New York, NY, December 30, 2003 … The Miller Early Childhood Initiative, part of the Anti-Defamation League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, will begin a national rollout of its anti-bias workshops beginning in January. The Initiative is an interactive program designed to promote intergroup respect and understanding among young children.
Prana Foundation and the AT&T Family Care Development Fund, a joint project of AT&T, Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, are providing funding and support enabling The Initiative to grow into selected regions, as part of its ambitious national rollout.
The pilot stage of the program, which took place in New York, Chicago and Palm Beach County, Florida was funded through The Initiative's founder, the Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to the areas of health, education and Conservative Judaism.
Twenty-five of The Initiative's unique workshops will take place in the Los Angeles area over the next 10 months as a result of a grant from Prana Foundation, while the AT&T Family Care Development Fund has granted funds and support to continue the program in Chicago and expand to Arizona and Atlanta. A total of 24 workshops will be conducted in those markets.
The Quantum Foundation and Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County have contributed post-pilot funding for additional workshops in Palm Beach County Florida.
An aggressive fundraising campaign seeking sponsorships as well as individual donors in additional regions across the country is currently underway. Its goal is to expand to as many major markets as possible in 2004.
During the 2001-2003 pilot phase, more than 200 interactive anti-bias workshops were conducted in the aforementioned regions. Those sessions, conducted by skilled teams of more than 110 specialized trainers and staff members, reached more than 27,000 educators, family members and children and generated positive ratings and results.
"Phase one met all of our expectations," says Caryl M. Stern, ADL's Chief Operating Officer. "We are looking forward to the upcoming workshops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Arizona and are grateful to Prana Foundation, the AT&T Family Care Development Fund, the Quantum Foundation and the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County Florida for their funding and support. This is the first step towards expanding to as many regions as possible. The fund-raising process in each region will be ongoing."
Research and experience show that learning prejudice and bigotry start at a very early age. The Initiative was conceived with a clear purpose: finding the methods and tools to enable caregivers, educators and family members to positively intervene with children ages 3-5 and prevent the development of hate before it has a chance to begin.
Evaluation findings, to date, have shown increased and lasting effects in participant behavior in many areas including:
· talking with children about bias and/or discrimination;
· encouraging children to reflect on their own biases and/or discriminatory behavior;
· modeling techniques for children to use when they experience bias or discrimination;
· intervening when teasing, name-calling and bias-related incidents occur in the program;
· intervening when incidents of bias occur with colleagues.
The majority of the participants indicated that the workshops were very or extremely effective in providing them with materials, ideas, resources, and strategies, to create bias-free environments and 100% of the educators in attendance would recommend the workshops to others.
In addition to the workshops, four print resources, created in conjunction with Sesame Workshop (creators of Sesame Street), are distributed to workshop attendees, including an educator's activity book, a family activity book, and a poster and resource booklet for families and educators. These specially designed materials, utilizing Sesame Street's Muppets complement the methods and techniques used by the ADL's specially trained facilitators.
About the Sponsors
The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to the areas of health, education and Conservative Judaism.
Prana Foundation was co-founded by accomplished music executive Leanne Meyers and recording star Marilyn Scott with a mission of improving life on earth through the creation of innovative communication campaigns that inspire action and encourage positive change.
The AT&T Family Care Development Fund is a joint project of AT&T, the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers created to increase the supply and improve the quality of child and elder care services available to AT&T employees where they live and work.
The Quantum Foundation is a perpetual grant-making organization that strives to improve health through access to care and changes in the delivery system.
The Children's Services Council is a special district of local government established by the Florida legislature in 1986 and empowered by the voters of the county to levy local property taxes purely to help our children reach their full potentials.
About the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute
The origins of the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute date back to 1985, when ADL and WCVB-TV in Boston initiated the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE campaign, a yearlong series of education and media-driven programs designed to combat prejudice and create effective tools to address these issues in the classroom and community. The campaign's immense success led to ongoing programs in Boston and 28 U.S. cities and several national awards including a Peabody, Gabriel and Scripps-Howard.
In 1992, in an effort to meet the increasing demand for its services and to formalize and coordinate its anti-bias research, programming and training efforts, the League created and officially launched the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute comprised of four distinct departments - CLASSROOM, CAMPUS COMMUNITY AND WORKPLACE.
At its core, The Institute is about change. Helping people – young and old – see that attitudes and beliefs affect actions and that each of us can have an impact on others, and ultimately, on the world that we live in.
About the Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913, "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all." Ninety years later it is the nation's premiere civil rights/human relations agency. ADL defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. It is considered America's prime resource for information on and responses to organized bigotry.
A leader in the development of materials, programs (such as The Miller Early Childhood Initiative) and services, ADL builds bridges of communication, understanding and respect among diverse groups in the United States and around the world through a network of regional and satellite offices.