Lunchtime Listeners was started after one of Nyack Public School Districts’ principals expressed a need for students to be heard. Since that time several years ago, the program has helped numerous students resolve conflicts nonviolently. The program concentrates on sending Lunchtime Listener volunteers to schools during lunchtime and recess, which is the time of day when conflicts and disputes escalate.
Because the need out-measures the volunteers we can supply, CRC finds itself in a position where we need to expand the program and recruit more Lunchtime Listeners. CRC pulls Lunchtime Listener volunteers from our facilitator base, and groups such as Volunteer Counseling Services (VCS) and AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project). Because CRC stresses nonviolence, we specifically look for individuals who are skilled in nonviolent techniques, conflict resolution and mediation. We are opening up volunteer positions as Lunchtime Listeners to individuals who are retired teachers or social workers, and trained in conflict resolution and/or mediation. Parents willing to learn conflict resolution skills are invited to volunteer as well.
All Lunchtime Listeners involved in this project make a commitment to nonviolent, non-bias and non-judgmental handling of student conflicts. Volunteers are also required not to discuss mediations that happen on the playground and in the lunchroom with individuals outside of CRC. Confidentiality maintains the safety and trust of students.
The Lunchtime Listeners Brochure