Mediators Needed For Expanded School Program

Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is holding an additional basic mediation training course this year to prepare more volunteers to handle an expansion of its services. While the Mediation Center usually conducts basic mediation training once annually in November, training also will be held this year in August.

The fifty-hour course of intensive training will be held over six days, August 3 and August 6-10, at the new Dorchester County Career and Technology Center in Cambridge. Those interested must register by June 30th.

The primary purpose for scheduling the extra training, according to Mid Shore Mediation’s Executive Director Peter Taillie, is to train more volunteers for an expanded mediation program in the Dorchester County Public Schools. 

Recently, volunteers have been participating in a pilot program at one of the county’s middle schools to provide conflict resolution, anger management and attendance mediation services. The program’s success led to a request for Mid Shore Mediation to expand the program to four additional schools in the coming academic year.

While the training is open to anyone interested in becoming a mediator, its primary goal is to train three new AmeriCorps volunteers and several interns from the Salisbury University School of Social Work, who all are serving with Mid Shore Mediation to help expand its program. A number of teachers, guidance counselors, staff and teens from Dorchester County Public Schools also will be participating. “We are working in partnership with the Dorchester County Office of Student Services to create a culture of conflict resolution awareness within the school system,” explained Taillie.

Enrollment for the free training is limited, and Taillie indicated that acceptance for the sessions would be made on the basis of a commitment to giving back to the community. “There are a lot of valid reasons for wanting to train as a mediator,” he said. “It is an exceptional skill that can be an asset in a wide variety of life situations. For our organization, however, it is important that we use our limited resources most effectively and make sure that the people we train are going to help us provide the best service we can to the community.”

Ten volunteer mediators currently participate in the Dorchester County Public Schools pilot program. Taillie hopes to have eight additional trained mediators working with the expanded school program next year.

To register for the training, for more information on mediation or to make a contribution, call Mid Shore Community Mediation Center at 410-820-5553 or visit www.midshoremediation.org.

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