New Social Network Launches for Compassion in Education

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The Compassionate Schools Network is a free online community and resource-sharing platform for students, parents, school staff, and community members

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The compassionate schools movement is growing and the Compassionate Schools Network provides a space for communication, camaraderie, and collaboration to help each of us succeed in the important work we are doing for our nation’s children.

The Compassionate Schools Network, a free online community for individuals interested in compassion in education, launches today, becoming the nation’s first social networking site specifically dedicated to compassion in education. The Compassionate Schools Network website hosts a Facebook-like community sharing platform, enabling users to join or create groups for individual topics or schools. The site also acts as a resource-sharing center and provides information and tools for compassionate schools. The website is geared towards primary and secondary education in the United States, although the platform is open to everyone, including representatives from universities or locations outside the United States. The website can be accessed at http://www.compassionateschoolsnetwork.org.

The Compassionate Schools Network boasts a variety of useful features for users, which are divided into three main categories that can be accessed using the navigation links at the top of the Network website.

Community:
The community area of the Compassionate Schools Network allows users to join for free with their email address. Once joined, users can join or create groups dedicated to a specific topic (e.g. “project ideas”) and collaborate with other Network members within each group.

Resources:
Users can browse through resources within five topic areas: community service, environmental stewardship, mindfulness, reimagining education, and social and emotional growth. Users can also submit resources to the site such as lesson plans, videos, downloads and more, culminating in a community-curated resource bank for compassion in education.

Become a Compassionate School:
This area of the Compassionate Schools Network provides users with basic tools for getting started as a compassionate school or classroom, including the Compassionate Schools Charter from the globally renowned organization the Charter for Compassion International.

“We are incredibly excited to offer the Compassionate Schools Network as a resource for all who are interested in compassion in education,” says Karli Anne Christiansen, Compassionate Schools Network cofounder and Director of Programs at TisBest Philanthropy. “We believe that there is no one ‘right’ way to implement compassion in education, nor is there a catch-all prescription for what schools, parents, and educators need to do in order to provide a compassionate education for students. The Compassionate Schools Network is a space where needs, questions, and ideas can be put forward by the members themselves, allowing solutions and resources to arise organically within member-to-member interactions.”

“There are a lot of people working very hard to provide a caring and compassionate educational community for both students and staff members,” says Peter Hubbard, Compassionate Schools Network cofounder and veteran Seattle Public Schools 5th grade teacher. “The Compassionate Schools Network will allow everyone to work together to communicate and collaborate and find support for the incredible work they do every day.”

The Compassionate Schools Network launches one month following the Compassionate Schools conference, which took place in Seattle on Aug. 11 and 12, 2014. The conference featured keynote speaker Scarlett Lewis, mother of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, and founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Lewis worked with Compassionate Schools Network cofounders Christiansen and Hubbard to create a virtual space where everyone will feel safe to participate.

“There are two components of compassion,” says Lewis. “The first is component is identifying with how another person is feeling. The second component involves action; when you do something to help or respond to what the person needs. The Compassionate Schools Network is in itself a community of compassion, giving everyone an opportunity to reach out and ask for, and offer, support. Everyone can have a voice and ideas can be shared and inspiration generated. There is a great and aching need in our society for proactive measures to be taken with compassion in education. We have years of research showing how compassion in the classroom helps children learn, lessens stressors and generates happier and more peaceful classrooms as well as individuals. The compassionate schools movement is growing and the Compassionate Schools Network provides a space for communication, camaraderie, and collaboration to help each of us succeed in the important work we are doing for our nation’s children.”

The Compassionate Schools Network has partnered with several Seattle-based organizations, including the Charter for Compassion International, Compassionate Seattle, Compassion Games International, and TisBest Philanthropy. Visit http://www.compassionateschoolsnetwork.org to learn more.

About TisBest Philanthropy:
TisBest Philanthropy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the growth of non-material gift-giving. TisBest created charity gift cards in 2007. Charity gift cards work like conventional gift cards, but with one important exception: the recipient of a charity gift card "spends" it by choosing a charity to receive the funds.

In 2013 TisBest launched the DiscoverGiving program, a classroom philanthropy project that allows elementary school students to make a difference in an area they feel passionate about using a TisBest Charity Gift Card. Learn more at http://www.tisbest.org/DiscoverGiving.

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