PAWS For A Cause
North Baltimore Schools- October & November
City Mission- Cristina Morales
The City Mission is located in Findlay, Ohio and is a great place to volunteer. Josh Rockhill, Valerie Buchanan and I all attended this volunteer opportunity and we all enjoyed it. We were lucky to have the privilege of helping people in need in the Findlay community. While we were there we helped prepare food and serve it. Josh even got to choose a dessert of his choice to make for the recipients.
We really enjoyed getting to serve the food the most. It was an amazing feeling to know that we were helping feed people who could possibly be starving. It was very nice to be able to talk and get to know some of the people in the community. Volunteering at the City Mission was very rewarding because we know that we were helping people and making an impact on their lives.
UNICEF Trick-or-Treat- Valerie Buchanan
Red Ribbon Week-Makenna Ray
Each day, Paws for a Cause and Middle School Student Council members sat at tables at lunch where students put their names into a jar for a raffle if they were participating in the dress day. The student drawn won a prize, which increased each day from candy baskets to gift cards.
Overall, it was a successful way to spend the week and great reminders for spreading awareness.
Briar Hill Pumpkin Delivery- Grace Rein
Start Talking: Know! To Foster Empathy for Bullying Prevention
October is National Bullying Prevention Month.
In the previous tip, Know! The End of Bullying Begins With YOU, we learned that in 2016, more than one in five students reported being bullied, and that regardless of what position a child is in - a target, bully, or bystander – they are at increased risk for a variety of mental health and behavioral problems, including substance abuse.
In addition to positive role modeling and conversations specifically telling students, “It is never ok to hurt, harm, or humiliate another person with your words or behavior,” we can further help prevent bullying by fostering empathy.
By definition, empathy is the power to understand perspectives other than your own; the ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person. Essentially it is, “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.”
Experts say empathy is an essential life skill that all youth should be taught to master, and that those youth who are more empathetic tend to perform better in school and have healthier relationships. It is a popular belief, in fact, that a person’s emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (E.Q.), which includes one’s ability to empathize, carries more weight than a person’s intelligence quotient (I.Q.) when it comes to determining one’s overall success in life. Empathy is also an essential factor in teaching youth what bullying is and how NOT to engage in it.
Here are some ways to teach and strengthen your students’ ability to empathize (according to TeachHub.com):
- Be a positive example: Your students spend a great deal of time with you and your influence is mighty. Keep in mind that they are learning from your character and behaviors as much as they are from your academic instruction. Be a consistent, positive role model of empathy, showing a caring, compassionate, understanding attitude toward your students and others.
- Create the environment: Establish an environment of trust and understanding within your classroom, so that students are more likely to open up and be open-minded toward others.
- Include lots of stories: Stories are perhaps the closest thing we have to “Walking around in someone else’s skin.” They make us more human and develop our ability to understand and sympathize with others’ experiences.
- Work on communication strategies: The idea here is to help students find the words to express their feelings, in both their speaking and their writing.
- Offer collaborative group tasks: As students work together they experience somewhat of a group molding that brings them together, sharing in victory or sometimes in defeat. In either case, they experience it together and that allows them to practice empathy with their peers.
- Identify shared values and differences: Provide opportunities for your students to be open with one another through discussions and activities to learn what others’ perspectives might include.
- Free and structured interaction: Having students freely interact within the classroom can help to build bonds between groups and open the door to mutual understanding.
While some students are naturally more empathetic than others, it is truly a skill that can be fostered and strengthened. As instructors, you are in a position to help build bridges between individuals with diverse perspectives, teaching them to look beyond themselves and be mindful, understanding, respectful, and considerate of other student’s complex emotions, feelings, and experiences.