Promoting Empathy Together: A Look Back at the A Mile In Our Shoes Program
In February, we challenged Newsela schools to spread empathy by encouraging students to read about different communities in the United States and abroad through our A Mile In Our Shoes program. In partnership with DonorsChoose.org and Teaching Tolerance, we challenged students to learn about empathy and inclusivity through reading. Whether students read about a community they know little about, or a community that they identify with, this campaign aimed to spark meaningful discussions in classrooms across the country - while also building essential reading skills. To get teachers and students excited to get reading, the A Mile In Our Shoes program included a national reading goal and some local reading challenges. National Reading Challenges The more students read, the more we donated diversity-related projects on DonorsChoose.org. Thanks to teachers, we recently hit our national reading drive goal and donated $10K to diversity and empathy-related projects. These donations helped fully-fund 24 projects impacting over 3,200 students in 18 states.
Additionally, we partnered with the Malala Fund to give away copies of Malala Yousafzai’s documentary, “He Named Me Malala” to over 150 teachers.
Local Reading Challenges We also held several local reading challenges in partnership with 3 NBA teams, the Jeremy Lin Foundation, and the cast of the National Tour of HAMILTON.
- Students at Joshua Chadbourne Elementary School won the opportunity to attend a Golden State Warriors game.
- Foothill Ranch Middle School won tickets to a Sacramento Kings game.
- St. Savior Catholic Academy won our Brooklyn Nets Challenge, earning tickets to a Nets game and a school visit from Nets player Jeremy Lin.
- And students at Bay Area schools: Kipp Heritage Academy, Rancho Milpitas Middle School, and Hillcrest Elementary won the opportunity to meet the national touring cast of HAMILTON
During the campaign more than 12 million Newsela articles were read by nearly 300,000 students from 16,300 schools. Additionally, over 2,200 teachers registered for our ‘Building Empathy in Classrooms’ webinar with Teaching Tolerance.
So many schools stepped it up for this challenge, so kudos for you, the educators, who encouraged students to read. The A Mile In Our Shoes Text Sets will still be available next week, next month, and next year, so teachers can continue to use them to spread empathy in their classrooms and beyond.