Turn classrooms and communities into safer places for academic and social/emotional learning

LivingSidebySide® (LSBS) transforms attitudes and behavior in the classroom, school, and community laying a foundation for success. The program utilizes a strategic combination of professional development for teachers, interactive classroom modules for students, and a values-based approach through which small changes can create a “safe space” and yield significant results.

Legacy’s methodology supports a wide range of social/emotional learning factors in a unified fashion to build character, provide tools for preventing and resolving conflict, diffuse difficult behaviors, promote inclusivity, and promote civic engagement. These complimentary elements target a single aim – turning classrooms and communities into safer places for academic performance, social/emotional learning, and productive interaction.

To bring LivingSidebySide® to your city, school district, or country, please contact Marlene Ginsberg for more information.

Are you ready to take the next step? 

Developed and tested over three decades, LivingSidebySide® has been implemented with mixed populations in the US, and with Israelis and Palestinians, Northern Irish Protestants and Catholics, various Nigerian groups, and Croats, Muslims, and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 125 schools in New York City, and 10 schools in the Kyrgyz Republic. Its flexible training models include complete manuals for facilitators, worksheets for participants, and custom training and certification services.

Professional Development for Teachers

LivingSidebySide® Short-Course Teacher Professional Development Descriptions
1-3 day courses

Organizing student-led Community Service Actions

  • for teachers of Grades 7-12
  • Pre-requisites: none

Many schools have student community service requirements, and wish to involve student leadership in planning and carrying out project actions. This training equips teachers with background philosophies (Why do community service?) and practical tools and timelines for leading students in teacher-organized or student-leader organized community service actions. Included are project frameworks for teachers, scripted planning activities to do with students, student worksheets, and post-action evaluation tools to complete the student learning experience.

Classroom Culture starts with You!

  • for teachers of all grade levels
  • Pre-requisites: none

One key component of student success is the creation of positive relationships between students and teachers. Teachers are the primary actors in this effort. A teacher’s toolkit needs to include an enhanced understanding of one’s own identity, inner story, and cultural competency; how one’s words, thoughts, and body language affect students; and specific tools for promoting positive communication in the classroom and enhancing relationships with students. Welcome to the Classroom Culture toolbox.

Everyday Conflict Prevention and Resolution

  • for teachers of grades 7-12
  • Pre-requisites: Classroom Culture starts w/ you

Creating a peace-able classroom starts with some basic understandings of the mechanics of conflict. This training introduces teachers to the elements of conflict, what makes conflicts escalate or de-escalate, how to find and affirm common values and needs, techniques for hearing what is being said, understanding your own and others conflict response styles, and how and when to use these new understandings among colleagues and with your students.

Accountable Communication

  • for teachers of grades 7-12
  • Pre-requisites: Classroom Culture starts w/ you

Effective in-person communication has a different set of requirements from on-line communication. However, in this age of the internet, skills supporting positive interpersonal communication are rarely taught in a comprehensive way. This training provides teachers with a set of methods and scripted classroom activities that promote awareness and skill development among students concerning how their communication affects fellow-students, and what can be done to reduce tensions and increase productive interactions among themselves.

5-Day Professional Development Training

Download the flyer for details.

  • Day 1: Establish Community, Values and Identity, Diversity Skills
  • Day 2: Communication Awareness, Communicating in Difficult Circumstances, Understanding and Reducing Prejudice
  • Day 3: Transforming Conflict into a Productive Tool, Conflict Resolution Strategies, and Mediation Skills
  • 2-Days Follow–up Professional Development Support (6 months and one year out sessions) Reunite with colleagues in your professional learning community for review, additional training and coaching, sharing and refining skills.

LivingSidebySide®  for School Districts

(Full Program) 

  • 36 hour curriculum adapted culturally and linguistically
  • 7 day Training of Trainers Model (can be scheduled over time)
  • Youth Trainings (6-8 weeks after school)
  • Extensive monitoring and coaching
  • Professional Development Retreat after Youth Training
  • Basic and Advanced Certification levels
  • Qualifies for Continuing Education Units

International Programs and Partners

Two international organizations, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the International Institute for Impact Evaluation (3IE) collaborated to conduct an external study of the LivingSidebySide® program in 2014.  One conclusion is:

“Overall, the completed research is an extremely important contribution to social science disciplines that focus on peace building, conflict resolution and/or reconciliation. It is also of great relevance and importance for policy makers and peace education practitioners.”  3IE

Download What is LivingSidebySide® describing the goals and framework, unique features, history, components, partial impact evaluation and outcomes of the pilot project.

  • Kyrgyzstan (Details of the Pilot Program; seeking funds to nationalize the program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Academy of Teacher Training); SIPRI Letter of Support
  • The Netherlands (under development)
    • In-country representative: Jeff Balch:, Amsterdam
    • A. Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, in a letter, stressed the importance of education in the prevention of radicalism. “I value highly the work of Legacy International and wish you every success with your activities”.

TRAINING MODULES can be presented to schools and after-school programs, summer camps, youth clubs, weekend workshops. Most packages involve 32 – 40 hours of workshops. Target audience is ages 15 – 18; the program is easily modified for adult audiences.

LivingSidebySide® for Adults or Organizations include: Train the Trainers (TOT) for teachers or trainers;


  • Basic Training – enables practitioners to deliver the program to youth and young adult groups.
  • Advanced Training – enables practitioners to train other adult facilitators for certification.
  • On-site Program Development, Monitoring, and Capacity-Building support for participating organizations
  • Choice of Training Locations including at Legacy’s Global Youth Village (GYV) campus to see our international summer program in action. GYV is Legacy’s longest running flagship program and one location where training takes place.

Youth Training: Global Youth Village

Legacy’s flagship program since 1979. Visit the Global Youth Village for details. 

Lorraine Warren, LivingSidebySide® instructor for 20 years, shares her views about the curriculum: 

Comments From Youth Participants