Martial Arts School In Brookfield, Connecticut Proves You Can Teach Empathy To Children

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Some may say you can’t truly teach empathy to kids. But Zandri’s Martial Arts in Brookfield, Connecticut is out to prove them wrong.

Leadership Team Members, (in red jackets) helping hold focus mitts.

I feel her pain and want to help correct this issue in society.

Zandri’s Martial Arts will be teaching kids about Empathy this January. Empathy is the word of the month for the Brookfield Martial Arts school’s character education curriculum.

The instructors at Zandri’s Martial Arts were inspired by a NY Times blog article they read charging that children cannot truly be taught empathy.

“In the article, a mother of an autistic child was bothered that children only empathize when they are forced to,” said Mike Brooks, co-owner of Zandri’s Martial Arts. “I feel her pain and want to help correct this issue in society.”

Brooks and his team took this as a call to action to not just teach the word of the month but to work to insure their students really understand and internalize it.

Their character education program is a professionally designed and internationally recognized program called Powerful Words. The program was created by child psychologist, author and T.V. personality, Dr. Robyn Silverman.

One of the tools that Zandri’s Martial Arts uses to drive the word of the month home is their Powerful Student of The Month program. Students create an in depth project where they put the word into action. Their projects are then judged by the instructors and one winner is selected each month.

The student who demonstrates the deepest understanding and really implements what they’ve learned in an impactful way is chosen as the student of the month. They are awarded a special plaque, recognition as the student of the month as well as other prizes from the school.

Each week the instructors use lesson plans provided by Dr. Robyn to teach the word of the month. The students dig deeper into the meaning of the word throughout the month. Participation in the student of the month program is voluntary.

“We are excited to see how our students will affect their communities with their projects.” said Brooks. “It is amazing how much can be done when so many people participate in things like this. It can have a huge impact.”

Zandri’s Martial Arts is located in Brookfield. But they also serve members of the surrounding communities such as Danbury, New Milford, Newtown, Bethel and New Fairfield.

Zandri’s Martial Arts offers classes for ages 3 to adult. For more information they can be contacted at (203) 775-7150 or through their website at


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