|LESTER B. PEARSON HIGH SCHOOL TO HOLD EMPATHY DAY|
MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 11, 2015 – Nurturing compassion, understanding and of course, empathy, is at the heart of Empathy Day, set to be held on Wednesday, February 11 at Lester B. Pearson High School (11575 P.M. Favier) in Montreal North.
An initiative of the school’s student council, the day will consist of a series of workshops and activities in which they hope will lead to students treating each other with more civility, kindness and compassion.
Upon entering the school in the morning, all students will discover positive affirmations on post-it notes left on every locker. Furthermore, during recess, students will be offering free hugs in the plaza area, intended as a show of support to their peers. Ensuring that this sense of support is maintained throughout the day, the student council will spend their lunch-time approaching any of their peers whom are eating alone and share a meal with them.
As the future leaders of the school, the workshops, organized and conducted by the student council, will be tailored specifically towards students in Grade 10, intended to build a proper foundation for the 2015 – 2016 scholastic year.
The schedule of the day is as follows:
10:52 – 11:00 am: Classes will take their spot in the gymnasium. Student Leaders engage in an icebreaker activity with their assigned class.
11:00-11:20 am: Empathy Activity #1 “Labeling”
An activity in which students will wear stereotypical labels, such as “lazy” that are often given to other students by their peers. The activity is intended to teach students that labels and stereotypes present incorrect and narrow ideas about people and can be used as a reason to treat others unfairly or with disrespect or abuse. It is important to question the labels and stereotypes we have for people and to look beyond our assumptions to see the whole person.
11:25-11:45 am: Empathy Activity #2 “See, Hear, Feel”
In three large groups, students will present ideas on their ideal school, in which the ultimate goal will be to show students that they all share similar ideas and thoughts.
11:50 – 12:20 pm: Empathy Activity #3 “If you really knew me”
In two groups, students will fill our a personal and anonymous questionnaire. The goal of the activity is to prove that students do not know each other that well, despite having been together for such a long period of time. The goal is to teach compassion and attempt to understand the roots of problems, instead of immediately reacting to what students might see on the surface.
11:53 pm: Lunch Hour begins. All students and staff vacate the gymnasium
12:20-12:25 pm: Students rotate to their next assigned class.
12:25-12:45 pm: Empathy Activity #4
Michael J. Cohen