As the culminating piece to Turkey Hill School’s initiative entitled “Project Empathy”, a sign was affixed to the front of the building, reminding students daily of the importance of showing empathy to each other. The design engraved on the sign also represents the project work which embedded the value of teaching and learning about empathy so that children within and beyond the school community would be inspired to embrace peace.
The kick-off event for the project was a schoolwide assembly in which student council members engaged the students in skits involving everyday situations to teach them about the importance of showing empathy. Following the assembly, the entire school engaged in a myriad of activities to understand and show empathy:
- Students created a video to teach students of all ages the value of empathy;
- Students created a schoolwide art project which showed empathy through different emotions;
- Students created a music video with the song “Nothing More” by the Alternatives;
- The Student Council designed and orchestrated a fundraising event hosted at Chip’s Restaurant to raise money to purchase t-shirts for the music video for all staff and students. A Turkey Hill student designed the t-shirt design and her design is also part of the sign affixed to the front of the building;
- Parents, teachers, students and staff were interviewed at all Orange Elementary Schools about the importance of showing empathy. Teachers and staff throughout the district shared projects that Orange students have done to teach empathy; and
- Finally, students designed artwork and recorded empathy quotes.
If you would like to see the video “Our Gift of Empathy” please go to the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7RSyyGXPnI. This video was shared with our students in June 2018 in the hopes that the work of an entire school community would provide a teaching and learning tool for other schools, and also, inspire future initiatives which embrace values promoting peace in our world.
By Dana Zottoli, Grade 2 Teacher