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Key Themes

Our programs are oriented around four key themes of social justice, leadership, communication and mental health & well-being



Friends and allies



Emotional intelligence

Positive school climate

Self-esteem & confidence

Safe & caring schools



Social inclusion


Celebration of identity

Anti-oppression training



Ally skills


Conflict resolution

Youth-led projects



Compassionate listening

Cross-generational dialogue

Our Unique Approach

Community Builders’ values and approach make our programs uniquely effective

Our philosophy is based on The Heart of the Child mental model – that people are inherently caring, but they get hurt and then they hurt others. This is a powerful perspective for effecting change. When we don’t blame people, we are better able to help them behave thoughtfully.


Our motto is “Everyone Counts, Everyone Belongs” – all the ways people get excluded are important to address, including race, class, age, gender and other identities.


We take a whole-community approach, training parents and teachers as well as students.


Participants in our programs learn concrete models and skills that they can use when intervening in tough social situations.


We work with children of all ages, and specialize in the crucial middle years of ages 8 through 12, an excellent time to invest in leadership development.


We recognize that communities of youth need to have positive peer leaders, just as communities of adults do.


We deliver the message that anyone can become a positive leader, and that leadership behind the scenes is as important as more public leadership.

Supportive Research
Research shows the importance of the skills taught by Community Builders 

Research by Pepler and Craig reveals that 85% of the time that young people are bullied excluded, or mistreated, their peers are present. But only 11% of the time do those peers do anything about it. When they do intervene, they are inclined to act aggressively, rarely displaying pro-social skills. ​They are not only sure what to do to help, but they also fear being targeted themselves if they stand up for the victim.

Community Builders has developed award-winning programs that equip young people with the understanding and skills to stand up for others. 

We know that early intervention can help reduce the potentially lifelong negative effects of mistreatment on perpetrators, victims and witnesses. Leadership training for young people can make a major difference!

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