Compassionate Louisville organization expands; event highlights program at Semple Elementary School

Last year, the organization broke its own world record with more than 235,000 acts of service or compassion.
Updated: Nov. 7, 2019 at 7:45 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A kinder city for all of us is the motivation behind Mayor Greg Fisher's Compassionate Louisville initiative.

Now, the program is expanding. On Thursday, Fischer announced the launch of a new non-profit. The announcement was made at Semple Elementary School, one of the 24 schools in JCPS that embraces the compassionate curriculum.

Debra Hutchison’s classroom doesn’t look like the others at Semple Elementary; she has been teaching compassionate learning for four years.

“The compassionate schools project deals a lot with social, emotional skills, and giving them mindfulness strategies to get through those moments of frustration, to get through those moments of anxiousness or frustration,” Hutchison said.

Breathing techniques, yoga poses and talking out frustrations and issues are all part of the class.

“They’re giving themselves a moment to just take care of themselves,” Hutchison said. “Sometimes I think they just need that peace for themselves because they may not have any peace for the remainder of the day.”

The work in JCPS classrooms is part of what makes Louisville known as a Compassionate City. That work was on display during the launch of Compassionate Louisville, a new 501c3 that will continue Louisville’s compassion work beyond any administration.

“We are basically going to Compassionate Louisville 2.0,” said Dr. Muhammad Babar, the President of Muslim Americans for Compassion. “(We aim) to have a network of compassion ambassadors in every house of worship, in every hospital, every business entity, every community organization.”

The compassion campaign started in 2011; its 501c3 status means it’ll stick around after this administration moves on.

“We are linked together as human beings, and that’s what compassion means,” Fischer said. “We respect each other so we want our full human potential flourishing.”

Last year, the organization broke its own world record with more than 235,000 acts of service or compassion.

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