Touchstones continues to have a lasting present and impact on communities worldwide.

Communities of all ages, in all languages, benefit from the Essential Skills and collaborative communities that Touchstones discussions foster. In Touchstones discussions, participants bring their unique skills and talents to collaborate with those they perceive as different from themselves, gain greater awareness of their assumptions as they become more open to new perspectives, and ultimately share power and responsibility. Read on to learn about some of the many adult community groups who have empowered their participants with Touchstones. Want to bring Touchstones to your community? Contact us to get involved today.

Where is Touchstones being used?

Touchstones programs for older adults and life-long learners are designed to provide engaging, thought-provoking, and lively discussions in which all participants’ perspectives are included and respected. Participants connect in interesting and new ways as they examine their opinions and ideas. They frame current issues within their own life experiences, teaching each other as they continue to learn about themselves.  In examining Touchstones texts of cultural and historical significance, all participants practice critical thinking. They exercise their intellect, create new friendships, and experience a revitalized sense of membership in our society.

Since the 1990s, Touchstones programs with older adults have been run in many places. In Maryland, sites include the Annapolis Senior Center, Arnold Senior Center, South County Senior Center, Classic Residences by Hyatt (now called Five Star Premier Residences), Erickson Living in Catonsville, and Bedford Court by Marriott Independent Living, among others. In California, there are Touchstones programs at The Redlands Retirement Community in Mill Valley.

Touchstones empowers individuals to realize their voice, which allows for the development of fundamental skills such as active listening, clear communication, collaboration, and leadership. These skills are crucial for healthy citizenship within one’s community. This is why Touchstones is in 47 different countries and select texts have been translated from English into Arabic, Burmese, French, Haitian Kreyol, and Spanish.

Since the 1990s, in partnership with Fondasyon Limye Lavi, Touchstones has been implemented in Haiti in conventional primary schools, adult literacy and workforce readiness programs, and community-based initiatives. Touchstones is also widely used in Jordan, India, Myanmar, Canada, Australia, and many other countries.

We are always seeking new and innovative ways to transcend border and culture. Reach out to learn more!

Touchstones curricula has been used by groups of adults with varying degrees of cognitive disabilities—such as autism, Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injury, ADD, and others—to assist the development and growth of fundament skills including attentive listening, speaking clearly, reasoning carefully, taking on leadership roles, increase comprehension, collaborative problem solving, and teamwork.

What are people saying about Touchstones?

Touchstones discussions are life-changing for me. They give me confidence because they give me a chance to speak and discuss peacefully. Only when we embrace solving conflicts through dialogue can we maintain what we call peace.”

Aung Phone Myint

Myanmar, Davis Projects for Peace 2013 Report, Bates College

“The Touchstones Discussion Project at Liberty Place continues to be a wonderful addition to our programming. The text allows for the exploration of many ideas, participation is high, and the residents really enjoy the stories. Touchstones is a valuable learning tool that is allowing our residents to expand their knowledge.

Staff Participant

Liberty Place, Whitehall, MT