Growing Empathy, Integrity, and Cultural Competency In Girls
Nurturing a girl’s ability to think outside of herself and her own needs, and to put herself in someone else’s shoes, can be challenging work for children and adolescents since there are many ways in which they naturally tend to focus more on themselves during many stages of normal development. At The Ellis School, we are deeply committed to the social and emotional growth of children and teens, and we believe growth in these realms goes hand-in-hand with intellectual and physical growth.
Beginning with our youngest girls, we focus on building classroom cultures, expectations, and experiences that nurture empathy, kindness, and openness to others. Throughout our program, we ask students to consider ideas and challenges from different perspectives and to learn about people with life experiences and views different from their own.
It is abundantly clear to me that we do this work well, and that it benefits our students tremendously while they are here, and when they leave us. In a recent survey of our grade 7–12 students, 94% of the girls agreed with the statement “the School has a strong commitment to moral values and character development,” 93% agreed that “the School is a caring community,” and 95% agreed that “the School is an inclusive community.” We know these qualities—being a collaborative and supportive team member and working easily with diverse teams—will be highly valued in the work world our graduates will enter as young adults.
As with all parts of the Ellis experience, our faculty are incredibly thoughtful about designing experiences for their students that challenge and stretch them in developmentally appropriate ways, so they grow into their own best selves. It is one of the many ways in which Ellis girls are able to grow deep roots and strong wings, letting them absolutely soar.