This week we will celebrate “Start with Hello” week, which is a week to remind us how important and powerful it is to get to know one another, make new friends, say hi to new people, and make people feel good if they are feeling sad or alone. Every day you can do a special activity to remember to try and include others. Whether on the school bus, in the playground or in class, it is important to make sure others feel included and welcome.

Sometimes to do this, you need courage. Courage can mean a lot of things and people can act courageously in a lot of different situations. Listen to Bernard Waber’s book, Courage. Think about what courage means to you and how you too can act courageously in every day kind of ways.

Courage is also staring with Hello! Let’s try to be courageous by getting to know new people and by helping others who might need a friend.

September Roses is another great book like 14 Cows for America. Both demonstrate how others show empathy. “On September 11, 2001, two sisters from South Africa are flying to New York City with 2,400 roses to be displayed at a flower show. As their plane approaches the airport, a cloud of black smoke billows over the Manhattan skyline. When they land, they learn of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All flights are canceled; the sisters cannot go home, and they are stranded with boxes and boxes of roses.”

What can you do to show empathy today, this month, this school year?

This year our Character Education theme is “Communities form Connections.” Through building relationships, we can build a better school, community and world. Each month we will highlight a character trait and use a read aloud to reinforce this trait.

September is Communities Show Empathy. Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah wrote 14 Cows for America. One inscription reads, “To all the little children who read this book. You are the peace the world has been waiting for. May you grow to be compassionate diplomats.” You have the ability to make the world and our school a better place.

What can you do this year to heal a sorrowing heart? How will you show empathy?

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