Nurturing social-emotional awareness and empathy at Mid-Pacific - Mid-Pacific Institute

Middle School News

Nurturing social-emotional awareness and empathy at Mid-Pacific

You are somebody's reason to smile!

Posted on February 12, 2018 by Scot Allen

Mills Gymnasium was turned into a mini-carnival Monday morning by an enthusiastic group of seventh graders--All to make the dreams of 10 Make-A-Wish families come true. The families were joined later in the morning by Mid-Pacific Kindergartners.

The seventh graders designed and created the cardboard games that filled the gym, and then staffed each game with smiles and good vibes.

Empathy and gratitude are key components of an ongoing study through the partnership with researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Research Schools International. The carnival project also featured a deeper learning connection to the Mid-Pacific curriculum.

"It was an optimal opportunity for our 7th graders to connect deeply with two Mid-Pacific Learner Profile sections," said teacher Catherine Ball. "Connecting and working with these particular families gave our students the opportunity to nurture the community in which they live by helping spread joy--for a morning--to Make-A-Wish Hawaii families."

Ball noted that the students were able to build and display their social-emotional awareness and empathy skills as they interacted with the Make-A-Wish Hawaii families.

The 7th-grade team has worked with Make-A-Wish Hawaii for the past three years; the first year was in granting a wish, the second was in fundraising, and now the carnival.

Nate Hu, the 7th-grade team leader, was inspired to help his students build carnival games from cardboard after he saw Leilani Sills do a cardboard game project with her Design Thinking class last year.

"We want our students to take a step outside of themselves to know what it's like to give to others, to build empathy for others, and to be thankful," said 7th-grade Dean Jessica Rose.

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