Our community has decided to make teaching empathy a core value and an integral part of learning. We believe that empathy is a skill that is both learned and necessary for being a successful human. It enables us to build deep relationships and thriving communities. It is a core strength of successful leaders, problem solvers, and change makers. The challenges our world faces today require people to work with diverse teams on complex problems with many stakeholders and the ability to have and practice empathy is vital. At Cascadia, we are making the commitment to our children to provide them with the knowledge, experience, and practice they need to develop and hone this skill.
We are shifting our daily schedule to incorporate a morning check-in and afternoon closing. During these times, we will practice as a community listening, sharing, participating in democratic process, and engaging in empathy building activities. We will be using the Toolkit for Promoting Empathy from the Askoka Start Empathy program and the Big Life Journals for kids. This addition to our day will begin next term in January.
Our kids have already begun the process of creating a mission statement for our cooperative based on how they want to feel when they are together in our space. It has been incredible hearing them express their needs to the group and democratically deciding how best to represent them in a mission statement. It is an honor to work with this amazing group of kids, parents, and grandparents and I am excited to be a part of this important work!