HOPE – The Hope Public Schools is among four public education districts in Arkansas chosen to participate in the “Beyond Civility” program of the prestigious Winthrop Rockefeller Institute of the University of Arkansas System.
HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said the selection is a unique opportunity for the Hope district.
“It is a tremendous honor for our district to be selected as a participant in the second cohort of this program,” Dr. Hart said. “Only four schools are selected yearly, and we are excited to be involved with the students from Springdale, Monticello, and West Memphis. ‘Beyond Civility’ helps teach students to listen to divergent thoughts and culture.”
The two-day program at the Winrock Institute at Petit Jean Mountain near Monticello is a dialogue-based concept. Ten students from Hope will attend the program in November.
“The institute is hosting a program for high school students representing districts in four Arkansas communities around the meaning and importance of civil conversations and how to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue in order to foster collaboration, promote mutual understanding and resolve conflict,” the Winrock website states.
Students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds are selected from within the official student leadership of their school, and are recognized as influential among their peers, or represent “minority” viewpoints among their peers, having been stereotyped.
Learning from active listening skills and practical applications are emphasized as key attributes of participants.
“The program will employ facilitated exercises and curriculum to empower students to model civil behavior and respectful dialogue in their communities,” the Winrock program site notes.