News from Falcon Student Media

The Perch

News from Falcon Student Media

The Perch

News from Falcon Student Media

The Perch

New LET program teaches love, empathy, tolerance

After recognizing a variety of social issues occuring within the student body, Evan Apanovitch, Traci Holstein, school counselors, and other DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) coordinators formed the new Love, Empathy, and Tolerance (LET) program, which kicked off in the fall semester. LET has been infused into advisory through Circle and MOSAIC lessons every month.

“Many of the people on campus who care deeply about student well-being were tired of the negatives that were brought to their attention,” said Apanovitch, the advisory program coordinator. “We felt that action was needed, and needed now.”

Holstein decided to address these issues directly by hosting meetings for the previously mentioned faculty to meet and brainstorm solutions.

“The idea for LET started mid-fall semester when we were seeing more and more students being less empathetic than in the past,” said Holstein, the associate dean of students. “As a school, we try to be proactive, therefore, we initiated LET.”

Apanovitch said that the goal of the LET program is to “begin conversations and reflections about what it means to be a member of a community in general, but more importantly the Palmer Trinity School Community.”

“We don’t expect that campus will become a place where no hardships exist, but instead, to help us all, teachers included, understand how acting with kindness, love, empathy, and tolerance can strengthen our collective experience,” he said.

Holstein said that many members of the faculty and staff believe that the increasing lack of empathy may be a result of the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented to school, including leaving “many students unaware of how to behave in a community.”

“Many were quarantined during formidable years, years when a child learns how to act in a community, in society, among others,” Holstein said. “We hope to fill the gaps left by COVID and nurture our students and help them become successful, kind, and empathic people.”

The faculty has many plans for the program including outreach speakers about different topics for each grade. For example, Student Activites Director Alexandra Cartaya helped plan a LET-inspired Day of Service on Jan. 30.

The Middle School, for example, listened to a speaker from the Chapman Partnership who spoke about the struggles faced in homelessness. On the service day, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders made bagged lunches for the residents at the shelter.

Freshmen and sophomores welcomed a speaker from Branches who spoke children living in low-income households. The juniors met with a representative from Lotus House, a women’s shelter for those seeking care after domestic abuse. All three grades made cards and care packages for their respective communities.

Lastly, the seniors learned about inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities from Daniel Cartaya, the director of Our Pride Academy (OPA). The students then made friendship bracelets and candy bags for the students at OPA.

“The purpose of these mini-service projects is for students to develop empathy for people in our community that are underserved and to show them how even a small act of kindness can make an impact and help to brighten someone’s day,” Cartaya said.

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