“Why might you choose to step in?” This is one question that fourth graders in Elizabeth Kleinrock’s class are asked as they learn terms like “ally,” “advocate,” and “bystander” and consider them in various historical, social, and cultural contexts. If the complexity of our world, its problems, pains, and difficult questions can feel overwhelming at times, a look inside this classroom goes to show that with the right tools, a little bit of time, and a lot of space for self-expression, our world’s younger generations promise much hope as stewards of humanity.

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  • Allie Waters

    This is a topic that is almost never addressed! I was very impressed by the way the children responded so maturely and shared with each other and the other children. I believe this is an important topic and should be part of the curriculum! Thank you for sharing!

  • Rose

    I want to see it and I can't get it started. It simply goes around in an uncompleted circle when I click the "go" arrow.

  • Arline Schoenberger

    It gives me such hope!! It seems today we have way too many bystanders, as a person who has taught & now in the sunset of my years, I am encouraged to realize another generation is rising up who will be able to pick up the mantle of making this world & it’s people more compassionate & caring. Bravo & kudos to Miss Liz, a national treasure! Arline

  • Susana

    Here is someone making the world a better place. Raising awareness and introducing honest communication will work wonders. Please spread this empathy and kindness to every corner of the globe. Thank you, Ms. Liz.

  • Tenia L Bannick

    It is so important that these kids are experiencing this together. They are learning that they have each other to talk with and act with when the world outside their classroom offends them. In their classroom interactions they are getting to practice empathy. They will be more likely to use this awareness outside the classroom and expect the world to be other than bullying or prejudicial. I will post this video on Facebook because it is too easy to find bad news there. We need as many examples of good actions as we can find to stay hopeful and joyful in these challenging times and inspire each other to good action.

  • Karla

    To Cathy, it feels like you're assuming that the Black students in the class were intentionally left out. As a parent, I'm not sure I would want my kid interviewed in a video. Maybe the students weren't comfortable being on camera. Maybe they didn't want to be seen as a token minority. Given the message and work that this teacher is creating, I highly doubt that she is intentionally excluding Black students and it doesn't seem fair that you would assume this about her.

  • Mary Burcher

    This incredible group of people inspires me to not be a bystander but to take the plunge into a social justice initiative that engages people all over my community (faith groups, unions, single-issue groups, etc.) in identifying, developing and enacting solutions to the major social justice issues in our region (Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada). Thank-you for speaking up!

  • Nell Maha

    At age 86 I realize that the message to these children is so very important in today's world. I was this age during the Second World War and we saw and heard of much hate in our world and as a child felt rather helpless. These children will always remember that the smallest moment of kindness and helping will go a long way. It is within anyones power to help. NM

  • Rajalakshmi SRIRAM

    Hope for all of us . Lets be proactive

  • Dr. Janvie Cason

    Thank you...this is encouraging. My heart is open to the possibility and potential of the human spirit through this good life work. Yes...more of this is needed all over the country...kids have the answers...they have feelings and to create a space for their language to explore and express their feelings is so important. Thank you!

  • Lydia Holsten

    The beautiful teacher and beautiful, bright, engaged children give me great hope for our world. Thank you.

  • Cathy

    This is a very inspiring video and I'll share it with a young person in my life for discussion. Just to point out something I noticed.......coming from a perspective of analysis from a racial lens perspective.....While the classroom was clearly multicultural with racial diversity, I note that none of the Black children spoke or were a part of the presentation. My concern is how this perpetuates the marginalization of this group of children. I'm sure this very creative teacher notices this and I encourage her to consider how to foster inclusivity; she likely does but the video did not show this and if a Black child is watching, this will be very apparent.

  • bev gerstein

    This gives me hope something like this needs to be happening in every classroom

  • Patrick Watters

    Delightful and reminds me of my grandchildren's own wonderful school here in urban Sacramento, CA. A kaleidoscope of delightful children who are embracing kindness and compassion.

  • Helen Fredlund

    What an amazing video! Thank you Ms. Kleinrock for teaching our children how to be engaged with social justice issues in simple compassionate ways. I know the future is in good hands with these young people.

  • Ella de Jong

    As a Dutch teacher for over 30 years I love to hear the students own words and see they make their own choices! There is a lot of (structured) time for them to discus and work on their projects! Love it! As a solution focused counsellor and writer I love every part of it: helping each other, we ALL can do this if only we are aware of what is happening. How fortunate your kids are Elizabeth Kleinrock!!

  • Leah

    My heart is singing. This is wonderful work. Thank you!

  • Giginirvine

    Thank you, Ms Kleinrock for your creativity and courage. Fantastic curriculum.

  • Deepak

    Inspiring . Thank you Ms Liz for your commitment to the children's Growth as good human beings . We need more of this in today's troubled world . The Healing Touch .

  • Heather

    WOW!!! What intelligent, engaged kids-they are showing future leadership. It's so refreshing to see young people being seriously engaged in learning such important educational tools. Thank you Ms. Liz!!!

  • claire

    I hope these kids will be able to see the injustices and unfairness that my generation has accepted as "what is!" They give me great hope. I'm not done working on this either... but seeing them start so early is truly gives me hope! Thank you , Ms. Kleinrock and class.

  • Marianne

    Beautiful video. Loved seeing the children share what they had learned.

  • LU

    I'm not sure if I'm more inspired by Ms. Liz or her students. Consistently, I see that the future is in good hands. Our young people are brilliant and I know so much of that comes from excellent teachers, courageous enough and willing to engage them in difficult conversations.

  • Hunter

    Now, here is authentic education. True teaching. What a model for curriculum and teaching.

  • Jeffrey Farrar Dean

    A Tale from the Heartland is Inspiring

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about Elizabeth Kleinrock, her work, and the way in which she hopes that it can be a legacy for future generations.  
  • What if choosing peace does not require learning or knowing anything new? Hear about this perspective from Prem Rawat, Ambassador of Peace.
  • Consider your own way of being present to the story, life situation, or struggle of someone else. Are there ways in which you consciously or unconsciously separate yourself from others?

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