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Dr. Tom Peterson spoke to us about SPARK: Teachers vs. challenging students in a struggle for survival

The SPARK is a collaborative program that is designed to provide pre-service teachers at UWG and Carroll County youth ages 12 to 18 who have found themselves in trouble with law enforcement, an opportunity to move beyond their preconceived biases and experience reconciliation. Our guest, Dr. Tom Peterson is a professor at the University of West Georgia in the field of Education.  He designed and directs this collaborative program with the help of the late Judge Dan Camp and the Department of Juvenile Justice.  Judge Camp describe many of the youth as having “dead eyes”.  Dr. Peterson’s goal is to ignite a spark in those “dead eyes” while also offering teachers an opportunity to meet, learn from, and connect with troubled youth. This “win/win” program is a model for working with some of our challenging youth here in Carroll Co.

He was supported by Stephanie Love from the DJJ and some youth from the SPARK program.