Mineral Point Middle School students have been learning about eMPathy and implementing it into their daily lives.

“Empathy and kindness are things we are focusing on to reduce the bullying and feelings of disrespect from classmates that the students are reporting on their learner surveys,” said guidance counselor Carla Rand.

Recently the middle school gathered in the gym to take an all-school photo wearing their neon orange eMPathy shirts. In addition, Kyle Carey’s high school video students filmed the students and will be making an eMPathy video.

“Developmentally, it is a hard concept for very young children to understand, but by school age we should be able to recognize and anticipate the feelings of others,” added Rand.

There were also “other’s shoes” taped on the hallway floors asking how students would feel for many different scenarios. Additionally, there is an eMPathy wall full of quotes regarding kindness and empathy.

A “Mix It Up” lunch was held where students were randomly assigned a table to sit at with the goal being to break down barriers between groups of students and have them interact with others outside of their friend and comfort zones.

Wrinkled and torn hearts were on the cafeteria walls and, during the lunch, students filled out band aids with kind words to put on the broken hearts. Classroom teachers also played a short YouTube video that emphasized kindness or empathy.

Rand is planning to continue with the eMPathy days and involve students in Random Acts of Kindness and Pay it Forward initiatives.

A similar plan is in place at the elementary for eMPathy days coming in the near future.

(Photo and article by Joelle Doye)