Restorative Justice Spotlight: School District Partner Programs

Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership (EVRJP) provides proactive and responsive restorative processes that enhance cooperation, encourage understanding and strengthen relationships. One way they do this is through school district partner programs.

Since 2014, EVRJP has collaborated with the Estes Park School District to offer proactive restorative programming that supports positive relationships, strengthens connections between people and builds personal resiliency. Through the use of an evidence and strengths-based curriculum by One Circle Foundation, Estes Park school youth are able to explore topics through gender responsive models, including Girls Circle, The Council for Boys and Young Men, and Unity Circle. These structured support groups provide safe spaces to discuss difficult topics and address common concerns and challenges faced by youth.

In addition to the One Circle Foundation programming, EVRJP also offers Student Support & Accountability Circles (SSAC). SSAC is designed to serve youth who might benefit from additional structured support. Through individualized processes, youth have the opportunity to connect with others around a variety of themes, including school functioning, relationship building and wellness. The group works to model growth and empower participants to build skills for success, both in school and outside of school.

For many youth, involvement in these school-based programs has led to increased self-esteem, emotional awareness, sense of belonging, confidence, and quality of relationships with peers and adults. Youth have shared that, as a result of participation, they looked forward to going to school, learned a lot about themselves, shared their feelings and beliefs more than before, and could better relate to kids their age. One participant shared, “Council has helped me make different/new friends and help me become more confident with myself.” Participants also noted that circles helped to relieve stress, develop new friendships and learn new skills. “The program is very fun and you learn a lot of meaningful things. Most of the stuff you learn in circle is good for your life outside of the circle,” described another youth.

Over 80% of youth who engaged in EVRJP’s school-based programming said they would sign up again. “This program is very amazing,” said one. “I thought I would only mildly enjoy it, but I have made friends and become a better person because of Girl Circle.”

For some, the positive connection and impact of participation has led them to want to contribute further. Through leadership roles, these youth have facilitated circle programming as co-leaders and peer support — helping to inspire, shape and support the experiences of younger students’ while giving back to the programs that were personally meaningful to them.

EVRJP’s school-based programming is supported by staff and volunteers. Learn more about how EVRJP provides safe spaces for students to problem-solve, learn new skills and make positive connections at

EVRJP relies on community support to provide services and programming. Help grow and sustain Restorative Justice in the Estes Valley by participating in the 2022 Better To-Go Fundraiser Dinner on Nov. 30. Enjoy great food to-go from Mama Rose’s Restaurant in support of EVRJP. Thanks to the generous donation of the meal by Julie and Rob Pieper, owners of Poppy’s and Mama Rose’s, all proceeds will benefit EVRJP and support restorative programming in the Estes Valley. EVRJP is a  tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All donations are tax deductible.

Place your order for the 2022 Better To-Go Fundraiser Dinner by 11/25 at Learn more about Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership and their school-based programs at

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About Pep Dekekr

Pep loves Estes Park, he lives here with his family and hopes to bring people to Estes Park and Estes Park to the people. Along with his wife Paige, they own

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