Part of our Gratitude series to thank some who have been with us since the very beginning and others who are new friends. Each has made invaluable contributions of time, talent, and treasure, and we are forever grateful.
Back in 1999 when Peter was first inspired to create Operation Respect and to develop a new classroom tool inspired by the lyrics of “Don’t Laugh at Me,” he reached out to the highly respected group of educators then known as Educators for Social Responsibility (now known as Engaging Schools.) An amazing team then came together to write the original Teachers Guides for our Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum. Those guides have now been downloaded over 100,000 times and translated into Hebrew, Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, and Ukrainian for use around the world.
How lucky we are that Laura Parker Roerden, the original writer of Don’t Laugh at Me, has been here to help us in 2016, when we were ready to hit the refresh button on the curriculum. Laura carefully walked back through content we knew was still valuable to so many teachers and updated it with fresh resources, new links to the Common Core standards, and the kind of skilled adjustments we have learned from so many who use these lessons in their schools, camps, and youth groups.
Through countless rounds of edits and conference calls, Laura hung in with Mark, Peter, and me, to create a new Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum that we believe will help thousands of children learn in safe, respectful, compassionate environments.
You rock, Laura!