So, you’re excited and want to know how you can help to build Restorative Schools with us?
Step 1 is to sign up to become a Circle Leader in your school district or to express interest in becoming a member of someone else’s Circle of Ten. Use the form at the bottom of this page to let us know you are committed to making a difference.
Okay, now what? What’s the strategy?
The core advocacy strategy is the creation of a Circle of Ten. You can be a Circle Leader, or you can be a Circle member.
Being a successful Circle Leader means committing as little as two hours per month to Restorative Schools Maryland’s actions and information.
Being a Circle member means committing as little as an hour per month to Restorative Schools Maryland’s actions and information.
To be a leader or a member of a Circle, you do NOT need to be an educator or an education expert. You simply need to want our schools to be safe places where teachers, students, and administrators are focused on teaching, learning, and the well-being of every student, and every parent feels good about sending their kids to school every day. All of us know five people who share our values – family members, congregants from your house of worship, civic or community association friends, social friends, or colleagues at work. A Circle Leader can start by recruiting five people and subsequently asking those five to recruit one each. It’s pretty easy to form a Circle (and we’ll help you along the way!).
What will I do as a Circle Leader or Member?
Each month the Circle of Ten would meet at the Circle Leader’s home or in the church basement after service, or over a brown bag lunch at work – you could even meet as part of an existing community group that meets at least monthly.
Each month, Restorative Schools Maryland will provide a “message of the month” and supporting information about the message. After a brief discussion of the message by the group to make sure everyone understands it, each member (including the Circle Leader) writes two handwritten, personalized letters to the two elected officials or state policy leaders identified for the month as the recipients. The letters will educate our leaders about the need for Restorative Practices and the results our schools and communities will enjoy from their implementation.
This can all be done in about an hour, including the time to write the two letters (cookies, tea, and conversation with nine or ten other interesting people who share your values may at times extend the time).
The math is impressive: If there are 100 Circles (our goal this year) among the 24 school districts in Maryland with 10 people in each one, that’s 1,000 advocates meeting monthly and sending 2,000 letters of support for Restorative Practices. That’s a powerful message. And it only requires an hour or so of each person’s time.
Will this really change anything?
It’s all been done before! Circles (Teams of 10) were the method used by Strong Schools Maryland to organize folks like you to advocate for and pass the Blueprint for Maryland’s future.
The Blueprint is a historic piece of legislation and will work in harmony with the desired outcomes of Restorative Schools Maryland.