What Educators Say About Us

Students stated that this was the best assembly of this type that they had ever experienced. Students and staff all agree that [The Edge] is a powerful tool in our journey towards creating the environment that we want [at our school]. We have decided that, as a school, we are committing to one day a month to gather in groups again to deepen our relationships by asking/answering questions as was done in the first [Edge] exercise. Thanks to you all [at The Edge]!Steve Van Ert, Principal, Happy Camp High School

Every other year, we bring The Edge to Sisson School to work with our sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes within the first month to help “set the tone” for a positive year. Today's generation of students demonstrate a unique ability to navigate the extremely complicated issues which they face on a daily basis. The Edge provides a safe and supportive venue for students to explore some of those issues. The Edge format encourages students to ‘step across the line’ and engage their peers in meaningful dialog and realize that their struggles and strengths are shared by others. The Edge facilitators create an environment that fosters empathy, insight, and understanding. Our students are challenged to think beyond the scope of their own lives and integrate the ideas, experiences, and perspectives of others into their own developing paradigm. I believe that students that participate in The Edge are more equipped to meet the social needs of their school community. Please feel free to call me with further questions.Kale Riccomini, Principal, Sisson Middle School

Trust and a sense of belonging to one's school is essential to creating a nurturing and inspiring school climate that gives students and staff the safety to express themselves, to ask questions, and to feel what they have to say is worthwhile. Many of our students have experienced feelings of isolation and mistrust in just being themselves with others—on the defense, which only leads to compromising who they are, accepting bullying behaviors, and striking out at others. The Edge made a great difference in our school. After The Edge event, the school climate changed noticeably. Students that felt alone and hopeless reached out to other students and to staff. Students that had bullied other students or ‘stirred the pot of peer conflict’ subsided in those behaviors and showed empathy toward others. A culture of kindness was increased, which gave students the safety to express themselves, their feelings and opinions. That is what a thriving learning environment offers students. We certainly look forward to bringing The Edge back to our school.Bill Bartlett, Principal, and Tanya Maxwell, Counselor, at Joseph Lane Middle School

Please accept this letter of appreciation for bringing The Edge to Eagle Point Middle School! It was a wonderful experience for all of us to realize we have much more in common than our differences. We are hopeful that this experience will continue to increase awareness of self and others and the impact of our choices.Joni Parsons, Principal, Eagle Point Middle School

What an amazing gift! The Edge is an exceptional venue that gives students the permission and safety to express themselves; to see the likenesses and differences in each of their peers. Facades are dropped and curtains opened. Everything is laid on the table. Students have the freedom to explore their vulnerabilities. It is totally evident that Edge volunteer facilitators are passionate and devoted to the mission of their program; helping to address the enormous issues facing our youth today. As an administrator, I was overwhelmed by the openness and sadness that the students shared—many for the first time—and also by the compassion they showed toward one another. Every child should have the opportunity to participate in The Edge.Barbara Ulbrich, Principal, Dunsmuir Elementary School

The Edge had an incredible impact on our 7th and 8th graders. The program allowed our students to acquire a higher level of compassion and empathy for one another. I've been involved with other programs that lasted a full day or longer. The Edge accomplished more than the other programs did in just half-of-a-day.Kale Riccomini, Principal, Sisson Middle School

Many [of our] students carry with them invisible shields to protect themselves from hurt. The Edge helps students lower these shields and to trust other students they see on a day-to-day basis. As PHS principal, I've seen students walk out of a gymnasium crying tears of joy and relief. Their perception of themselves, and of others, is changed because of the work of the Edge volunteers. I'm excited, and this coming year, we will ensure that all ninth graders begin the year by experiencing The Edge.Jani Hale, Principal

Fights at YHS were notably lower last year [after hosting The Edge event] and student's willingness to come forward to talk about and deal with issues surrounding “bully” situations and suicide were up.Maria Haywood, Director of Psychological Services, Yreka Union High School District

A teacher friend at CAHPS could not stop talking about how great The Edge was. Students in her class wanted to talk about their Edge experience so much that she spent an entire class doing just that. The wrestling coach, Greg Haga, spent 20 minutes telling her how impressed he was with The Edge and what a tremendous impact it had on our kids. You Edge folks are doing an amazing job. You should be very proud of the work you are doing. You are making a difference and you are changing lives; something not easily done with teens in this world today.Jeannie Camarillo, Principal (retired), Crater High School

PHS sends a big “thank you” to The Edge. Today’s workshop was powerful, inspiring, emotional, and healing. I am convinced that we need to offer this experience to our freshman again next year. Let’s talk about how to make this happen.Shawna Blanchette, Vice Principal, Phoenix High School, Phoenix, Oregon

The Edge allows kids the ability to see others who have been bullied and the impact/scars those individuals have, often years later. The Edge puts a face to bullying.Kirk Baumann, Principal, Lincoln Savage Middle School, Grants Pass, Oregon

Three things stand out to me after experiencing The Edge with three different class levels: (1) Students expressed new signs of respect for teachers that they now saw as “more human” than before The Edge. (2) Each class community had a chance to express difficult but needed things that contributed to their feeling less alone, more accepted, more able to move beyond issues that held them back, and a chance to make right old wrongs. (3) It was striking for many students that so many adults would give up their time to be with them and get to know them without any agenda.Eric Epstein, Coordinator, Southern Oregon Adolescent Study and Treatment Center, Three Rivers School District, Rogue River School District, Oregon

Help kids in our community help themselves by getting involved today! Tell your school's administrators and counselor about us, make a donation, join our mailing list, and/or serve as a volunteer. Thank you for caring!
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