School-Based Programs

Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC) uses a character education curriculum designed in collaboration with Project Adventure, a leader in the international adventure learning movement. The PBC curriculum is a multi-year program conducted primarily in the classrooms of collaborating inner-city schools that have chosen to enhance their school climate.

PBC has partnered with the following schools, providing them with a full-time PBC staff member and regular programming in each school:
Global Neighborhood Secondary School – New York City
Rivera Middle School – Trenton
Trenton Central High School – West Campus
Trenton Central High School – Chambers Campus

PBC facilitates classroom-based courses throughout the academic year that are modeled on the principles of experiential education.  Programming includes several trips to the Blairstown Campus for outdoor experiences and activities.  In addition, Princeton University Campus Expeditions introduce our school partners to life on a college campus. The overarching goals of this curriculum are to engage students in activities that build community, develop leadership skills, teach conflict resolution strategies and practice setting and accomplishing goals.

Trained PBC staff facilitate a briefing and debriefing process before and after each activity. A  debrief answers three questions: 1. What happened? 2. So what? 3. Now what?  This kind of direct engagement and reflection reinforces lessons learned at each session and expands the participants’ understanding of how to use these lessons in other areas of life.  Various activities reinforce the same lessons until the entire group demonstrates proficiency.  All subsequent activities and lessons build on previous learning and skills.

A sample of PBC activities can be found here.

The kind of learning that PBC promotes in the classroom is based on the principles of social and emotional learning. In December of 2008, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) found that “[Social Emotional Learning] programs yielded multiple benefits…and were effective in both school and after-school settings and for students with and without behavioral and emotional problems”.

Additional information on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) core skills objectives and sample activities for year one can be found here.

To discuss opportunities for a multi-year school-based program in your community, please contact Katherine Carmichael at kcarmichael@princetonblairstown.org

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