Games like Hide-and-Seek and Duck, Duck, Goose have been played by children in homes and schoolyards for years. According to Pacific University seniors Nicole Burgess and Amanda Woodland, these games and others like them can be used to shape children into responsible members of society.

Senior projects day at Pacific was filled with new theories and discoveries, but few hit as close to home as the work these women were able to present. They have created a children’s program that will attempt to build stronger members of the Forest Grove community.

The work of Woodland and Burgess began when the Forest Grove Community School approached them looking to create a program that would improve its founding mission: to build scholarship, stewardship and citizenship among students. Woodland, Burgess and the school all believed this could be accomplished through the idea of perspective taking.

Perspective taking is the understanding of physical, social and emotional situations from a point of view other than your own.

Everyone believed that if they could increase perspective taking among Forest Grove students they would be building valued members of our community.

Using the work of previous psychologists as a model, Woodland and Burgess were able to create a series of activities to be put into use at the Forest Grove Community School. Woodland and Burgess believe the program they have created will see no problems in increasing a sense of scholarship, stewardship and citizenship among students.

Their program is based around having children act out different scenarios to one another and then having them report on how they feel. Woodland and Burgess said this forces students to think about feelings and perspectives other than their own and in turn gives students a valuable social experience. The two women also say with this experience, children will learn to have a better respect for the world and environment around them as well as become more empathetic.

With their program going into effect during the 2012-2013 school year, Woodland and Burgess have little doubt that the Forest Grove Community School will soon be creating a brighter future for Forest Grove.

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