Green Circle Program Re-visited


ARE YOU deeply concerned that our children need more empathy skills to navigate the world they and we are living in.  With a wee bit of tweaking, Green Circle is a program/process for today’s children, also.

Green Circle was developed by Gladys Rawlings a dedicated teacher and civil rights activists that was touched by the hardening of the hearts of the children and parents involved in the Philadelphia school community regarding the busing policies of the school district in 1951. We added dialogue rules to teach the children.  We call it ROPES:

R for Respect    O for Openness    P for Participation    E for Exploration  and S for Safety.

The following is a list of concepts that are introduced in four 1/2 hour flannel board presentations to a group of children by a trained parent or volunteer.

Session I:

__The Green Circle represents “your world of people–the people you care about”.

__The Circle is Green to represent, “life, growth, and expansion”.

__The Circle must grow to include family and friends.

__It feels good to be inside the Green Circle…..

__It feels bad to be outside the Green Circle…..

__You are the most important person in your world of caring, because you can decide who is in and out of your circle of caring.

__People who are outside the Green Circle feel the same as you did when you were on the outside

__You must take positive action in order to include someone in your circle.

__Each person is unique, but we all share common needs.

Session II

__People can be both rich and poor and be in the Green Circle.

__People of all different sizes and shapes can be in the Green Circle.

__People of all colors can be in the Green Circle.

__People of all religions can be in the Green Circle.

__People of different ages and genders can be in the Green Circle.

__All people belong to the human family.

__Our Circle grows when our hearts are compassionate and loving.

__Each person must decide for themselves who will be in their Green    Circle.

__Other people influence you in your decisions and your relationships.

__You can know how it feels when someone else is left out.

Session III

–Storytelling:  The Story of Churkendoose.  Ends with this poem:

Does the Pear Tree say to the Apple Tree “I hate you because you are not like me?”  Does the Green Grass say to the Sky so Blue, “I’m green, why aren’t you green too?

A Rose smells sweet because it’s a flower.  An Onion tastes strong, a pickle tastes sour.  They are different, but they all get along; And, no one thinks its wrong.

MUST I BE A CHICKEN OR A GOOSE?  Or…Can’t you like me as a Churkendoose?

Session IV

Class Problem Solving:

1.__State the Problem

2.__Brainstorm the solutions

3.__Talk about the solutions

4.__Choose a Solution

5.__Evaluate the Solution.  Did it work?

Closing Activity–Keeping open to Surprise Packages

*****If interested in becoming an official participant/ trainer for this Green Circle program/process, please contact Cynthia Yoshitomi at:

We will be setting up training programs in the Winter and Spring 2016.  The Scripts are in Spanish and English.  We welcome Parents, Grandparents, Teachers, Administrators, PTA members.  We welcome private and parochial schools to participate also.  We have great reviews from Santa Monica School District.  Los Angeles School District and California PTA.

Please contact us at  as soon as possible

Humility and Empathy must be taught by Empathetic and Humble teachers.


I am wondering today about who teaches Americans to be humble and empathetic. Is it life itself? Does being born poor or rich have anything to do with it? Is it different for women than men? What do religious sacred texts say about it? Ought we depend on those life lessons or can empathy and humility be taught to the people who need to learn it the most?
Living and surviving in America can teach us E and H, but only if we share our stories with one another. Just some thoughts in September as our children begin the school year.

Caring for Words and Ideas in America Today!


“Trained imaginations are what we need most at a time like this. That is what will enable us to reach across cultures and understand each other. To think of new models and modes of organization that might work better, and to wage peace, because the love of beauty if deeply related to the love of peace. Beauty and peace are things to be learned and protected, because we see all to much evidence around us that they can be lost.” Pg 151
Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies
by Marilyn Chandler McIntyre

What are the Benefits of Forgiving Someone?

You can sign up for a class on Forgiveness at

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?
Research results cited here come from the Mayo Clinic. For more information, go to
Researchers have recently become interested in studying the effects of forgiveness. Evidence is mounting that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits, including:
* Lower blood pressure
* Stress reduction
* Less hostility
* Better anger management skills
* Lower heart rate
* Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse
* Fewer depression symptoms
* Fewer anxiety symptoms
* Reduction in chronic pain
* More friendships
* Healthier relationships
* Greater religious or spiritual well-being
* Improved psychological well-being
Keep in mind that current research studies people engaging in a traditional forgiveness model. In this course, you’ll also be receiving these health benefits, but in a potentially much deeper way because of the radical nature of its philosophy. How deep you go depends on you.Contemplate these questions to begin your forgiveness process:
How do you currently view forgiveness?
What value can you see in learning to forgive?
What do you want from forgiveness? What will you give to your process?
Are you waiting to be forgiven? from whom?
What emotions are rising up in you as you meditate on these questions?
This Week’s Action Steps:
Journal about what forgiveness means to you. Use the contemplation questions above to help you. Open your mind to the radical version. What if your crime situation is perfect in some way, even if you have no idea how that could possibly be true? Could there be treasures hiding within it, even if you’ve experienced a lot of suffering around the issue(s)? Don’t try to find them now. For now, open yourself to new possibilities. There have probably been some times in your life when there’s been a silver lining that surprised you. There are more.

For more information visit dailyom.comThis article is printed from DailyOM – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day.
Register for free at

Letting Go with Forgiveness

Children learn Forgiveness from Growups who understand the importance of forgiveness.

Midrash of the Prodigal Child

Prodical Child

The Parable of the Feisty Daughter  By Mary Theresa Streck

(Loosely based on Lk 15:11-32)

“There was a mother who had two daughters. The younger, feisty daughter, said to her mother, ‘Mother, please give me my share of my inheritance.’ So the Mother, a compassionate and wise woman who fiercely loved both daughters, divided their inheritance between them.

“Not long after that, the adventurous, feisty daughter got together all she had, set off for a distant city and there lived freely and without thought of her mother and her home. 

After she had spent a good amount of money and was very successful, and very comfortable, she realized that money and fame left her feeling empty inside. Nothing she did or had filled that emptiness – nothing. She longed for something that would fill her soul.

“When she came to her senses, she said, ‘How I miss my dear mother and I am hungry for her love.” I will set out and go back to my mother and say to her, ‘Mother, I have lived wildly and have forgotten you. Forgive me. I long to be with you. I have been so self absorbed; I am coming home.’ 

So she got up and went to her mother.

“But while she was still a long way off, her wise and compassionate mother saw her and her heart leapt for joy; she ran to her daughter, tears flowing freely, threw her arms around her and kissed her tenderly.

“The daughter said to her, ‘Mother, I have missed you and your tender love. I want to come home.’

“And the mother said to her daughter, ‘Oh my sweet child, I have longed for your return.’ The mother called her family and friends together and they celebrated her daughter’s return. 

Overwhelmed with gratitude, the daughter sang out, ‘My soul rejoices in the loving embrace of my mother.’

And the celebration continues!