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Learning Compassion @ Blowing Rock School

By David Rogers. November 20, 2012. BLOWING ROCK -- Education goes beyond readin', writin', and 'rithmetic. With a field trip on Monday to Hospitality House, Blowing Rock School first graders also learned about human compassion.

"Part of the first grade curriculum," first grade teacher Missy Searcy shared with Blowing Rock News, "is about community. So Kate (Leslie, first grade teacher) and I thought it would be a good idea to teach the children, with Thanksgiving coming, about how to be grateful for the things we have, and how to help other people in the community."

"We thought it would be more meaningful," Leslie explained, "if we came here on a field trip and the students got a chance to see the nice new facility and experience the Hospitality House first hand, rather than donate gifts and just send them off. We wanted them to here, take a tour, and witness it. Blowing Rock is such a small community, and not everyone gets a chance to get out and experience this sort of thing."

Blowing Rock Emergency Service Director Kent Graham joined the group on Monday as the father of Kayla, and explained to Blowig Rock News the importance of a field trip to the Hospitality House from a parent's perspective, saying, "Based on this experience, we are also going to bring Molly, our 8-year old, when we can.  The teachers have a great idea here, especially around Thanksgiving, to remind us how thankful we should be.

"This is an extremely valuable part of their education," Graham added. "It is not all about reading and writing and arithmetic. It is also about living life and this a huge introduction to other pespectives."

Another parent, Anna Lehman, told Blowing Rock News, "This is an incredible opportunity. I see it as a mission opportunity, being a Christian myself. It is a wonderful way for the children to go beyond themselves and see the world in a larger scope, and to realize that not everyone has the things that they are blessed to have.  At the age of 7, my son thinks the world revolves around him, so it is valuable for him to experience that there are other people who need things, and this is a good way to do that."

Searcy, who has been at Blowing Rock School for 10 years, added, "This is Part One -- reaching out in the community to help others less fortunate than we might be -- and then in December we will be going to Blowing Rock Hospital's extended care facility, and providing (patients) with body wash. The focus there is on people in the community who might feel left out, maybe not visited by family as much as they might like, people who are lonely.  So that is Part Two of our lesson -- reaching out to help people in our community."

Now in her second year at Blowing Rock School, Leslie explained that through their classwork the students earn buttons and with those buttons they get to "buy" body wash for Part Two of the community service curriculum segment.

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