On April 30th, Turkey Hill School (THS), one of the elementary schools in Orange, held a school-wide assembly to honor the characteristic of empathy. The goal was to encourage a “Gift of Empathy” and teach students what it means to be empathetic. The assembly consisted of an interactive skit produced by the student council, and songs where the whole school could get up on their feet and sing. The songs included “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Pixar’s Toy Story, and “Nothing More” by The Alternate Routes. They also held a fundraiser at Chip’s Restaurant in Orange, and raised money from a student activity day and a t-shirt logo contest. The money will be used to produce empathy t-shirts for the whole school including the winning logo, and for the art supplies to create an empathy based art project. Each student will have a chance to make one or two collages of people representing one emotion in their art class. Even though the empathy project is already school-wide, THS wants to shoot even higher. Including videos from the assembly and fundraisers, pictures from the art project, and voice recordings of empathy quotes, THS student council plans to create an iMovie and reach out to other schools in the community. “If we can instill that in the children through activities, through projects, through teaching and learning, then we’ll actually be building a world where children are building relationships and being kind to each other,” says student council adviser Dana Zottoli, “And at the end of the day, we are how we treat each other.” This world would be a better place if everyone was a little more empathetic towards others, don’t you think?
By Annie Yun, Student Council President