Monday, November 14, 2016

Encouraging Empathy

Our reinvented Coming to Rhode Island exhibit is about exploring history, immigration and culture through stories. But even more than that, it’s about fostering EMPATHY – about developing respect for the diversity of individuals that make up our world, about understanding that diversity makes our communities richer and stronger, and about finding compassion for others by making connections to their stories. It’s a particularly relevant message at this moment in our world – at a time of divisiveness, dissension and discord, empathy is more important than ever.

Research shows that pretend play is closely related to developing empathy and other social-emotional skills. As children pretend and play in Coming to Rhode Island, they learn to relate to and communicate with one another and to take others’ perspectives. They also explore a wealth of different stories – stories of Rhode Islanders past and present, stories of people of different cultures and backgrounds, stories that encourage them to think about and appreciate what’s unique about themselves and others.

Here are a few curated lists of children’s books that include some excellent stories for encouraging empathy and cultivating compassion, recommended for reading and discussing together:
Look for several of these stories in our new exhibit.

Do you have other favorite books that foster empathy, kindness and inclusion? Please share in the comments.

1 comment:

BobbyG said...

Hasbro was so happy to see this exhibit and eager for the programming to come!