The month of February has given us many opportunities to weave empathy into the curriculum and the life of the school.
On Pink Day, our Little School classes participated in activities around the theme of love and kindness. JK students wrote messages of love and kindness on balloons that they took home to share with families. Students and parents in SKH participated in a visible thinking strategy that answered three questions: How do you show kindness at school? at home? and on the playground? Students in SKY experienced love and kindness with their Grade 3 reading buddies during a campus visit.
The Junior School held a “Pink Week” (bullying prevention and intervention week) from February 20-24. The focus was on empathy, kindness, inclusion, and courage. On Monday, all students signed a ‘Pink Pledge’ that was created by our Grade 7 House leaders. On Tuesday, our girls were encouraged to explore empathy by interviewing another student about her ‘funky socks’ in the cafeteria or on the playground. On Wednesday, “Pink Shirt Day”, the girls wore pink shirts with their uniform. Our Grade 6 and 7 girls watched the movie, “Milton’s Secret” and explored an anti-bullying curriculum related to the movie. On Thursday, the girls wrote powerful words of affirmation on the “pink wall”. The week concluded with an all-school dance party in the gym at recess.
In the Senior School, we enjoyed many ways of exploring one of our values – empathy. Ms. Gionet’s inspiring talk in Assembly on the importance of understanding other’s perspectives, emotions, and feelings, reminded us about why we are supporting Pink Shirt Day.
When we all wear a pink shirt on this day we demonstrate that we, as a community, will show one another love and kindness, and that we will not tolerate bullying of any kind. Our GSA Heads, Tammy, Elise, and Anissa, shared the original story of how Pink Shirt Day was started by two boys in Nova Scotia who wore pink shirts in support of a boy who was being teased for wearing pink to school. These Yorkies brought attention to the importance of self-love and acceptance and welcomed everyone in our community to join a discussion on this topic over lunch the next day.
There was also a special Tiger Talks on the evening of Pink Shirt Day, a screening of the film “Milton’s Secret”. Based on the book by Eckhart Tolle, the movie is about an eight-year-old boy named Milton (William Ainscough) who is being bullied on the school playground at the hands of a boy named Carter. Because he is being picked on, Milton no longer enjoys going to school. In fact, he dreads each morning because of his fear of Carter. But when Milton’s optimistic Grandpa (Donald Sutherland) comes to visit, he learns the secret to finding true happiness from a man who has seen the world and who is committed to living life in the ‘now’. The screening included a post-viewing discussion with the producer, Ryan Lockwood, and actor, William Ainscough.