Bradford Elementary School in Vermont has been a Changing Perspectives partner for 3 years. In fact, this school was one of Changing Perspectives’ first pilot schools.

Adam Norwood, Principal at Bradford ElementaryThe leadership at Bradford Elementary School saw a need for this curriculum, explains Adam Norwood, Principal at Bradford Elementary: “I believe it’s critical that schools teach more than the basic academic skills. In an ever-changing world, we should never forget the things that connect us to each other- our basic humanity,” he says. “This starts with understanding and appreciating the differences that make us all unique. Changing Perspectives allows our students to experience something new, so they can begin to appreciate the differences between all of us.”

Jessica Loeffler, 5th grade teacher at Bradford Elementary SchoolJessica Loeffler, 5th grade teacher at Bradford Elementary School, agrees that the Changing Perspectives curriculum has enhanced their school’s community and that each year teachers get to “do a little more with the curriculum.” She especially enjoys how broad the curriculum is. “{Learning about differences} is not just an isolated thing. We can have these conversations and they apply to everything.” To hear from from Jessica, watch this short video.

The lessons are impacting the students in a palpable way, one 6th grade student explains: “Thanks to Changing Perspectives, I learned that just because people walk, talk, look, or act differently doesn’t mean that you should treat them any differently than you treat your best friend.”

And another six grader adds: “I think the most important thing I learned through Changing Perspectives is that a disability doesn’t define who you are. We are all human.”

As more and more students become aware of differences, practicing empathy at Bradford Elementary is becoming the norm. “It’s not always easy to have students get their emotions under control so that they can be open to considering the perspectives of others,” says Adam. “Often, we find that some students simply don’t realize how their actions and behaviors make the other person feel until we facilitate a genuine conversation between them. The conversations often lead from ‘How are you feeling?’ to ‘How do you think what you did made Tommy feel?’ or ‘How would you feel if this were to happen to you?’”

Thank you for being one of our treasured partner schools, Bradford Elementary! We’re so thrilled to witness these amazing transformations year after year.

Students at Bradford Elementary School participate in a disability awareness simulation station.