Roots of Empathy promoted at Stettler Elementary School

Give these students a hand or two – Kindergarten and Grade-2 students of Stettler Elementary School show off their artwork with their handprints.

By Amore du Toit

The Spirit of joy and cheer is definitely active at Stettler Elementary school this December.

Annette Hunter’s Grade 2 class, and Denyse Boyd’s kindergarten class joined together to spread some Christmas cheer. The two classes made handprint angels to give to the hospital. These angels will be used to brighten the hospital during the Christmas holidays. The Grade 2 children coached the kindergartners in proper painting techniques and both classes had a great time.

The Roots of Empathy is another program that promotes the act of being a caring human being. This program was launched in our Grade 5 classrooms in October. This is the second year that Roots of Empathy has been offered in Stettler Elementary School. First, the students participated in an introductory lesson, which focused on learning about the program and its goals.

In particular, the students learned that the program is designed to help develop awareness of empathy for others. Everyone was excited to also learn that during nine, of the 27 Roots of Empathy lessons, an infant and his or her mother or father would be joining their classroom. The classroom babies and mothers are: Riley Marie and her mother, Mandy Gonda, in Rob Howell’s class, Kalissa and her mother, Gelasia Long, in Theresa Andersson and Bonnie Lynn’s class, Pamela and her mother, Lisa Smith, in Sharon Fischer’s class, and Elias Philip and his mother, Kira Christoffersen, in Stefan Olafson’s classroom.

The students are delighted to see how much the babies grow between the monthly visits. The Roots of Empathy instructors encourage the students to observe developmental milestones and as well as an awareness of empathy. The Roots of Empathy instructors are: Leah Watts, Carmen Fox, Misty Griffith, and Pat Johnson. Our goal, in Grade 5 this year, is to become more aware of our own feelings and the feelings of others by participating in this highly effective Canadian program, Roots of Empathy.

Shonna Burkart’s middle school drama students also spread cheer by performing their original fairy tales to the kindergarten and Grade 1 classes this past week. It is great that older students are willing to spend time with their younger friends. The middle school students enjoyed their appreciative audiences and the younger students enjoyed the fun entertainment. This was definitely another win-win example of how Clearview schools are “a community of learners.”

The students in Sarah Chapman and Marilyn Potter’s classes just finished building fur-trading forts. They seemed to really enjoy this project and were quite excited to imagine their fort’s location, name and inhabitants. They did a great job creating all the buildings that were needed to run a fort and tried to remain authentic to Alberta’s history. Denyse Boyd’s kindergarteners just finished up their second smart learning book “The Boy and the Moon” and have started their third book “Snowmen at Night.” They are always very excited to apply the smart learning techniques on new stories.

Some classrooms were visited by mysterious ‘elves’ this past week. They left notes and little handmade gifts. Leah Watts and Amore du Toit’s classes were the recipients of these gifts. Their students already decided to make a thank you note to the ‘elves’ .

Students are brainstorming on ideas of spreading cheer and on how to pass it forward. We hope you might find the time to attend some Christmas concerts during the next week. The students’ lovely singing and acting are sure to cheer you up. The yummy baking will also keep your taste buds cheery.

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