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“Oui” Choose Kindness: Social Emotional Learning in Focus

Students spelling "kind" as part of "Oui" Choose Kindness campaign.

Eighth graders at the LFC are leading the way in a school-wide initiative to celebrate the importance of acceptance and empathy, with the launch of the middle school’s “Oui’ Choose Kindness campaign.

At LFC, the well-being of students is a priority that goes hand in hand with academic success, helping students become accomplished, responsible and respectful young adults. This year, the school has rolled out a new Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program to help develop students' emotional skills, to enrich teachers' strategies in and out of the classroom.

The program includes a powerful new online curriculum, BASE Education, for use in Grades 1 to 12. It has become an important teaching tool, offering students self reflection and skill-development activities on topics such as anti-bullying, anti-harassment, self-esteem, communication, problem-solving, digital citizenship, social justice, mindfulness and more, to create a greater coherence throughout our students’ academic careers.

As part of their “Oui” Choose Kindness campaign, 8th graders have worked on videos interviewing members of the LFC community about kindness, created and hung kindness posters in the school and participated in a Take A Stand Assembly for all middle schoolers, which was hosted on November 30 by Imagination Theater.

Additionally, Imagination Theater provided several interactive presentations on important SEL topics:

  • Summoning Empathy Superpowers: Kindergarten through second grade students participated in a workshop on empathy, where they were put in situations and imagined what it’s like to be in others' shoes. What emotions might a fellow student feel when their dog died? How should their classmates respond to be kind?

  • Empathy Versus Sympathy: Students from third to fifth grade participated in a workshop on speaking up to help a fellow student and show compassion. They acted out skits and learned to distinguish the difference between empathy, the intuitive ability to put oneself in the shoes of another to better understand their feelings, and sympathy, the feeling of pity for another person.

  • Standing Up For Others: Middle schoolers participated in an assembly where they witnessed several situations that highlighted the importance of standing up for others and the various ways to help.

Having middle schoolers lead the “Oui” Choose Kindness campaign has been particularly empowering, as it is an age of major growth, changing emotions, and wider exposure to a complex world, including the temptations of electronic devices, texting and social media. A highlight of the middle schoolers’ assembly with Imagination Theater was when, after an engaging activity discussing the good deeds they witness daily at LFC, the students concluded that helping and caring for others is the “cool” thing to do.

From Kindergarteners exploring their empathy superpowers to middle schoolers deciding that kindness is cool, it is clear that “Oui” Choose Kindness at LFC.