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Children at School


The Project Belonging Program starts with five hours of training on Educational Displacement.

Then, program participants turn what they have learned into action by implementing an initiative to promote belonging in their schools or communities.


The five-hour training introduces students to the core concepts of Educational Displacement. Students will learn about the importance of belonging and resilience in school settings and discuss how to build bridges between and within communities. Two hours will be synchronous online sessions led by Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess, two hours will be asynchronous online lessons, and the final hour will be a debrief session with Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess and Project Belonging Staff, allowing students to reflect on the lessons they have gathered from the course. 

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Following the training, each student team will receive a $1000 stipend to implement local initiatives that foster empathy, connection, and belonging. At the end of the project implementation phase, students showcase their projects in a secure Project Belonging metaverse space. After completing the program, students will receive a signed certificate from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Throughout the program, students may complete surveys and have the opportunity to participate in focus groups or interviews about their experiences. Students may also share their successes and progress through the Teachers College, Columbia University Belonging website, social channels, or podcast.

The Project Belonging Program requires schools to have a supervising teacher responsible for organizing logistics and communicating between school teams and Teachers College, Project Belonging staff. For more information on the role of a supervising teacher, see our FAQs page here.

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