Mediation Center of The Coastal Empire Recognizes 2019 Peer Mediators at Awards Ceremony

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, April 29th, 2019

The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire hosted its 2019 Peer Mediation Recognition and Awards Banquet at Woodville Tompkins Technical & Career High School, 1512 Coach Joe Turner St., in Savannah.
The event recognized student mediators who make a tremendous impact both in the community and in school as role models helping peers navigate conflict, facilitate differences peacefully and developing conversation skills.  WSAV news anchor Kim Gusby emceed the event and the Honorable Judge Tammy Stokes was the keynote speaker.
All Peer Mediators in attendance received “Peers Working It Out” Medallions and three other special awards were given to acknowledge exemplary successes in the program.  The recipient of the Student Engagement Award was Kiarra Gaskins of Jenkins High School.  The Innovation Award was earned by Hubert Middle School for their “No Place for Hate” campaign, and Hubert Middle School also received a Platinum Award for most cases mediated by student peer mediators in Chatham County.  Metter Middle School was awarded a Platinum Award for most cases mediated of all schools in the program.
The Mediation Center’s Peer Mediation Program is a peer-led confidential process for resolving conflicts. Students have the opportunity to talk through difficult situations with the help of trained student mediators.  Peer Mediators do not take sides and keep all information confidential.  This process nurtures empathy and empowers students to develop their own solutions.
The Peer Mediation Program has trained over 1000 students in three school districts in Georgia.  These students receive twelve hours of intense training which prepares them to mediate conflict among their classmates.  Sixty-two percent of incidents occur in the classroom, taking away from valuable instruction time.  School coordinators supported these Peer Mediators through the process resulting in 100 % of students reaching an agreement (so far) in 2018-19, and 95% of the agreements remaining effective one-month post mediation.
“We are proud to recognize students who are committed to making their school a peaceful place to learn.  These students go through intensive training in effective communication, problem solving and conflict-resolution skills before becoming peer mediators and it is vital that we celebrate their success and award their efforts.   ” Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks said.