Message from Peter Yarrow
Respect was co-founded in 1999 by Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk
trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Dr. Charlotte Frank, to promote the infusion of character education
and social and emotional learning principles into school curricula. Toward
this end, Operation Respect created and disseminates the "Don't Laugh
at Me" (DLAM) Program. The centerpiece of the program is the song, "Don't
Laugh at Me," sung by Peter, Paul and Mary.
Overwhelmingly enthusiastic responses to the song from educational groups such
as the National Association of Elementary School Principals, inspired Peter
Yarrow to seek the collaboration of Linda Lantieri, Founding Director of the
Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), of Educators for Social Responsibility,
to help build a character education program around the song.
The DLAM program harnesses the transformational power of music to help children
make a heart connection and become receptive to the lessons offered through the
activities in the accompanying curriculum. This same connection inspires educators
to take up this cause, which, for Peter, is the 21st Century culmination of the
movements that Peter, Paul and Mary have supported for so many years through
mobilization and inspiration generated through the power of their music.