At one LA school, parents and the principal teamed up to bring new lessons to solve an old problem: kids feeling left out and bullied at school.
Through the Making Caring Common program, they’re hoping it makes a difference.
It starts like a typical school day, but then, it takes a turn when students randomly pair up for a sharing exercise.
Students at 3rd street Elementary are part of a LAUSD pilot program called “Making Caring Common.”
Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
“It’s more than a curriculum, it’s about changing behavior, changing the culture and atmosphere of the classroom,” Jocelyn Minton, a parent said.
When Minton noticed bullying was happening as early as kindergarten, she approached the principal about the program, created at Harvard graduate school of education.
“It’s not just teaching kindness at 10 o’clock on Thursdays, it’s making sure every child feels connected to at least one caring individual at school, so no child will ever feel alone and will feel seen and heard,” Minton said.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
The program teaches social and emotional skills needed to care for those who are different from you.
“If you’re sharing things with people, you might find you have something in common with someone else. then you might become friends,” Philo Shaw, a student at 3rd Street Elementary said.
Which is exactly what philo shaw discovered during today’s sharing exercise.
“We are very limited with the time that we have and core subjects are very very important but i’m realizing why can’t social emotional learning to be a core subject,” Susan Lee, a teacher at 3rd Street Elementary, said.
“It doesn’t make any sense they’re only now teaching that in schools because that should be what always happens, so I think this program is really going to change the world and make it a better place,” Lee said.
In the short amount of time they’ve been doing the program, it’s not only had an impact on the students, but also on their teacher.
“It really helps me as an educator to see what kind of students I get in the classroom, how their home life might be and it really helps me become a better teacher and planner too,” Lee said.
The program takes 30 minutes or less each day, but supporters hope lessons learned will last a lifetime.
“If we had a kind and caring community and it became a movement, wow i wonder what life would be like for everyone?” Lee said.