agreements that teach social skills, accountability, and that are written in positive language, are visible and clear • Music and chant that integrate the internal organizing element of rhythm leading to self-control • Dance or movement that develops a self-respect for, and control of, the body • Visual art that helps form dreams and hopes into a coherent vision • Drama experiences that lead to positive choices, awareness of consequences, conflict resolution, and

development of self-efficacy • Leave-taking protocol that reinforces social skills, transitions and relational closure 8. A clear lesson plan with a goal(s) that is delivered effectively, containing defined outcomes for artistic, academic, social, and character building skills 9. Speaking Blessings through positive interactions: • Meaningful and appropriate touch • Spoken messages of honest affirmation • Attaching “high value” to the student • Picturing a special future for the student • Active commitment to fulfill the blessing by taking responsibility to do everything possible to help them be successful 10. Evaluation of outcomes and impact through arts-based methods 11. A value for quality over quantity, process over product, continuity, and celebration of accomplishments

The BuildaBridge Classroom Safe Spaces ModelSM

a trauma-informed, hope-infused approach to working with children and youth living in contexts of crisis and poverty

For Training, Direct Service, Assessm ent or Program Evaluation Contact:

BuildaBridge International 205 W. Tulpehocken Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144 T: (215) 842-0428 F: (215) 842-2025 W:

The BuildaBridge model engages the power of art-making (creative experiences) to create a safe and nurturing environment--one that facilitates resilience, fosters skill-building, develops agency and self-efficacy, and provides both choice and avenues for solving problems in order for children and youth to discover the good life they deserve.

The BuildaBridge Classroom Safe Spaces ModelSM contains the following elements: 1. Staff who can recognize trauma in children and youth, and who engage in self-care to prevent secondary (vicarious) trauma 2. Teacher-M entors who recognize and build on the strengths of the student through a child-centered approach, and who work in teams to maintain a 5:1 student-teacher ratio 3. Healthy and stim ulating environm ents that are free of physical dangers and where holistic health needs are met (food, clothing, shelter, safety, physical health) 4. Em otionally safe spaces with clear and appropriate boundaries that allow children and youth to grow and develop without fear 5. Art-m aking (creative experiences) used as metaphor to teach life lessons leading to character building 6. Arts-based (creative experience) approaches that

Evidence A: Engaging Children in Art-Making Experiences From This: Children living in an orphanage stand with little to do following an earthquake in Haiti. When they do play, it is around rubble and broken vehicles--an unsafe environment. They are unable to play for fear the earthquake will return.

To This: Following a week of creating a safe space, engaging in the repetition of ritual (a key in overcoming trauma), and art-making, children dance for joy in their new space with confidence.

Evidence B: A Community Creates a Safe Space From This: A community in poverty lives with an open trash dump. As one resident leader commented on the reason, “If we put a dumpster there, it will be filled with dead bodies.�

To This: Engaging the community in cleaning the space, and creating a place of beauty for all, the corner is safer and healthier. After two years, the area is still clean.

Evidence C: From Storage to Healing Dance Studio From This: The back of a hospital in the Congo is used to discard old equipment. It is unsafe space that could be put to use to benefit the many women undergoing fistula surgery.

To This: After clearing the space that leads to a forest floor, women engage in creative experiences that improve their range of movement important to their healing. They create songs to express hope for their future.

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