ELLIE THE ELEPHANT'S VISIT TO MMS
Ellie, the world's first robotic educational elephant, visited Millhopper Montessori School to present her message about the importance of exercising empathy and treating everyone with compassion to our kindergarten through fourth grade students. On Ellie's previous tour across the country, she visited over 360 elementary schools, YMCAs, and summer camps in every contiguous state and presented her message of compassion to over 76,000 students.
Millhopper Montessori School's character education focus in October for National Bullying Prevention Month was empathy. They welcomed the 6’ tall, 4’ wide, and 9’ long elephant's presentation on the subject. As schools around the country face an epidemic of bullying and interpersonal violence, it's essential to teach students to have empathy and respect for all living, feeling beings—regardless of their species. Kids have a natural affinity for animals, and Ellie—an ambassador for all animals—showed students how easy and rewarding it can be to display compassion and take responsibility for the well-being of animals by making kind choices. Ellie moved, asked thought-provoking questions, and even giggled along with students as she told her story of being rescued from a circus and taken to a sanctuary. Complete with key vocabulary, higher-order thinking questions, and follow-up lessons, Ellie's presentation included touching, age-appropriate anecdotes of ways humans and other animals are more alike than they are different, driving home the theme that it's never OK to bully anyone. Furthermore, Ellie's message of nonviolence easily helped meet character-education standards set forth by Florida law, which require schools to teach students "responsibility; … kindness; respect for … life [and] liberty … honesty; charity; self-control; racial, ethnic, and religious tolerance; and cooperation," among other character traits, as well as required lessons in "kindness to animals."
The Ellie the Elephant program is a part of TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division. TeachKind helps schools and educators promote compassion for animals through free lessons, classroom presentations, materials, advice, online resources, and more.