July 25, 2024
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July 25, 2024
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Tenafly Chabad Academy Embraces Empathy

Tenafly Chabad Academy fifth graders have been exploring what it would be like to be a person with special needs. To develop a higher level of empathy, the students engaged in a series of simulations aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of various disabilities. Blindfolded coin sorting, hands-free applesauce consumption and attempting communication with marshmallows in their mouths were among the immersive activities undertaken. Students then engaged in reflective writing to capture their insights:

“Our experiences taught us that diversity is natural, and no one should face mistreatment due to challenges they may have.”

“Understanding disabilities isn’t just about experiencing them; it’s also about being the observer trying to comprehend what others go through.”

“The activity emphasized the importance of kindness, highlighting that everyone deserves respect, irrespective of their challenges.”

“I observed that the challenges in these activities weren’t solely experienced by the participants; those watching or listening also faced difficulties in understanding.”

“The simulation made me realize the struggles people with disabilities endure daily, prompting me to ponder how those without certain organs manage in their daily lives.”

“These activities opened my eyes to the daily difficulties faced by others, fostering a sense of empathy for their unique struggles.”

“The simulations emphasized the resilience required by individuals facing challenges, highlighting the importance of perseverance in life.”

“I noticed that seeking assistance is sometimes essential, as these activities were challenging even without asking for help.”

This exercise not only deepened the students’ understanding of disabilities but also prompted reflections on empathy, respect and the significance of recognizing and celebrating differences in the broader context of human experiences.

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