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New center teaches compassion in and out of the college classroom

FGCU launches R.O.C.K.
Posted at 7:27 PM, Apr 05, 2022

BABCOCK RANCH, Fla. — Students at Florida Gulf Coast University can now study compassion and pass what they learn on to children here in our community.

FGCU officially launched its “Roots of Compassion and Kindness Center”, also known as R.O.C.K.

Students study concepts from various disciplines like psychology and philosophy.

Then, they take their lessons into Southwest Florida classrooms through activities that include painting rocks with positive messages, journaling and planting gardens.

The instruction’s already started at Babcock Neighborhood School in Babcock Ranch.

Bryanna Abadia, a 6th grader, says it’s taught her to always consider the parts of someone’s story that they might not be willing to share.

“You don’t know what other people are going through so like you want to treat people the way you want to be treated,” she says.

Marissa Crawford is a junior at the university. She says through the various activities that the FGCU students lead at the school twice a month, she’s able to engage with younger students in the community.

Crawford says that allows her to talk to them about compassion towards others, and to themselves.

“It’s really, really important for them to be taught at a young age that it’s okay to be nice to yourself, and being nice to yourself can help you be nice to other people,” Crawford says.

To wrap up a year of compassion instruction between the two schools, ROCK students reviewed highlights of the class and met “Caramel” - a dog currently sheltered at Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Bryanna says her greatest takeaway from the ROCK partnership is remembering to think of others.

“You kind of have to have empathy… to kind of put yourself in what they’re going through.”