More than 650 Clifton Middle School students took a walking field trip to a nearby theater on Nov. 17 to watch “Wonder” as a culminating event to Kindness Week. The film shows the struggles of a middle school student with a genetic disorder trying to make friends.
Clifton sixth-grade teacher Nikole Burgess prepared her students for the screening by showing the film trailer and reviewing the book.
“Being first-year middle school students added to the students’ ability to empathize with the characters,” Burgess said. “Many of my students were aware of the sensitive material and the film trailer brought out a lot of emotion, so they were eager to see the movie.”
Burgess compiled a list of motivational quotes called precepts, including “It doesn’t hurt to be kind” and “What you do is more powerful than what you say,” for her students to think about as they watched the movie.
“Kindness Week is an opportunity for our students to have meaningful conversations that develop compassion and empathy,” Monrovia Unified Board President Bryan Wong said. “Our students were able to step outside of their lives and learn how their actions and words might affect other people.”
After watching the movies, students discussed how “Wonder” related to their middle school experience and how the precepts applied to their lives at school, at home and in the community.
“Monrovia Unified is dedicated to developing responsible students who are aware of both their actions and words,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Our teachers, administrators and school personnel create supportive environments where students can share their experiences with each other while keeping in mind the lessons that Kindness Week offered.”