Theater group teaches empathy

TCU middle school student Ashlie Dudley (right) gets assistance from CLIMB Theatre members Joia Tellz and Jason Garton (far right) idenfiying different emotions from body reactions on Friday, Jan. 25. The theatre group came to Montgomery Elementary School as part of its bully prevention efforts. (Wade Young Photo)


“Empathy”, an emotion  where you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, can be a hard one to grasp for an elementary school student.
But it got easier for Montgomery Elementary and Middle School students who received some training in identifying empathy on Friday, Jan. 25 when CLIMB Theatre spent the day educating them on how to identify the emotion.
According to Principal Deb Dwyer, the theatre group’s lesson also helped focus on bully prevention efforts at the school. 
“CLIMB’s work is not only entertaining, but also educational,” Dwyer stated in a letter that went home to parents. “We continue to focus on our bully prevention efforts at school. Last month we focused on caring hands and how we can help each other and members of the larger community.”
On Friday, CLIMB members Joia Tellz and Jason Garton acted in a scene called “The Pudding Blues” where a student (Garton) is nervous about picture day and spills pudding on his shirts. His friend (Tellz) is not kind and laughs at him.
The class also included activities, scenes and stories that share the importance of empathy. Students were taught to always look why it is important to consider how others might be feeling.
“Remember, empathy is to learn how people are feeling and learning to read body language,” Garton said.