The Circle of Courage model is the resilience-focused philosophical foundation for the way Starr Commonwealth works with the youth in our care. It is designed to encourage kids to feel safe and comfortable in an environment of understanding and acceptance. Developed from the cultural wisdom of the Lakota people, the Circle of Courage states that Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity are the universal needs all people require to be emotionally well. Only when these four needs are met are our circles complete.
We are all aware of the recent tragedies that have befallen our country in the past months: shootings, wildfires, and multiple hurricanes have caused devastation to those who live in the affected areas.
This devastation is not solely felt by adults. So many children have lost their homes, lost family members, or are living in a state of uncertainty for an extended period of time. But, in the words of the immortal Mr. Rogers, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
On Tuesday, August 20th, Marshall Middle School (MMS) unveiled the Resilient Communities Art Project – a mosaic recently installed in the MMS cafeteria. The theme of the mosaic is “Bravery Dwells in Remarkable Places,” with each student featured in the mosaic sharing what being brave looks like to them. This Resilient Communities Art Project brought together diverse groups of youth to demonstrate a sense of vibrancy occurring throughout the Calhoun County area.
For the past several years, Starr has been proud to help with the important work of bringing together our local communities of Albion and Marshall. During the closing of Albion schools and the merging of the youth from Albion into the Marshall School District, Starr collaborated with Albion College to host a Youth Symposium to facilitate the kids learning about diversity and building relationships. Recognizing the positive impact of the first symposium, similar programming has been planned and executed since, in order to help students each year get to know one another and learn to work together in the classroom.