Report from the Charter for Compassion Education Call March 26, 2014

Report from the Charter for Compassion Education Call March 26, 2014

 Illustration by Linda Frichtel

General Information Notes
The information below came up during the Education call as either announcements or questions asked during the time spent in Break-Out Groups.

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Charter for Compassionate Schools

In 2013 the Compassionate Action Network International (CAN) joined with No Bully to create a Charter for Compassionate Schools.  Many other thought leaders joined in writing the Charter for Compassionate Schools.  The Charter, rationale for the Charter and follow-up materials are located on our website.

Compassionate Education Reader on the Charter Website

The Education Compassion Reader is divided into topics that range in presentation from investigating compassion and other related skills (i.e., altruism,  empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, happiness, integrity, justice, kindness, mindfulness, resilience, self-compassion, and responsibility), and finding ways that they can be applied to education, to reading about some of the latest research on the science of compassion.

Of utmost importance for parents, as well as teachers, are articles that relate directly to raising a responsible child. Also, there are two sections that speak to new ideas and theories about education.  "Thinking about Education," provides background information and in most cases, video presentations on radical ("getting to the root") and transformational ideas for the classroom and beyond, from pre-school to graduate school, and within community-based settings. "Successful Education Models and Organizations" presents new approaches that are demonstrating some significant measure of success throughout the global community.

Charter Partner Facebook Page

If you have never accepted the Charter’s invitation to the private Charter Partners Page, please visit the page and request  to be become a member.  Facebook does not allow us to send out a second invitation.

The Three Presenters During the Call
Laurie Lewin: Voices Around the World
Mark Desvaux: Food Share
Marc Ian Barasch: Green World Campaign

Voices Around the World

Voices Around The World is a not for profit organization dedicated to linking the voices of young people around the world through music.  This year Voices we will be taking things to a whole new level.  As before they will invite audio recordings to be submitted to go on to the final mix of the song ‘Listen To Us.’ However, they are also asking participating schools/youth organizations to submit a 30 second video of the youngsters succinctly and dramatically expressing their views about what is needed to make their world a better place in the future. The videos will be collated into one video and along with the song mix be presented to the G8 ministers at their next conference.

If you like the idea of being part of the Voices Around The World family ...please go ahead and sign up by going to the website and sign up.  You will then receive all the news as we roll out this year’s project (you will also get free access to all of the choir resources from the last two years).


Foodshare is a not-for-profit, volunteer-powered charity which connects growers (schools, allotments, community and kitchen gardeners) with local charities. Their vision is for every school to have a Foodshare Bed and every grower to sow a little extra and share their surpluses with local charities that feed people. It’s a fulfilling and brand new way to give!

The original pilot scheme in Milton, Cambridgeshire, UK was a huge success with over £1,500 of fresh produce donated to the local Children’s Hospice in just three months by the local primary school and allotment.

Foodshare’s vision is for every school to have a Foodshare bed, so that each child can learn about growing and experience the joy of sharing with their community.

The other main aims of Foodshare are to:

  • Reduce the spiraling food bills of charities.
  • Produce locally-grown, seasonal and fresh produce to those that will benefit the most.
  • Reduce food waste by distributing surplus food to charities instead of landfill or compost heaps.
  • Reduce the food miles of charities.

Green World Campaign

The Green World Campaign (GWC) has a bold agenda: Catalyze a global movement to reforest our planet, raise the living standards of the rural poor, and combat climate change. Its far-reaching aim — to plant hundreds of millions of trees while lifting millions of people out of poverty — can only be achieved by all of us working together.

Green World Campaign wants to seed new forests, but that's just the start. We are bringing in appropriate technology (i.e., solar lanterns, pumps, and water purification systems) and fostering village cooperatives to produce organic honey. We're exploring new models of social action, sustainable community, and compassionate living. We see the Green World Campaign as an umbrella (or better, a shade-tree) under which we can gather, break bread, accomplish needful things, and have fun doing it.

GWC provides a framework for people to actually get together. The global village, after all, includes our own home town. How can we combine shrinking our own carbon footprint with stepping up to help our global neighbors? From potlucks and "parties with a purpose" to cultural events and civic initiatives, let's see what we can dream up — and do — to create the green world we'd all enjoy living in.
The Green World Campaign takes a holistic approach in all its activities. We plant multipurpose trees that serve the needs of nature and humanity. Agro-forestry is a way that humanity has cooperated with nature since prehistory. We do all that we can to augment this creative relationship. Planting trees not only restores natural ecology and biodiversity and sucks up carbon dioxide, but helps the resourceful people at "the bottom of the pyramid" to create livelihoods, preserve their culture, sustain village life, remove causes of resource conflict and urban migration, and turn their land/our Earth green again.

Participants on the Charter Education Call
Andrew Himes This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ben Roberts This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (ASSISTANT)
Marilyn Turkovich This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group 3
Barbara Kerr This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Host: Group 3)
Michelle Brockman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 3)
Diana Suskind This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 3)
Anne Walker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 3)
mary v williams This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 3)

Group 4
Barbara Kaufmann This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Host: Group 4)
Marc Barasch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - (Group 4)
Laurie Lewin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 4)
Carolyn Shoemaker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 4)
Andrew Twiddy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 4)
Jennifer Mills and Marcel Schaeffer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 4)

Group 6
Lesa Walker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (HOST: Group 6)
Clement Awanfe Ngueto This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 6)
Sue Hollow This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 6)
Anil Sachdev This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 6)
Kanupriya Sekhri This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 6)

Group 7
Andrew Himes This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (HOSTt Group 7)
Mark Desvaux This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 7)
Kim Groshek This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 7)
Olivia McIvor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group7)
Linda Ragsdale This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 7)
Vinciane Rycroft This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 7)

Group 10
Kevin Beringer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Group 10)
Sara Jamil This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Group 10)

Breakout Group Highlights

Group 3

Diana Suskind’s project is “Stonework Play,” an imaginative activity in which children (or adults—for team building, for example) have the opportunity to play with stones and then tell a story about their creation.  Diana has brought this activity to museums, classrooms, hospitals, and more.  Her website is, and it includes specifics of the program.

Michelle Brockman, who is a partner with the Charter, was on the call to learn ideas and identify possible projects for her daughter, who is currently attending college and working toward a degree in elementary education.  Others on the call were able to give her some ideas and possible contacts.

Ann Walker told us about “Global Game Changers:  Children’s Educational Initiative” located in Louisville, KY.  The program, run after school and in camps, teaches kids about giving back and allows kids to identify their own “super powers” for compassionate action.  For example, a seven-year old named Walter invited people to bring cans of food to his soccer game to be donated.  Another child who enjoys singing goes to sing at the nursing home where her grandmother lives.  Ann spoke of the active programs within the Louisville school system, the Youth Education Constellation, the Health Care Constellation,  and of collaborations with the YMCA youth organization.

Two suggestions came up in our discussion of how to better share information, programs, and curricula.  One idea was to have a central blog on the Charter site so people could report progress and outcomes of various programs.  Another suggestion was to break down the resources on the site by school level/age level and/or by subject matter to make it more easily useable.

Group 4

Marc Barasch: Wants to get schools involved in the Green World campaign. Will talk to 2 advertising groups in LA, “Plant A Tree”- song in the works; 1600 schools coming on day to day. More privileged international schools- schools from less privileged schools- Will do outreach; adopt other schools.

Laurie Lewin: Produces “Voices Around the World”;  in listening to Marc speaking about work in Africa:
think there are obvious links between the two projects. Marc: Will be in touch with people in “Playing for Change.: Questions about publicizing: You Tube, Youtube hits help with networking. A growth industry- started small and have grown organically.  Next phase of Voices Around the World- song called “Listen to Us” will feature what young people want the world to change.

Julia Jennifer Miles:  plays a leadership role as a student at St. Lukes’s in New Market Ontario, Canada.  Involved in social media:  Twitter  Acct: Slukecompassion;  Instagram Acct:  St Luke Compassion Student Project.  Part of a singing group with four other girls; check out YouTube: Julia Jennifer Miles.  We are going to get involved with the Compassion Relays and will be passing the torch from to our sister schools.; get involved with music and compassion relays.

Marcel Schaffer: instructor at an alternative school, St. Lukes; started small with their site. St. Luke’s is a school that allows for young people to transition back to their home schools.  Took on the compassion initiative by using Olivia McIvor’s book, Turning Compassion into Action.  He is the facilitator of the compassion project but it is a student driven project.

Andrew Twiddy:  Role: Speaking, writing and conversations. Day job: Parish Priest in Anglican (Episcopal Church) caught the vision with the congregation. Goal: Nurture compassion; Parksville British Columbia.

How promotes compassion “One conversation at a time.” Project of youth and music- involve kids in musicals; Representative of Canadian Food Grains Bank; Musician wrote: for the Charter for Compassion- Lyrics from the CfC; Title: “Where Does Compassion Start?”; Musik Lus website: audio sampling of the song; Can purchase licenses to composition from Ron Klustmeier.

“The Miracle and Magic of this – is every step I take, I think of compassion and exercise compassion”


“No dream is too small”
“All of us are planting this beautiful compassion garden”

Jennifer: Student: Question for Laurie
Music has been written, a score- Charter for Compassion: “Where Does Compassion Start?”
Could be sung by people around the world.
Look up where does compassion start can hear the song.

Group 6

Kanu Sekhr (India) works with the School for Inspired Leadership- working with young people for last 5 yrs, volunteers with non-profit sector;  build compassion in these young leaders.  Also Executive education arm; train in management and leadership. Work with 13 nonprofit organizations. Health, education, good governance, community-development, women-children focus. Students can engage. Purely volunteer- teach children, plant trees. Hands on, voluntary work. Help marketing, fund-raising, etc.
Question: how is work shared?- 1) work has been documented - can share with other institutions- schools, colleges, universities 2) introduce this network to non-profit partners- could be lot of collaboration.

Anil Sachdev: some stories by radio and blogs.  Student and non-profit teams- share about social innovation. Look at compassion for mindfulness- teach mindfulness and compassion in schools. Visit temple of Dalai Lama- live in spiritual retreat center.  Learn from villagers about how they do microfinance,  women empowerment, appreciative inquiry.  Use theater, scripts, music, and dance.  Very special.  Learning journey.

Compassion- building leaders with character. 3 continents. Work with Kohler in Wisconsin. How do you bring compassion to the core of leadership development? Improves trust and emotional intelligence. Encouraging organizations to be organizations of consequence. Host delegations and take them to different non-profit partners. The reward for service is even more service. Same message to high schools.

Sue Hollow: new to Charter- could very easily share curriculum with school students- adaptable to all ages- 4 y.o. to adults. Have programs for senior citizens. In SE Wisconsin. Asked to share with other states. 3 counties. Started in 2006. About 9000 children. Teach how to resolve conflict without violence. Communication, how to solve differences. Circles of Peace in Sept- 9/11-9/21 in 2011. Director of Gandhi-King Foundation attended. Took curriculum to India. Very well received in India. Delighted to have another connection. Can send curriculum.

Are calls helpful?- Sue- Yes- inspiring. Struggles to get businesses involved in compassion. Interested in how to get businesses involved. Will be meeting with SC Johnson in Wisconsin. Working to try to sell the idea to them. Anil knows them well and will be happy to help.a

Group 7

Mark Desvaux talked about his amazing project Foodshare in the UK. “Every school child learning how to grow food in school and “Growing to Give” - sowing, tending, harvesting and donating local, fresh produce to those in need in their community. From homeless shelters to children hospice, care homes to drop-in centres, the Foodshare movement joins schools with local charities to create a new generation of philantropists and a beating heart within each local community.”

Kim Groshek produces an animated TV program call Smartkids  and is author of  a children’s book and screenplay called “Nate the Dragon Stops Bullying.”

Olivia McIvor talked about her work to teach and embed kindness and compassion in the life of businesses, and her new book Turning Compassion into Action.

Linda Ragsdale, also a children’s book designer, author, and illustrator, has created a project called The Peace Dragon, an “interactive website promoting the work of global artists of all ages, in all disciplines, who have taken on the challenge to break down the violent and fiery image of the dragon and re-establish it as the loving and compassionate creature lost to the myths and mythmakers.”
Vinciane Rycroft shared what she has been doing to organize and promnote the Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference.

Group 10

Late arrivals to the call who shared thoughts with one another.

Wrap-Up and Invitations

Andrew: Deeply in awe of people on the call- wonderful projects. Theme in one of breakout groups- power of art and culture and music to embody and express the principles of compassion and the Charter. Very interested. Significant moment for Charter- within last year- beginning of network and connection has accelerated tremendously. Explosive growth of partners, organizers, activists, and leaders around the world. Global Compassion Council has been formed - 38 leaders from around the world- 22 different countries. Invite all to consider. Building the movement takes resources. Invite to consider donation to help support the Charter’s work, e.g. this call. Will be sending out contribution message.

Marilyn: great idea if people want to stay online and chat, you can. Facilitators stay on the debrief. Thank you all! Please send in anything you want in the report with links. Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Additional Information Sent in by Participants

Circles of Peace (Contact: Sue Hollow)

PLC has just written a grant for our Circles of Peace 2014, which runs from September 11-21. Eleven days of community-wide activities and events.The purpose is to bring awareness of how we can better treat each other every day.  Of course, this year we will focus on compassion since we are planning on these 11 days to be the big kick-of for our Compassionate Communities Campaign.  

Circles of Peace 2011 we featured speakers from India, Usha Gokani, Gandhi's granddaughter and Prasad Gollanapalli, a Gandhi scholar and CEO of the Gandhi King Foundation.  Circles of Peace 2012,  featured Dr. Clayborne Carson, Professor of American History, Director of Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Circles of Peace 2014 We will also include the Compassion Games, and 11 days of community-wide activities and events.  We are looking for speakers.  My hope is to bring His Holiness the Dali Lama to Racine/Kenosha. I would appreciate some advice on how to go about initiating contact and the request.  We are in a perfect geographical area, halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Compassion Relays (Contact: Lesa Walker)

We invite you to take part in the Compassion Relays! We pass the Compassion Torch to YOU! For detailed instructions and guidance materials for schools and youth groups, go to the Relays overview, scroll down and click on the links to the “Invitation for Schools and Youth Groups” and “Compassion Relays and Service-Learning.”

We know that many of you throughout the world have already instituted educational programs with a focus on compassion, and many have done so globally. Whether you have programs in place, want to start, or want to add new ones to what you are already doing, we would like you to join us in our mission to strengthen the practice of compassion through friendly “coopetition” between classes, schools, groups, cities, etc.

Would you like to get your class, school or group more excited about what you are doing already? Well, friendly coopetition with compassion in mind could ignite your efforts! Your programs can provide inspiration and a model for others who have nothing in place yet.
Everyone is important for the Compassion Relays to be successful. Anyone, any age, can participate in the Relays, now and year-round. Let’s light up the world for compassion and bring the Torch to the Compassion Games in September!

Remember these 2 key links for the Compassion Relays!

Find basic information about the Relays, including links to FAQs and specific Relays invitations and instructions for individuals, schools and youth groups, organizations/businesses, community groups (community, interfaith, faith-based, other), and government entities, here.
Report your acts of compassion and your Relays experience via the Compassion Map.

We encourage you to use the Compassion Relays Torch logo to highlight and pass on news about the Relays to friends, family, and colleagues via social media and hand-to-hand.

Compassionate Louisville Youth Education Constellation (Contact: Jan Helson and Anne Walker)

(1) We continue to have schools adopting resolutions and are on target to have 100 Compassionate Schools by 2015. We are gaining momentum in our efforts. We are providing them information to sign the Charter as well, but I'm unsure as to whether they are actually do so. We will continue to push for them to do so.

(2) Our website is being redone and hopefully once completed it will a great asset to support our efforts. I think this will help schools in signing the Charter as we will promote it on our homepage.

Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference (Contact: Vinciane Rycroft)

Date of Event: Thursday, November 13, 2014 (All day) to Friday, November 14, 2014 (All day)
Location: Fort Mason Centre, San Francisco, CA
Event web site: Empathy and Compassion in Society
RSVP link:  Join us

Empathy and Compassion in Society aims to present universal and well researched methods for cultivating empathy and compassion, show how these methods can enhance one's personal and professional life, and share concrete examples of organisations and public institutions where these methods have been shown to be effective.

Internationally renowned neuroscientists, psychologists and thinkers share their insights and present methods for developing compassion.
Innovators are also invited to submit case studies demonstrating how compassion has been a force for change in their area of work.
The conference is for professionals from all sectors, including those working in management, policy, law, education, health, social care, as well as in the private sector.

Global Game Changers (Contact: Anne Walker and Jan Helson)

(1) Thought you would enjoy seeing this article that was posted in Nation Swell on Global Game Changers a couple of weeks ago I hope you will feel free to share.

(2) We had a very successful presentation at the South by Southwest Education Festival. It was well received by the audience, that consisted of education stakeholders from teachers to administrators to nonprofit education foundations, that fund education programming. The need for compassionate and social-emotional curriculum was an over arching conversation throughout the entire conference; reinforcing to us, how much potential Global Game Changers has to make a difference in the classroom. Our program was of particular interest because it targets our youngest students beginning in pre-school through 5th grade. Everyone agrees that starting young is essential, but most programs don't start until middle school.

(3) We have developed a collaborative partnership with the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association to use their existing infrastructure and trusted brand identity to integrate our programming into their afterschool programs. This partnership provides us a conduit to reach students efficiently and effectively without redundant and wasteful costs and it provides them with innovative, compassion-based, standards compliant programming for their youngest participants. The YMCA is the largest afterschool provider in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Kentucky YMCA Youth Association is adopting a resolution and will sign the Charter.

(4) I will be traveling Wednesday morning and won't be able to participate in the education conference call. Anne Walker, our Program Director, will be calling in. She is excited to participate – share and learn!

(5) We are conducting a children's one-day "Discover Your Superpower" compassion event on August 24th. We are partnering with The Muhammad Ali Center, Stage One Children's Theatre and other community partners for the event that will be open to the public, free of charge. It will be funded via grant funding. I will send more information as it is formalized.

Kim Groshek

My name is Kim Groshek,  I am a writer, author, consultant, and publisher. In one word, I encompass the spirit of a true entrepreneur.  I am the founder of Groshek Consulting, LLC and Creatively Canny.  I have authored several books with more planned.  I believe in empowering people by working their inner power as a guide.  I help others see their main strength, and encourages them to use it. I motivate others by setting and communicating clear and meaningful goals. The biggest and most important goal is to make progress visible to others.  I give recognition and acknowledgement to people who make weekly progress toward their goals.  Organized and patient, I actively listens, communicates clearly and passionately, and happily works alongside others.  

As a producer of Nate the Dragon Musical, SMART Kids TV Show and author of Bug's Adventure Series, Nate the Dragon Stops Bullying, Floyd the Fire Truck and Win By Leading, I care deeply about gently teaching valuable lessons to children and adults, and creating characters loved by a wide range of readers and viewers. Those who know me can’t wait to see what she will do next!

What I need from the organization to spread the word about:
Nate the Dragon the Musical (I would like to see it on stage in theaters and schools around the globe.
SMART Kids TV show (I would like to see it on kids TV, internet, cable and other channels across the globe)
Win By Leading Workshop Series for young adults venturing out in the industry (Customizable based on book I authored: Win By Leading, I can send example brochures)

St. Luke’s (Toronto, Canada) (Contact: Marcel Schaffer)

Here is a summary of what St. Luke discussed during the call and small group discussion.

Our Compassion Group has spread to include all three St. Luke CLC sites
We have a new partnership with the Newmarket Food Bank where we volunteer weekly
Olivia McIvor has donated her book Turning Compassion Into Action to all 3 of our sites to be used for reading groups and for teachers to utilize in their curriculum.
We are going to register and participate in the Compassion Relays very soon.
Our site will begin and we will then be handing the torch to our sister sites.

The question posed to us : " How can the compassionate work we do be shared with
other Charter partners in the network"  We responded:

through or social media sites - Twitter: @SLukeCompassion  and Instagram:  StLukeCompassion
we were very excited to hear Laurie present "Voices Around The World" as we have 5 extremely talented singers in our group.  We are planning to contact Laurie this week to register our school with his group.  This will be our first network partnership!
After the call, I met with Jennifer and Julia Miles and we discussed the need for us to partner with another Compassionate School somewhere in the world.  We would love to share ideas with another school and we would like your input please.

Read about St. Luke’s on the Charter site:

Authors in Our Midst

Circles of Peace (Sue Hollow), Global Change Makers (Jan Helson), Peace Dragon (Linda Ragsdale) and books coming from Kim Gorshek are all individuals and groups you will want to check out.  In addition,
Marc Barasch’s Field Notes of the Compassionate Life and Olivia McIvor’s Turning Compassion into Action are work a serious look.

Publishers Weekly (starred review): Writing in a friendly, upbeat voice, Barasch is never pious as he ponders the meaning of compassion, its healing properties and the wisdom of the compassionate, from St. Francis and the Dalai Lama to caring individuals in Barasch's own life. Touching on psychology, social science and evolutionary biology, he explores his subject with lively firsthand reportage. The compassionate life is not only liberating, it genuinely feels good, he says. But how do we overcome our innately self-serving tendencies? Barasch finds among bonobo chimpanzees a model for caring group behavior that he believes undermines Darwin's evolutionary idea of the survival of the fittest. He reports on new research that shows how love and caring may actually drive the bodily system, and he converses with an extraordinarily altruistic kidney donor and a father who has forgiven the killer of his daughter. He also observes an Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, and reconciliations in Rwanda. Melding accessible reportage with spiritual quest, Barasch's stirring account is thought-provoking and inspiring. Forecast: With a flurry of blurbs from the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Arianna Huffington, this unusual spiritual self-help book could rise above the pack.

Compassion is the bedrock of a healthy society. McIvor’s Turning Compassion into Action urges each of us to craft engaged and meaningful lives. She believes we must each embrace the innate wellspring of compassion within us and impact our world, one action at a time. To actualize compassion we need to transform our pessimism into optimism; connect to the deeper purpose of our work; expand our communities to create more belonging; and be  intentionally present with ourselves and others.

This report was sent to all participants who were originally registered for the call, including those who did not participate on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.  It is also being sent to participants in the Colleges and Universities call on March 27, 2014.

About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.


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