My class of second graders is an energetic group of children who love learning. Our school has incorporated a social curriculum to help students develop life social and emotional skills. My class has eighteen 7-8-year-old children who are loving, helpful and egocentric in many ways, which is typical at this age. But this is also an age where helping them to see beyond themselves is important which is one driving reason for my project. To further develop social-emotional skills such as empathy and compassion while building their academic skills I would like to start a community connection program with a local nursing home.
Providing the children in my class the opportunity to go to a nursing home will be beneficial in a variety of ways. First of all, in a society where social skills are becoming more limited due to technology and social media, these visits will allow for the children to develop social skills with residents who would also benefit from having the children visit. Additionally, these opportunities will help the students build deeper compassion and empathy while providing an environment supporting kindness. These visits will provide some of the students who are usually on the receiving end of receiving support, the opportunity for them to be the givers- experience the heart-warming feeling of kindness and selflessness. Academically the students will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills in a social-emotionally safe environment. By doing so, it provides all students to have the individual attention at one time, allowing more children having the opportunity to practice at the same time with guidance. On off months and between visits, the students will send their resident reading partner letters, providing writing practice for the second graders. Overall, this will provide a great experience academically as well as social-emotionally for the students while providing the residents of the nursing home something to look forward to.
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