Orenda Education Home Page
Our Philosophy (what we believe about our youth):

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and findings of modern youth development research.

The Circle of Courage provides the philosophical foundation for the work of Reclaiming Youth International.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpuf


Orenda schools are based on the "Circle of Courage" (TM) philosophy. The Circle of Courage is an integrated, holistic approach to child development and learning intended to promote a sense of belonging, independence, mastery and generosity*.  The Circle of Courage serves as a moral character development guide for our faculty and our students and helps set the tone for the students to become successful academically.

Circle of Courage®

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and findings of modern youth development research.

The Circle of Courage provides the philosophical foundation for the work of Reclaiming Youth International.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpuf

Circle of Courage®

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and findings of modern youth development research.

The Circle of Courage provides the philosophical foundation for the work of Reclaiming Youth International.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpuf

Circle of Courage®

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and findings of modern youth development research.

The Circle of Courage provides the philosophical foundation for the work of Reclaiming Youth International.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpuf

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and findings of modern youth development research.

The Circle of Courage provides the philosophical foundation for the work of Reclaiming Youth International.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpuf

Belonging

In Native American and First Nations cultures, significance was nurtured in communities of belonging. Lakota anthropologist Ella Deloria described the core value of belonging in these simple words: "Be related, somehow, to everyone you know." Treating others as kin forges powerful social bonds that draw all into relationships of respect. Theologian Marty observed that throughout history the tribe, not the nuclear family, always ensured the survival of the culture. Even if parents died or were not responsible, the tribe was always there to nourish the next generation.

Mastery
Competence in traditional cultures is ensured by guaranteed opportunity for mastery. Children were taught to carefully observe and listen to those with more experience. A person with greater ability was seen as a model for learning, not as a rival. Each person strives for mastery for personal growth, but not to be superior to someone else. Humans have an innate drive to become competent and solve problems. With success in surmounting challenges, the desire to achieve is strengthened.To lead by example and be responsible.

Independence
Power in Western culture was based on dominance, but in tribal traditions it meant respecting the right for independence. In contrast to obedience models of discipline, Native teaching was designed to build respect and teach inner discipline. From earliest childhood, children were encouraged to make decisions, solve problems, and show personal responsibility. Adults modeled, nurtured, taught values, and gave feedback, but children were given abundant opportunities to make choices without coercion.It means that people can rely on you and trust you at all times.

Generosity
Finally, virtue was reflected in the preeminent value of generosity. The central goal in Native American child-rearing is to teach the importance of being generous and unselfish. In the words of a Lakota Elder, "You should be able to give away your most cherished possession without your heart beating faster." In helping others, youth create their own proof of worthiness: they make a positive contribution to another human life.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpuf
 

The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and findings of modern youth development research.

The Circle of Courage provides the philosophical foundation for the work of Reclaiming Youth International.

- See more at: http://starr.org/training/youth/aboutcircleofcourage#sthash.gSVPKMTL.dpufOrenda schools are based on the "Circle of Courage" philosophy. The Circle of Courage is an integrated, holistic approach to child development and learning intended to promote a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity*.

At the core is our commitment to provide a school culture where all our students feel welcomed and know they are a vital part of the school community (Belonging).

At Orenda schools, our goal is to provide a stimulating academic experience where students can grow, develop and have ownership over their learning. Our schools are a place where students can have the freedom to learn in their own style, at their own pace and through their own interests (Independence).

We believe that each student has unique talents and gifts that must be discovered before the student can begin to feel competent. Increased competency enhances self-esteem and provides the motivation for further achievement (Mastery).

We also believe every student has a tremendous capacity for good will. We teach the importance of being generous and unselfish and expect our students to serve the school and the community through participation in our various service clubs (Generosity).

*The Circle of Courage is a model of positive youth development first described in the book, "Reclaiming Youth at Risk," co-authored by Larry Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg and Steve Van Bockern.


The Circle of Courage artistic rendering above was painted by Lakota artist George Blue Bird.  The four directions portray universal human needs for belonging, mastery, independence and generosity.  These are the foundations for psychological resilience and positive youth development.