Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Empathy Education

“Our church took a group of elementary school children and created an entire summer of activities to develop empathy for others…

“…Perhaps one of the most meaningful was the week we dealt with homelessness. Outside the back of our building is a small grassy area that resembles the alley area behind many restaurants and shops. We placed large cardboard boxes and other types of things one might find in an alley around the area.

“The children were introduced to the concept of being homeless in today’s world. They learned many homeless people are afraid of shelters for a variety of reasons and choose to stay on the streets.

"We took the kids into our mock alley and instructed them to build some type of shelter. They struggled to create something that would protect them from the current high heat and humidity as well as the rainstorm they could see coming.

“After completing the activity, we spent time discussing what they had experienced. We examined the emotions, fears and needs the homeless might have. After our discussion, the children were much more empathetic and connected as they worked on the service project we had planned."

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