Art for American Heroes

Dever Students Learn About Empathy While Honoring America’s Veterans

Recently, students at James A. Dever Elementary School in Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen have been practicing their art skills along with their SEL skills. Janis Boremski, Art Educator and District Coordinator of Fine Arts wanted to incorporate this month’s character trait at Dever, empathy, into her student’s curriculum by having them create a beautiful Veteran’s Day bald eagle display.

“There are many Veteran empathy projects nationwide and showing empathy as opposed to simply honoring our vets, is found to have a better impact on Veterans re-integrating into life after serving in our armed forces,” said Janis Boremski. “Our students did a great job demonstrating their ability to display empathy for others.”

Students have been learning how to “put themselves in another’s shoes” and feel and think as another person. Together they created a collaborative bald eagle for the school’s hallway to remind everyone of the freedoms that were fought for by each and every veteran. Students were asked to write a message of empathy on a feather to create a pattern representing freedom and America.

Enhancing creativity while teaching valuable character traits directly aligns with the Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen’s belief that social and emotional intelligence is essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health and success in school and beyond.

Students wrote messages of empathy and gratitude on each feather to be incorporated into the entire display.
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