Cultivating Empathy and Kindness From an Early Age at the Lycée Français de New York

Da Ping Luo for Lycée Français de New York

[Sponsored Article] Education is more than learning to write, read, and count. While these skills are undeniably vital, schools play a key role in shaping students into empathetic members of society who seek to make a positive difference in the lives of others, whatever path they choose. Within a school community, students learn essential social skills, collaborate and become aware of their role in the world. This is one of the leitmotifs of the Lycée Français de New York.

Preparing Students for Their Future

Dr. Jamil Zaki, in his best-selling book The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World, suggests that empathy and kindness are skills that need to be nurtured, much like exercising a muscle. Strengthening our empathy has a profound impact on our communities. Vannina Boussouf realized this when she took on her role as director of the Primary School, which prompted her to think about how to foster a school culture centered on these values.

Ultimately, the purpose of education is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom. An education fosters openness and care in students at all ages could help An education fosters openness and care in students at all ages could help pave the way for a society in which empathy and kindness prevail. This means treating others with respect, listening actively, and learning from different points of view. It means recognizing our interconnectedness and understanding that our actions have a profound impact on others. The Lycée Français de New York is adopting this “Golden Rule” in all its actions and decisions and could help pave the way for a society in which empathy and kindness prevail. This means treating others with respect, listening actively, and learning from different points of view. It means recognizing our interconnectedness and understanding that our actions have a profound impact on others. 

Da Ping Luo for Lycée Français de New York

A School Culture Built Around these Values

Each year, the Lycée Français de New York holds an annual Day of Understanding, a symbol of its commitment to cultivating empathy in education and in its community. This event, which takes several months to prepare with all students in its preschool and elementary school, celebrates the affirmation of these values.  

On this Day of Understanding, the school celebrates the fact that education goes beyond results; it embraces the development of respectful and compassionate individuals. By engaging in constructive conversations, students learn to respectfully express their point of view and appreciate the variety of perspectives that exist within their school community. This not only fosters greater mutual understanding, but also a culture of openness and care, essential to learning and development.

As expressed in the Lycée’s mission, students are prepared to get to know themselves, and embrace their individual differences, diverse perspectives, aspirations, and experiences, while also maintaining a strong sense of connection and respect for one another.

On this day in Primary School especially, the school takes pride in the clear message it sends: that education goes beyond results; it embraces the development of respectful and compassionate individuals. Through these initiatives, the Lycée sows the seeds of kindness and understanding, ensuring that these values flourish in the hearts and minds of its students, transforming them into thoughtful, engaged, and courageous global citizens.

Discover the Lycée Français de New York

Learn more about the school’s mission and philosophy: lfny.org

Attend an information session: lfny.org/open house

Sponsored articles do not belong to the editorial team at Frenchly. They are provided or written at the request of the advertiser, who determines the content. 

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