PL-CI-726 From Empathy to Action! (PK-8)


PL-CI-726 From Empathy to Action! Supporting our Students to Find Ways They Can Affect Positive Changes in Their Schools, Communities, and the World (PK-8)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017                 3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, February, 7, 2017                3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017                     3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017                   3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017                   3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.


Total: 15 hours


Students often wonder how they can help others in their community but don’t know how or where to start. This course focuses on ways teachers can encourage students to take the next steps in applying their sense of justice and helping them to find ways to take positive action in making a difference in classrooms, schools, communities or the world at large. 


Course topics will include:

  • Empathy and Awareness
  • Students Taking the Lead
  • From Empathy to Action
  • Classroom Presentations of Student/Classroom Action Plans


At the completion of this course educators will be able to:

  • Explore and evaluate current events and topics important to students with a focus on recognizing and identifying issues, causes, needs, various perspectives, and events that they could support
  • Employ strategies and activities to validate feelings of empathy and to encourage students in identifying ways that they can contribute and make a difference with the understanding that no actions are insignificant or too small
  • Encourage and facilitate classroom discussions and action-oriented steps with students centered on formulating and brainstorming ideas, incorporating the perspectives of others, encouraging students to take the lead, creating an action plan, identifying desired outcomes, and garnering the necessary support within their school and community (Middle School Educators--think WIN time!)
  • Apply strategies and activities from the course to implement the action plan with students
  • Assess and evaluate with students the outcome of the plan's implementation, both quantitatively and qualitatively


We will offer examples of situations in which children and adults have affected the lives of others, and have been instrumental in bringing into fruition changes for the better in the social, business, and educational realms. Useful action-oriented approaches and activities will be shared that emphasize the idea that social justice action can make a difference in meaningful ways, whether large or small. Every endeavor will take into consideration the importance of understanding multiple perspectives and looking through varied lenses when examining current events. There is no time like the present to encourage our students.

About the Facilitators:  William Craft & Janis Fovel, Teachers 21

William Craft, A.L.M.Psy., Middle School Guidance Counselor, Former METCO Elementary Coordinator in the Wellesley Public Schools

Bill is a middle school guidance counselor, the former Elementary Coordinator for the Wellesley METCO Program, and a former elementary and middle school special education tutor. He is an educator committed to emphasizing the value of supporting the social and emotional well being of children, the exploration and celebration of cultural identity and of the shared components of backgrounds, as well as the celebration of differences in backgrounds.  Equally important to Bill are the many components of a healthy, nurturing, community, and the notion that high academic achievement is realized through a focus on these elements of the educational experience of children.

Janis FovelM.Ed., Educational Consultant, Former Educator in the Wellesley Public Schools

Jan has been an educator in the Wellesley Public Schools for over 30 years, and has been dedicated to the building of classroom community and connecting with the students in an authentic way. She believes that establishing a nurturing and caring classroom community is the foundation needed in order for children to achieve in the academic setting. Considering the perspectives of other members and looking at and sharing their own cultural identities has deepened the conversations in the class and has led to an increase in ally behavior and empathy among all members. This has led to creating a sense of “family” within a larger school environment and to greater risk taking among the students.

Who May Enroll:  Grade PK-8 Teachers, Special Educators, and Administrators

Location: Bowman Elementary School, Library

PDPs/Credits:  15 PDPs/ 1 in-house credit upon successful completion of course requirements - optional 1 graduate credit available for purchase through provider 

Class Size: 25



Kristen McGrath
Phone: 781-861-2580 x68043


Seat Availability: 13 of 25 available.
Last day to register: 1/19/2017

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Bowman Elementary School, Library
9 Philip Road
Lexington, MA 02421The zipcode must be numeric with at least five numbers.