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September 2023 - Connecting and Community

 Connecting with Community | Children of the Earth Unite

What does the research say?

School connectedness is when students feel that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  Because school connectedness affects mental health, physical health, resilience, and attendance, it is important that students form relationships for their own well-being and that they are PART of a relationship that benefits the well-being of others in the school community.

Week 1

In the August 2020 issue of Brain Science Journal, researchers found that executive functions correlate with empathic attitudes and prosocial behaviors. People with higher levels of executive functions, as a whole, may better regulate their emotions and reduce perceived distress during the empathetic processes. What can we do to help support the growth of empathy, resilience and optimism in kids that will have a positive impact on their ability to develop strong executive functioning skills?

One positive first step is learning more about the 9 Habits of Empathetic Children according to educational psychologist and author Michelle Borba.

  • Which of these habits are most intriguing to you and your family?  Why?
  • What can you identify as ONE way to build empathy together as a family?

FebruarySt. Emilie's Catholic Primary School — Archive —

Week 2

Developing a habit of practicing gratitude is one way to foster community and connection.

Sharing Gratitude Stories is an activity that students can do in a group or that your family can do together at home.  The organization Greater Good in Education reports that reflecting on a kind act that someone did for them can help boost students’ self-esteem — because it shows that they matter to that person. When, in particular, they focus on someone at school, it may increase students’ sense of belonging.

Share Your Word of Kindness & Gratitude | Engage Erie

Week 3

Learning about ourselves, who we are, and what we can contribute to a community can be enlightening and empowering.

A fun way to share for your family to practice this is the Proud of Me Bag activity.  Since the things that affect our confidence and pride in ourselves are constantly evolving, this activity can be practiced multiple times throughout the year.  Enjoy!

I Am Proud of Me SVG Cut file by Creative Fabrica Crafts · Creative Fabrica

Week 4

The organization Greater Good in Education reports that researchers have discovered that toddlers as young as 14-months demonstrate a natural capacity for kindness, but this capacity must be nurtured through healthy relationships with adults and peers—the foundation of a positive school climate.


Wishes for the World:  A Loving Kindness Activity provides a concrete way for your family to explore how to practice loving kindness.