Empathy and compassion are two concepts that can be difficult to explain and utilize. These students are getting hands-on training to better put the concepts into practice and show their “true colors.”

The 65 Lincoln fifth graders will spend the day on Friday, October 12 with South High School student leaders engaged in high-energy activities focused on building compassion and respect for others. Students will be team building, dancing, playing games, watching presentations, participating in role plays, and using experiential learning activities to address how everyone should treat one another through words and actions. The event day is scheduled as part of the school’s empathy and compassion character curriculum units. The students are learning that character shows their “true colors” as a person.

Team-building and trust activities are scheduled for first thing each morning, with small group activities beginning mid-morning. The Lincoln and South students will share a lunch period followed by recess, and then the compassion event ends with a “campfire” activity about 1:30 p.m. All participants gather in a large circle, the lights are dimmed, and everyone is invited to come forward to share their experiences, say an apology, express a need, or give a thank you.

The Day of Compassion is facilitated by Rollie Johnson, Director of Missions and Outreach at First Lutheran Church of Fargo. The participating South junior and senior students are selected by their school counselors and receive training from Johnson on how to lead the compassion-based activities and discussions with the younger students. Many of the South student leaders are former Lincoln Elementary students who are excited to give back to their elementary alma mater.