Mike and Val have worked as teachers and counselors in excess of 30 years, at kindergarten through college levels.

Mike observes: "During that time Val and I have seen the development of many programs to address academic needs of children. Events in our time, some based in violence, have shown that focusing on the cognative aspects of child development while ignoring social and emotional components can have devastating effects. Until recently, we wondered where one could find curricula relating to the social and emotional needs of children. Such projects as The Giraffe Project, Don't Laugh At Me, The Tribes Project, and The Search Institute's Developmental Assets have taken our thinking in that direction.

Dr. Daniel Goleman's book, Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Jane Healy's book, Endangered Minds: "Our Children Don't think and What We Can Do About It," and others have helped immensely in bringing needs of the whole child into clearer view. Using our backgrounds in teaching and counseling, the album, Carry Your Own Rainbow, has become our attempt to address the needs of the whole child through song."

  • Don't laugh at me.
    Operation Respect is a non-profit organization working to transform schools, camps and organizations focused on children and youth, into more compassionate, safe and respectful environments. It is a unique organization that provides a gateway to broad scale adoption of school-based character education as well as social and emotional learning (SEL) programs.
Don't laugh at me.
  • The Giraffe Project
    The world needs heroes, people with vision and courage, people who are willing to stick their necks out and take responsibility for solving tough problems, on the planet and on the block.
    The Giraffe Project has been finding these heroes and commending them as "Giraffes" since 1982.
    We tell their stories in the media, from podiums and in schools, inspiring others to stick their necks out. We're training tomorrow's heroes.
The Giraffe sticks its neck out.
  • The Natural Child Project
    Our vision is a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.
The Natural Child Project
  • The Tribes Project
    THE TRIBES PROJECT is a multicultural, youth driven, non-profit organization dedicated to race education through the performing arts. The TRIBES' youth research, write, and perform their original productions for audiences of peers and adults of all races and backgrounds.
Race Education Through Performing Arts
  • Developmental Assets
    In an effort to identify the elements of a strength-based approach to healthy development, Search Institute developed the framework of developmental assets. This framework identifies 40 critical factors for young people's growth and development.
The Search Institute