Acceptance Week teaches students empathy

Hatboro-Horsham School District  |  Posted on

Author Susan Verde led students through a series of yoga poses and mindfulness exercises during the assembly.

Hallowell Elementary School celebrated Acceptance Week January 11-15 to teach students about the acceptance of others. “It’s an annual event where we share themes of empathy, compassion, love and diversity, and learn more about people from other backgrounds, cultures, races and ethnicities,” said Principal Steve Glaize.

The goal was for students to develop skills and competencies under the umbrella of social and emotional learning through activities and an assembly with Susan Verde, a New York Times best-selling author. Each day, Glaize shared a pre-recorded video of himself reading one of the five books in Susan Verde’s I Am series, which features: I Am Yoga, I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness, I Am Human: A Book of Empathy, I Am Love: A Book of Compassion and I Am One: A Book of Action. The books fit perfectly into the meaning behind Acceptance Week. “Themes that encompass compassion and empathy are always really powerful for students, said Glaize.

Acceptance Week culminated with Verde’s assembly for all elementary students within Hatboro-Horsham School District. Teachers connected with Verde in real time and shared the screen with their students. Whether a student was learning virtually at home or in school, they were all able to have the same experience. During the assembly, Verde talked about her background, becoming an author and the books she’s written. She is also a yoga instructor and led the students through a series of yoga poses and mindfulness practices. She read The Water Princess, based on a true story and ended with a Q&A session.

Students loved hearing from Verde and were very engaged during the presentation. Glaize is thankful that they were able to continue the tradition of Acceptance Week and build on social and emotional skills in engaging ways. “It was heartwarming that we were still able to do that this year,” he said.