February 8, 2017
Dear St. Anne’s Families,
We are writing with exciting news! We are proud to announce that our school has been selected as a pioneering Changemaker School by Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Ashoka works with leading social entrepreneurs like Nobel Peace Prize winners Muhammad Yunus and Kailash Satyarthi, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp -- incredible leaders in all sorts of different fields changing patterns across society with innovative solutions to social problems. Ashoka has recognized our school for the work we do to empower students with the skills they need to be changemakers in our rapidly changing world. Specifically, our school was selected for serving as a model for cultivating empathy, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving.
As a Changemaker School, we will join a community of educators, parents, and innovators working to make the practice of empathy as essential as reading and math in education. More so now than ever, people are recognizing the vital importance of skills like empathy in the workplace. In fact, a recent New York Times article notes the marked increase since 1980 in occupations requiring strong social skills. To address this reality, together with over 89 Changemaker Schools across the country and nearly 200 around the globe, we are leading a movement to show what education looks like when we prioritize empathy and changemaking. So what do empathy and changemaking look like in your child’s classroom? At St. Anne’s this involves our Character Education programs, outreach and volunteer work, our amazing Changemakers Club and many more opportunities that pop up when our students are inspired.
The ultimate goal of our involvement in the Changemaker Schools Network is to ensure that our children have the skills necessary to succeed in a world that is changing at warp speed. We also seek to send our children to a nurturing, encouraging school environment so that they might grow up to be changemakers. Unfortunately, most K-8 education does not keep up appropriately with our changing world. Too often, schools steer children towards traditional instruction rather than asking them to engage in their communities and practice vital skills like empathy. Ashoka’s Start Empathy Initiative and Changemaker Schools like ours, however, are working to bring future relevance to K-8 education.
We envision a world in which empathy and changemaking skills are prioritized for every child, and we seek to provide our children’s teachers with ideas for how to make instruction more involved in and connected with the world outside the classroom. As our children grow up and move on from Changemaker schools, we will continue to discover the ways they have benefited from building empathy skills in early childhood. We believe that parents across the world deserve that same experience. As your child’s first and most important teachers, parents can contribute to a Changemaker Education in a variety of ways:
Check out Parenting Changemakers.
Take a look at Start Empathy online and sign up for weekly newsletters highlighting Changemaker Schools like ours.
Download the Start Empathy Toolkit to see what promoting empathy in the classroom looks like in action.
Take part in our Outreach volunteer days.
Join the One St. Anne’s Committee.
- Get involved with our St. Anne's Changemakers Club.
As our school continues to promote empathy and changemaking in the classroom and throughout the halls of the school, we look forward to working with you to build a world where everyone is a changemaker.
St. Anne’s Changemakers