Youth Programs

Our programs empower, educate and provide students from different religious and ethnic backgrounds first-hand experiences with peers from a variety of faiths and traditions, to build leadership and critical thinking skills.

It has been demonstrated through the Temple of Understandings work with young people that the use of experiential and participatory learning supports long-term behavior change and can transform perspectives. That is why all ToU youth programs, trainings and activities have been created as hands-on, interactive, cooperative learning environments, in which youth participants are responsible for working collaboratively with their peers, independent of direction from adults. In addition, participating youth use their peers as resources to explore opinions and ideas from various perspectives in a forum that encourages open interfaith debate and discussion. The goal of TOU Youth Programs is to build community, foster values of respect and understanding, and nurture young leaders for a new culture of peace and justice.

Interfaith Dialogue, Education and Action (IDEA)

IDEA focuses on the development of leadership skills, individual responsibility and creativity to bring youth driven community projects to fruition. The mission of IDEA is to empower and educate youth (ages 14 to 19) from different cultural backgrounds to build leadership and critical thinking skills, create strong bonds of friendship and support ongoing learning opportunities among young people.  Currently the IDEA program is in Susan Wagner High School, and Port Richmond High School both located on Staten Island, NY. In the 2012-2013 school year the program will continue to be offered in these schools along with new Staten Island area high schools.

The Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Nonviolence at the United Nations

Part of an international 64-day educational campaign, this UN event brings more than 500 junior high and high school students from the tri-state area together to learn more about these three leaders of nonviolence. Educators are given suggestions for classroom learning that can be used throughout the year, and which is aimed at inspiring students to make their local and global communities more peaceful.