Author Archive: directorifi

Forgiveness Education is a Smart Investment

We often receive emails here at the International Forgiveness Institute asking what resources we have available to help teachers initiate a Forgiveness Education Program in their school. Here is how we respond:

Starting a forgiveness education program either in your classroom or throughout your school is relatively simple since we provide all the materials. We have Curriculum Guides available for grades Pre-K through 12th Grade. The curriculum guides are comprehensive (most over 100 pages) making them easy for classroom teachers to use.

The guides are available in two formats–the standard version for public schools and the Christian version that includes supplemental information tying the lessons into Christian principles and values. Here is a preview of an actual curriculum guide for you to review–the introduction and first three lessons of the 1st Grade Curriculum Guide (Standard Version) and the 1st Grade Curriculum Guide (Christian Version).

The guides focus on Dr. Seuss books in the early grades and on other age-appropriate books, DVDs and websites for older students. Through stories, children learn about the five moral qualities most important to forgiving another person–inherent worth, moral love, kindness, respect and generosity.

In the Grade One Curriculum Guide, for example, Dr. Seuss’ book “Horton Hears a Who” is the centerpiece of all of the materials. Horton was chosen because of his oft repeated wisdom: “A person is a person no matter how small.” This idea captures well the concept of inherent worth.

For each grade level the curriculum gets progressively more challenging so that by the twelfth grade the students are encouraged, if they so choose, to bring the principles of forgiveness to their community outside of school. See Curriculum Guides Basic Description for details.

Each grade level has a number of children’s books and related Holy Family School-Belfastmaterials suggested for use with the teacher guide. You may obtain the books yourself, or we have available, and will provide to you at no cost, two-page to six-page book summaries with each guide you purchase.

Finally, we highly recommend a two-hour teacher training program we have developed for all instructors who will be providing forgiveness education. We can provide that training on site, through Skype, or through audio CD.  Teachers can listen to the CD as a group (preferred method) or can access it whenever they wish. Contact us for details if you prefer an on-site or Skype training session:

You can order complete sets of the curriculum guides (book summaries included) as well as the Instructional CD in our website Store. Deciding to teach forgiveness education to your students is a low-cost but smart investment that pays off as the students practice forgiveness skills throughout their lifetime.

Dennis Blang

Please follow and like us:

Mother Forgives, Embraces Daughter’s Killer, Miami, FL – Jordyn Howe, 16, pleaded guilty in court last week to the 2012 shooting death of his friend, Lourdes “Jina” Guzman-DeJesus, 13.School bus shooting 2

Howe brought his stepfather’s gun onto a school bus, and tried to fire it at the ground. When nothing happened he pointed it at “Jina” and pulled the trigger. This time the gun fired, killing her.

The teen originally faced up to 22 months in prison before Ady DeJesus, the girl’s mother, met with the teen and the judge. During that meeting DeJesus presented a different plea to the court. Instead of prison, she asked that the court place Howe in a juvenile detention facility for a year.

But that’s not all. She also wants him to join her as she travels around Florida, speaking to others about the dangers of guns. If he doesn’t follow through, he goes back to court, and likely prison.

After the judge approved the new agreement, DeJesus gave Howe an extended hug in front of the courtroom. She says that the ruling has helped bring her peace.

“I forgive him because I’ve found peace because I feel like my daughter now is in peace,” she said. “It won’t bring my daughter back, but at least it will keep her name alive.”

Read the full story: The Ultimate Forgiveness: Mother ‘Embraces’ Daughter’s Killer in Court”
Watch the Local (Pembroke Park, FL)  news video (02.35): “Mother shows forgiveness to daughter’s killer.”

Please follow and like us:

Teen Sends a Forgiveness Message a Year After Her Death

Fox 13, Springville, Utah – In October 2011, Reesa Kammerman tried to commit suicide–four times. She was 14 years old.

Reesa went through more turbulence in life than most teenagers. In addition to trying to take her own life, and after revelations of rape and molestation, her father got her into therapy. She came back with a smiling face, and once again began doing the things she loved, like playing guitar, but her sunshine was short-lived.

ReesaReesa was killed in a single rollover car crash on July 28, 2013. She was revived three times. Showing her will to survive, the then-16 year old hung on to life for 16 days, in a coma, before finally slipping away.

Her heartbroken father, Michael, had lost his daughter and then nearly a year after her death, he discovered a video of daddy’s little girl, spilling her secrets.

“My mom left when I was 9 for me to raise my 4 little brothers,” Reesa writes on a notepad in the video. “I was raped three times!” she continues.

“I hated my life,” she wrote. “I didn’t want to live anymore.”

But then, somehow, from the depths of darkness, a young woman found her light and a delivered a message she perhaps wanted to share with the world.

“I have a million reasons to live,” Reesa goes on to say. “I love my family.”Be Gentle 2


“Forgive anyone who has ever hurt you.”

“Forgive that one person who wasn’t there when you needed them the most!”

“Most importantly…forgive yourself!”

Michael decided to post the video on the Internet because “I felt that this is a message that needs to be shared. If it even helps one person, Reesa would be happy.”

Read the full story: Teen girl’s message of forgiveness surfaces after her death. Watch the full “Reesa’s Legacy Video.”

Please follow and like us:

Road Tragedy Leads to Forgiveness and New Road Safety Group

702 ABC Sydney, Australia – Sarah Frazer was like any 22 year old woman.  Dreams, aspirations and excitement.  On a sunny February day, while on her way to Wagga Wagga to start college, her car broke down on the Hume Highway in the Southern Highlands.  She called roadside assistance and a tow truck arrived some time later.  Driver Geoff Clark began loading the car.

Some 10 minutes later, both would be dead.  Hit by a truck.

Months later, Sarah’s father Peter SARAH2Frazer travels the countryside speaking about the importance of road safety and treating everyone on the road like they’re family.  “You never hear about what happens after an accident.  What I’m doing is about standing beside the people and acknowledging their loss.”

Frazer also noted the healing process of forgiveness.

“When Kaine’s case was adjourned, my daughter Rebecca comforted his girlfriend,” Frazer said of Kaine Barnett who was driving the truck. “I saw Kaine banging his head, weeping.  I hugged him, and said we forgave him.”

Frazer and his family intend to visit Barnett while he serves his 3 year sentence for manslaughter.

This week (May 4-10) is Road Safety Week and the SARAH (Safer Australian Roads and Highways) Group is asking motorists to tie a yellow ribbon to their car in memory of the 1,200 killed and 30,000 injured on Australian roads last year.

Read the full report: “Father says forgiveness was key to healing after accident.”

Please follow and like us:

Beyond Right & Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness

It’s been 20 years since the Genocide in Rwanda claimed the lives of more than 800,000 people. You can hear survivors’ stories in their own words by watching Beyond Right & Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness.

Rwanda-TIME MagBeyond Right & Wrong presents the stories of people who have experienced loss and the stories of people who have caused that loss. From the Rwandan Genocide to the Troubles in Northern Ireland to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, people from different sides of the violence have entrusted all of us with their stories—their anger or remorse, their pain, their paths to recovery.

In the stillness after conflict, after the blood dries and the screams fade, the memory of violence transforms survivors into prisoners of their own pain. How do whole societies recover from devastating conflict? Can survivors live—converse, smile, and even laugh—beside someone who blinded them, killed their parents, or murdered their children? Can victims and perpetrators work together to rebuild their lives? This life-changing documentary explores the intersections of justice and forgiveness as survivors heal from these tragedies.

Please follow and like us:

The Missing Piece to the Peace Puzzle