CorStone Life Skills Program for Youth Launched in India

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Marin County nonprofit CorStone announces the successful launch of its Children’s Resiliency Program (CRP) in New Delhi, India to provide social-emotional, conflict management and other life skills training to youth, primarily 12-18 year old girls, in high poverty communities.

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CorStone’s program positively impacts at-risk youth by enhancing their resilience to psychological disorders, while simultaneously providing them with the skills and support to deal with conflict and adversity in a healthy way – helping them to make better choices that can improve their lives and their communities

Marin County nonprofit CorStone announces the successful launch of its Children’s Resiliency Program (CRP) in New Delhi, India to provide social-emotional, conflict management and other life skills training to youth, primarily 12-18 year old girls, in high poverty communities. The CRP – India is built upon a similar program CorStone launched domestically in US schools in September 2009 and represents the first of many opportunities for CorStone to reach at-risk youth in vulnerable communities worldwide using culturally adapted methods and materials.

The program commenced with a 5-day intensive training in New Delhi for approximately 50 teachers from 5 cities and from more than 10 schools across the country. Beginning in November 2009, the teachers will in turn deliver CorStone’s weekly structured curriculum in a facilitated peer support group format to over 1,000 students.

“CorStone’s program positively impacts at-risk youth by enhancing their resilience to psychological disorders, while simultaneously providing them with the skills and support to deal with conflict and adversity in a healthy way – helping them to make better choices that can improve their lives and their communities,” said Steve Leventhal, Executive Director of CorStone. “In many low income communities, using the school as the central venue for providing psychosocial skills and support is the best way to reach vulnerable children. Our teacher training program brought together a diverse group of educators from the Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist communities, all serving at-risk school children. It was a deeply moving experience to witness the enthusiasm, passion and dedication exhibited throughout the training and we’re excited about the potential far-reaching impact of the program.”

To assess the efficacy of the program, CorStone is implementing an in-depth program evaluation with 100 schoolgirls at the Hope Project, a local nonprofit that operates in a 400 year-old Muslim enclave in Delhi. These girls, ages 12 to 18, are all the first generation in their community to attend a secular school of any kind. CorStone has partnered with Sangath, a local mental, behavioral and developmental health organization, to undertake a formal evaluation of the program. Sangath was the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation 2008 International Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Anticipated outcomes include enhanced emotional resilience among students at participating schools, as measured by positive changes in levels of optimism, internal locus of control, and social connections and decreases in the number and severity of disruptive incidents.

Initial funding for this program has been generously provided by Abbott Labs. CorStone seeks additional funding partners and academic research partners to support (a) full program implementation and (b) a formal multi-site program evaluation using a rigorous experimental design across several schools. For more information on the Children's Resiliency Program in India, please contact Steve Leventhal, Executive Director, at stevel@corstone.org.

About CorStone (http://www.corstone.org)
CorStone, a non-profit organization based in Sausalito, California, works to develop and support emotional resilience in children, families and communities so they can better deal with challenge, conflict and crisis. Formerly known as the International Center for Attitudinal Healing, the organization, founded in 1975, has provided trainings and workshops in over 50 countries to thousands of adults and children facing life-threatening illness, conflict and adversity. To learn more, visit http://www.corstone.org.

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Diana Iles Parker
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