Goals for the next hour:• Learn ways to reduce your stress and be fullypresent for your students, children and others inyour life.• Be mindful of your actions and how they effectothers.• Explore examples of young children who areempathetic and how to teach empathy tochildren to create caring lifelong learners. Beinspired to be the change you wish to see in theworld.
Presentation notes• Fill out a card and you will receive a link toview or download this presentation and shareit with others.• Drop your card in the basket and you will beentered to win free prizes at the end of thesession and at the closing keynote.
25 Years In Education• Taught Public School for 17 years• Owner & Science Lab teacher: Kids For KidsAcademy Preschool since 2005• Published book for parents and teachers• Workshop Presenter• Founded Kids 4 Kids Charity in 1996 to teachchildren to change the world through their acts ofkindness. 75,000 backpacks delivered to needykids and other service learning activities forchildren and families.
If it is available to you…• Give yourself the gift of this next hour, being fullypresent in this presentation and how it canpositively impact your life.• Disconnect fully from the world outside thisroom. TURN OFF your cell phone, refrain fromtexting and busy work.• My goal: To give you a gift that will keep givingevery day of your life and to inspire you to findways to teach children to change our world, onegood deed at a time.
Rocks, Pebbles and Sand - Important Things in Life
A philosophy professor stood before his classwith some items on the table in front of him.When the class began, wordlessly he picked up avery large and empty mayonnaise jar andproceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2" indiameter. He then asked the students if thejar was full. They agreed that it was.Rocks, Pebbles and Sand - Important Things in Life
So the professor then picked up a boxof pebbles and poured them into thejar. He shook the jar lightly. Thepebbles, of course, rolled into theopen areas between the rocks. Hethen asked the students again if the jarwas full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sandand poured it into the jar. Of course,the sand filled up everything else. Hethen asked once more if the jar wasfull. The students responded with aunanimous "Yes.“
The rocks represent the importantthings in your life – the things thatreally matter.The pebbles are the other things thatmatter - like your job, your house, yourcar.The sand is everything else. The smallstuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first,"he continued "there is no room for thepebbles or the rocks. The same goesfor your life. If you spend all your timeand energy on the small stuff, you willnever have room for the things thatare important to you. Pay attention tothe things that are critical to yourhappiness. Play with your children.Take your partner out dancing. Therewill always be time to go to work,clean the house, give a dinner partyand fix the disposal. Take care of therocks first - the things that reallymatter. Set your priorities. The rest isjust sand."
How you start your day reflects howyou spend your day.When you start your day with somethingnegative, it can set the tone for the rest ofyour day– You spill coffee in your car or on your clothing– You walk outside and have a flat tire, you lock yourkeys in your car, you run out of gas– You are late for work– You get to work and the air is broken
A positive thought is one way to begin a positive day andset the tone for those around you.• Read the two slips you got when you entered.Choose the one that you found most meaningfuland share it with the person next to you.• Did your positive thought have an impact on theperson you shared it with?• Positivity….pass it on. Read 3 positive thoughtseach morning and share the one you found mostmeaningful with someone by calling, texting, oremailing.
Be Mindful• Have you ever driven someplace and don’tremember how you got to your destination?• At a stoplight, do you talk on the phone, text,fix your hair or makeup? Do you miss what isgoing on around you?• Do you really taste your food? Do you eatbreakfast at a table with the TV on? At yourdesk, in your car? Walking from place toplace?
Mindful Activity: RaisinsHold your cup of raisins.Look at them carefully.
Take one raisin out of the cup.Take a closer look.Notice the color, shape, texture.
Squeeze it between yourfingers.How does it feel?
Put the raisin next to your ear,squeeze it, listen to it.
Here is a link to a recent Huff Postarticle summarizing the benefits ofmindfulness:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/mindfulness-meditation-benefits-health_n_3016045.html#slide=309265
• Tim Ryan (A Mindful Nation): "I don’t knowhow I would’ve been able to stay in Congresswithout mindfulness,” Ryan said. “It’s been sohelpful to me.”http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/03/31/finding-his-focus.html• Classrooms can have a “peace corner” or“safe space” where a child who is out of sortsor sad can go and take some time away.
Once you are mindful in all areas ofyour life, you can focus more onhelping others and being the changeyou wish to see in the world.
You Are Never Too SmallTo Make A Big Difference…You Are Never Too Big Either!
Statistics on Youth ViolenceViolence is a major cause of nonfatal injuries among youth. In2009, a total of 650,843 young people aged 10–24 years weretreated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries sustainedfrom assaults. No state is immune to the devastating impact ofyouth violence.
Statistics on Youth ViolenceHomicide is the secondleading cause of deathamong youth aged 10–24years in the United States.
The Good News…Studies suggest that when we teachkids to be empathetic at a young age,we decrease the probability that theywill engage in violent acts towardothers.Empathetic children learn early to bekind to others.
A report from Independent Sector andYouth Service America illustrates thestrong impact of youth service on thegiving and volunteering habits of adults.Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service reportsthat adults who engaged in volunteeringin their youth give more money andvolunteer more time than adults whobegan their philanthropy later in life.
Key findings:Forty-four percent of adults volunteer. Two-thirds ofthese volunteers began volunteering their timewhen they were young.Adults who began volunteering as youth are twiceas likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteerwhen they were younger.High school volunteering recently reached thehighest levels in the past 50 years.Those who volunteered as youth and whose parentsvolunteered became the most generous adults ingiving time.
By teaching empathy to young children,they learn kindness and respect towardothers. In doing this we decrease theinclination toward violence.7 year old Rebekah helpinga migrant childto pick out a newbackpack at a distribution
An Independent study found that 67 percent of adultswho remembered that their family volunteered whenthey were young said they now volunteer as adults.In contrast, only 42 percent of adults who did notremember volunteering with their family when theywere young volunteer now.Studies suggest that kids are more likely to develop astrong sense of empathy when their own emotionalneeds are being met at home (Barnett, 1987).
What Does It Mean To Be Empathetic and Why It IsImportant To Teach Empathy at a Young AgeHave you ever been asked to put yourself in someoneelse’s shoes? This is an easy way to think about whatit means to be empathetic.• Empathy is an emotional skill that helps children to understand what othersare feeling, and teaches them to treat others with kindness, compassion andlove.• It is empathy that encourages an individual to reach out and comfortsomeone else when in need.• When someone falls, your empathic instinct has you putting out your handand helping them to get up.• Empathy is also what draws you to hug and comfort someone who is crying,whether it is a child who sees an adult cry and responds by saying, “Mommy,it’s OK, don’t cry,” or an adult who comforts a child by simply saying, “Let mekiss it and make it feel better.”
Have you ever seen a lost child? Yourimmediate instinct is to help the childfind a parent. For a child, the samemight be true if they find a lost petand they instinctively try to help thelost pet find their way back to itsowner.
Empathy is what compels us toopen a door for someone whosehands are full. It is empathy thathas us comfort someone who hasexperienced a loss.
Empathy is an important developmentalprocess that all children need. It isthrough empathy that children learntolerance and understanding of eachothers’ differences.
An empathetic child will approachsomeone who looks different or has adisability and offer to help, or be theirfriend. Being empathetic is animportant trait in order to teachpositive behaviors in both children andadults.
By teaching children to recognizedifferent feelings and emotions, theycan begin to understand how thosefeelings and emotions impact others.By learning to become empathic at ayoung age, children can grow to beemotionally mature adults.
Preschoolers tend to be very self-centered by nature and might notalways appear to be empathetictoward others. They have to learn totake turns, for example, and learn notto push others who are in their way.
Evidence shows that simply “goingthrough the motions” of making afacial expression can make usexperience the associated emotionand it’s not “just our imagination.”When researchers asked participantsto imitate specific facial expressions,they have detected changes in brainactivity that are characteristic of thecorresponding emotions. Participantsalso experienced changes in heart rate,skin, and body temperature (Decetyand Jackson 2004).
The more chances young children haveto learn empathy, the more empatheticthey will be as they grow older.
One way to begin teaching children aboutemotions is to first help them understandhow to identify different emotions. Forexample use picture cards showingdifferent emotions.Lay out the emotion cards (you can orderthese cards from educational websites orcatalogs) and ask questions like…
• Which card shows how someone feels if theylost their pet?• Which card shows how someone would feel ifthey got a special present?• Which card shows someone who is tired orworried?• Which card shows someone who is sleepy?
After identifying theemotions expressed on thecards, ask the child how theyare feeling, and if they haveever had such emotions. Letthem describe to you whenthey felt that way.
You can also go through magazinesand ask your child to describe how thepeople on the pages might be feelingby looking at the expressions on theirfaces. You can cut out the photos andmake collages for each type ofemotion. To make the activity morepersonal, take photos of your childdisplaying different emotions and putthe photos in a little photo album.
By participating in activities to helpothers, kids learn to be empathetic.• Pick up trash on the school grounds.• Develop and maintain a recycling program at school.• Collect food, warm clothing, toys, or personal careitems for the needy. Deliver to shelters. Remember,shelters are in need of supplies all year long!• Hold a Teddy Bear and Friends (Stuffed Animals) Drive.Donate the collected animals to a Homeless Shelter fornew arrivals.• Encourage friends to donate gently used books tofamilies in shelters, low income preschools orhospitals.
Brainstorm withyour groupactivities you cando with children toteach empathy. Listas many ideas asyou can think of.
• Establish a relationship with your neighbors, bakebrownies to welcome new ones• Plant produce and donate the harvest to a local foodbank.• Plant seeds. Sell the flowers or plants and donate theproceeds to a local homeless shelters.• Pick up litter at a park.• Make treats or draw pictures for a local senior home.• Pick up trash on the school grounds.• Develop and maintain a recycling program at school.• Collect food, warm clothing, toys, or personal careitems for the needy. Deliver to shelters. Remembershelters are in need of supplies all year long!Activities To Instill Empathy In Children
Activities To Instill Empathy In Children• Make Halloween bags of candy for homeless kidsBe sure all candy is individually wrapped andavoid candy with peanuts.• Have a drive to collect NEW socks and underwearfor foster kids• Donate used eye glasses to an organization orplace that recycles them for the needy.• Collect gently used clothes and donate them for adress-up area at a daycare or family shelter.
Activities To Instill Empathy In Children• Make a holiday basket for someone in need.• Serve a meal at a homeless shelter.• Write letters or draw pictures to service men/women.Fill shoe boxes with candy and snack to send troops.• Have friends and family members collect travel sizedhotel toiletries when they stay at hotels. Donate themto homeless shelters, make welcome cards to make theresidents feel welcome to their new “home.”• Put together a care-package for service men/women.
Activities To Instill Empathy In Children• Put together a care-package for teen moms.• Form a litter patrol on school or park ground.• In December, contact a tree farm or nursery about donatinga Christmas tree to a needy family, shelter or nursing home,or buy a tree to donate• Hold a food drive to help keep food bank shelves wellstocked• Donate gift cards for teens in foster care, they are the mostforgotten.• Ask your friends to donate $5 grocery gift cards each timethey go to the grocery store for their family. Put all thecards together and provide a complete Thanksgiving mealfor a family who may be down on their luck.
Activities To Instill Empathy In Children• Donate used board games, video games, movies andother toys your kids no longer use to local shelters• Donate the books your child has outgrown• Encourage families at your child’s school to make pansof pasta and salad. Sell tickets to a spaghetti dinnerand donate the money to charity.• Go to garage sales. Buy new toys and clothing anddonate them to kids who need them. You can use themoney from your family charity box to buy the goods.“Garage Sale-ing” is a fun thing to do together.
Activities To Instill Empathy In Children• Volunteer to take family photos at a homelessshelter. Print the photos and give them to thefamilies. Many of them may have NO photosof their children.
Plan a monthly birthday party for kidsliving at a homeless shelterEach month the Barreiro family invites their friends to donate cake,cookies, chips, ice cream, soda, and goodie bags for the monthlybirthday party. Each child at the shelter with a birthday that monthhas his or her name listed on a cake. When the child arrives at thepavilion, everyone sings happy birthday to the child, they get a smallgift, and the slice of cake with their name on it.
For his birthday, little Omar got a piece of cakewith his name on it, a plate of chips, cookies,and ice cream, a cup of soda and a small gift.No big party and fanfare.The party lastedjust one hour.Look how happyOmar is thatsomeoneremembered hisbirthday!
Think about how you and your familycan impact another in just an hour ortwo each month.
Started in 1996 to teach children thatthey can change the world by theiracts of kindness.www.kids4kids.org
Club members met twice a month at 45 minutemeetings to do projects to help others. You canstart a “Kids 4 Kids Club” in your school orclassroom.• Become pen pals with your local shelter.• Bake New Year cookies with a sweet message on the card.• Make Valentine bags with little trinkets and cards.• Design and assemble coloring books and deliver with small boxes of crayons.• Make spring bags or baskets for needy families.• Have a drive to collect canned goods and donate them to your local food bank.• Make a few Thanksgiving baskets for needy families in your own school.• Draw or paint pictures to decorate your local soup kitchen for various holidays.• Have a drive to collect new books for needy children to spread cheer inDecember when so many children have no cheer.• Collect travel size toiletry items year round, like those given in hotels and makeJust Because Baggies for your local homeless shelter.• Visit a local childrens shelter and plan an "UN-Birthday" party and celebrateeveryone with cake and ice cream.
Book Recycling Drive: Ask kids to bring in booksthey have outgrown. Donate them to low incomechildcare centers, schools, afterschool programs orareas affected by disasters.
Kids 4 Kids Members Help Kids AtDisadvantaged School Pick Our Their NewBooks
Kindness CardsA collaboration withCBS 4 Neighbors 4Neighbors“You just performed a randomact of kindness. I noticed andwanted to thank you for doingso. Please accept this card asa token of thanks. When yousee someone else doingsomething kind for someoneelse, please pass this cardalong to them.”
Mitzvah, and the importance of giving.From the perspective of a 13 year old“Not everyone in the world has the same luxuriesthat many people are privileged to have.I say this because some people are not fortunateenough to have food on the table three times a day,electricity, a stable shelter to live in, or even clothingto wear; some people wear the same clothingeveryday. I was taught at a young age to helpothers so that others can share in the simple day today luxuries that I am fortunate enough to have. “
“In Hebrew a mitzvah is a good deed.Simple mitzvot could be holding a door open forsomeone who needs help, sharing food withsomeone who is hungry, or even just being there tolisten when someone has a problem. If nobody everhelped others by performing mitzvot, the worldwould be really sad. There would always besomeone who would have nothing and be in need ofhelp and there would be nobody to help them.”
Rebekah’s Journey As A Mitzvah MakerAge 3 passing outdrinks at a Kids 4Kids BackpackDistribution
Age 4, after 9/11attacks, made pins andsold them to buy foodand holiday gifts for aneedy family.
Age 5, wrote a little bookand sold them for $5.Raised money to buyblankets and stuffed toysfor a shelter.Read the book atwww.capsforacure.orgClick on a decade of giving,Mitzvah Maker
Ages 3-14 assembled and deliveredbackpack to homeless and migrantkids.
Ages 4-10 participated in Kids 4 KidsClub Activities
Ages 6 & 10 cut hair and donated it toLocks Of Love
Age 9/10 Project New Sock4,000 pairs of socks collected for fosterkids
Age 13 Knittedhundreds of capsfor kids withcancer and raised$2,000 for TheAmerican CancerSociety
Meet Gabriella MillerAt age 10, in 2013, Bri was diagnosed with aninoperable brain tumor. Through her tragedyshe thought of a way to help others.Make A Wish Foundation offered to send Bri toParis. She learned that Macy’s would donate$1 for every letter written to Santa anddelivered to Macy’s.
Her goal: Inspire others to send her10,000 letters that she would deliverto Macy’s to help raise $10,000 togrant a wish for another child.
Gabriella Last weekGabriella who was diagnosed with a brain tumorin November, spoke at the Roll for the Gold onThe National Mall to support childhood cancerawareness.http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKGwSEXuewdSPO2Q8klRlNA
Kindness can be contagious!"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,committed citizens can change the world;indeed, its the only thing that ever has.“Margaret Mead
You can choose to complain about all the badthings going on in our world or you canchoose to inspire children to do good in thisworld….You Choose!Share your stories of goodness:firstname.lastname@example.org