01/23/2014 11:29 am ET Updated Mar 25, 2014

C4C & Socially/Emotionally Intelligent Children

As teachers, we know that we want our students to be socially and emotionally intelligent. The question is how do we ensure that we are teaching our students this? How do we make sure our students have experiences to have both?

Classes 4 Classes is a platform for teachers to actively engage their students in learning a social curriculum. Social Curriculum is teaching students to be caring, kind, compassionate and empathetic of others. Social Curriculum is how we ensure our students are socially and emotionally intelligent. As adults we know that children learn best by doing; they learn best when they are actively engaged. Classes 4 Classes enables this to happen. Children are engaged in a project for other students, they are learning to care about them, be kind to them, have compassion for them, and empathize with their needs.

I don't expect you to just take my word for it, so I reached out to Alix Purcell, a member of our executive board. I asked her to articulate why Classes 4 Classes is a crucial component to teaching social curriculum in any classroom. Here is what Alix had to say:

Why is it crucial for students to participate in Classes 4 Classes?

Classes 4 Classes is an incredible program for students because it teaches relationship skills that are often overlooked in our fast-paced, technology driven world. Students learn empathy and understanding, and the interaction provides a sense of inclusion for students who might otherwise feel left out or withdrawn from their peers. Further, it gives students an opportunity to learn about kids in different parts of the country and interact daily in activities that encourage compassion.

How does Classes 4 Classes help to increase social emotional intelligence in our youth?

In addition to the aspects above, because classes are paired across district and state lines, C4C provides students a glimpse into the lives of those whom they might not otherwise have access. Further, the crowd-funding structure of Classes 4 Classes allows students the experience of giving even if they don't have the financial means to provide the gifts themselves.

What makes Classes 4 Classes distinctly different from other programs?

Classes 4 Classes is unique in that it's built on a platform that allows any student to participate, and any teacher to use it, to better their classroom environment and the lives of their students. Moreover, it encourages more acts of kindness by requiring the receiving class to learn the value of paying it forward before they receive the benefit of their own C4C gift.

How have you seen Classes 4 Classes benefit classrooms and students?

I've seen classrooms with students who've had behavioral problems turn completely around after being involved in Classes 4 Classes. Students learning the values of caring, compassion, empathy, and love, have even incorporated them into their daily language by referring to their actions as "C4C behavior" to encourage their peers to practice caring and compassion toward others all the time.

A big thank you to Alix for taking the time to answer these questions so articulately! Again, you don't just have to take my word for how crucial Classes 4 Classes is: "Students learn empathy and understanding, and the interaction provides a sense of inclusion for students who might otherwise feel left out or withdrawn from their peers," -- Alix Purcell. Get your class involved today or donate to a class' project: