Peer Assistance and Leadership Skills
I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know what the PAL program is at Lovejoy High School. PAL – Peer Assistance and Leadership is an award-winning peer helping program providing effective training in helping skills. The goal of the program is to tap into the potential of young people to make a difference in their schools and communities by providing leadership skills, confidence-building activities, academic help, supportive guidance, and to provide a friendship to our elementary students.
PAL began at one high school in Austin in 1980 and grew into a district-wide nationally recognized research-based program. Today, the program has grown to include elementary and middle schools and is active in over 400 schools throughout Texas.
This is how it works: after careful selection of PAL candidates by school representatives, the students (known as “Pals”) undergo a six to nine week training period, provided primarily by the previously trained PAL sponsor. Using a PAL Teacher’s Manual as a guide, sponsors focus on communication skills, group dynamics, self-awareness, decision making, and problem solving skills. Upon completion of this phase, the Pals are placed into peer-to-peer situation with other students (known as “PALees”) in which they employ the training components in order to develop positive, supportive, and helpful relationships. PAL empowers students to serve effectively in specific peer-to-peer or general leadership roles.
This year the PALS II class will be offering Peer Mediation! The goal of the program is to help students control their anger before anyone raises a fist or reaches for a weapon. Mediation is always a voluntary process. The mediators do not judge, blame, punish, or impose solutions on disputants. Instead, with mediator help, disputants work together to reach a solution to their potential problemthat enables each of them to walk away feeling understood and validated. The use of mediation can decrease disputes that can become violent or hurtful and reduce staff time spent on discipline. Using student mediation and conflict resolution curricula, students learn lifelong communication and problem- solving skills.
** September 24th- Leopard Friday
* October 31st - Trick or Treat for Charity: All canned food items will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank!
* On August 6th the PALS participated in the annual ACO, Fill the Bus Drive. We collected 11 full boxes to and over $55.00 to donate to the ACO! Thank you to all of the PAL members who generously donated their time!
2010-2011 PAL Members
PALS II: Catherine Bevine, Stormie Ballew, Katie Campbell, Kristin Carmichael, Johnathon Foster, Kristine Graham, Jace Melby, Katherine McBride, Lauren Priestly, Natalie Puckett, Katherine Odom, and Mille Rivera.
PALS I: Kensey Berry, Collin Cooper, Chipper Bridges, Emily Kendall, Gus Rehrig, Summer Thorne, Luke Lewerenze, Peyton Norris, Kendall Crisp, Maggie Wright, Madison Mitchell, Chase Stafford, Jelani Rainey, Michael Means, Mary-Paige Taggart, Meagan Thompson, Danielle Stephens, Meaghan Hancock, Marissa Olvera, Lea Simer, Trey Carson, Rachel Correale, Jillyn Bryant, and Jay Fankhauser.