Touchstones Seminars for Grades K - 8

In 2014, EPDS launched its newest initiative called the Touchstones Seminar Project. Touchstones seminars are held once-a-week for grades K-8 at EPDS where students read and discuss selected texts. In these seminars students learn that they all must become teachers; that everybody has a leadership role; and that the solution to problems requires collaboration. Through the Touchstones seminars, skills necessary to succeed in today’s environment emerge; such as, critical reading, examining new ideas, focusing of supportive evidence, and increased empathy for all students.

Since 1984, this seminar program has been implemented in grades 2 through 12 throughout the world. It has touched the lives of more than 5,000,000 participants in 38 countries, and has been translated into six languages. The EPDS program has been implemented by a seasoned educator (a grandparent of children at the school and founder of the Classical Magnet Program in Hartford, CT based on Touchstones) who has trained the EPDS teachers in how to become seminar leaders for this program.

The following are some of the comments made by EPDS students about the Touchstones Seminars.

“I like seminars because we read a lot of different things. I have learned that I love reading and thinking of solutions for problems in stories. It makes me feel I can fix at least some of the problems in the real world.”
“I like seminars because you can see what other people have to say and that there is sometimes no right or wrong answer. I have learned that some people that don’t always seem so smart end up having a lot of great ideas.”
“I like hearing other people’s opinions that I don’t normally hear in our regular class setting. I learned that I’m not right about everything. Also that not everything has an answer.”
 Inside of the book with the donation acknowledgement from the Touchstones program

 Inside of the book with the donation acknowledgement from the Touchstones program

For more information on the Touchstones Seminar Project, please visit

We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the Touchstones Seminar Project for their generous donation of materials to begin this program at EPDS.