Empatico Empathy Challenge Fellowship


Empathy In Your Backyard

44 classrooms, 22 teacher pairs, 1 hope.


How can 40 classrooms from across the United States work together to build empathy in our next generation through service learning projects?


During the 2019 - 2020 school year, Empatico and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) have partnered to launch the third Empathy Challenge Fellowship. The topic of this fellowship is “Empathy in Your Backyard”, and guides students through service learning projects, including identifying challenges in their community, conducting research, and developing and implementing a solution. 

During their projects, students will also connect with a partner classroom in a different city or country through live video exchanges. Through these connections, students will share stories and insights, learn and understand life in a different community, provide support and encouragement to each other, and develop and practice key social skills. 


Empatico, an initiative of The KIND Foundation, is a free tool for teachers to connect their classroom with others around the world through video interactions and activities designed to foster meaningful connections among students ages 6-11. Empatico amplifies students’ voices, providing a powerful platform for them to share their stories and perspectives. Empatico makes students’ stories the heart of the learning process.


Testimonials from Last Year's Fellows:

"I can truly say that I saw students seem to be more accepting of and helpful to their classmates. I loved that they understood that even though other students may live in far away places and might initially seem totally different, they had many things in common."


"I enjoyed the interactions with my partner and her class just as much as my students did. We were able to share and learn from each other, I expanded my PLC. I also enjoyed the various webinars, which helped me grow as a teacher."


"I've seen my students become more empathetic and kind to others. The students have also become more understanding of others perspectives. Overall their social and emotional growth has been tremendous."


"I saw an increased sense of pride in our school and our experiences. The students were excited to tell our connecting class about what they were doing in school and they enjoyed finding similarities between our classroom and our partner class."


Follow the journey at #SparkEmpathy #TeachersLeading



Meet Our Mentors:

Beth Maloney is currently in her twentieth year of teaching and enjoys every minute of her time in the classroom teaching fifth grade.  Beth is a renewed National Board Certified Teacher and a Candidate Support Provider for other teachers undergoing certification.  She is the past-president and co-founder of the Arizona National Board Certified Teachers Network and a blogger on Stories From School Arizona.  Beth is the president and founder of the Arizona Chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.  Beth holds a doctorate in higher and post-secondary education and is honored to be the 2014 Arizona Teacher of the Year.







Dr. Sherwanda Y. Chism is entering her 21st year as an educator. She has taught students in grades one through six in Memphis and the surrounding area. Dr. Chism has been a learning coach and a subject matter expert for the Tennessee Department of Education. She is also certified to teach English Language Learners. Dr. Chism currently teaches in Shelby County Schools’ gifted and talented program, CLUE (Creative Learning in a Unique Environment). She is very passionate about identifying gifted children from underrepresented populations and providing relevant curriculum to culturally diverse groups. Dr. Chism has shared her teaching practices locally, on the state level, and nationally. She has shared strategies by way of videos and blog posts with an online community of teachers through TeachingChannel.org. Dr. Chism believes that all students deserve a high-quality education and that it should be received in an equal and equitable classroom.



Brittany Bredar’s mission is to instill a love for learning in all her students. She started her teaching career with the Tippecanoe School Corporation after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Western Governors University of Indiana. Brittany is now in her fourth year teaching at Cole Elementary School, a small, rural Indiana school serving about 250 students. Some of those students come from families who are facing many challenges, such as unemployment and generational poverty. Brittany strives to teach with passion in all subject areas in hopes of sparking a fire for lifelong learning. In addition to teaching fourth-grade, Brittany mentors young ladies in a program called Girls on the Run. The national program encourages girls to find joy and confidence through positive choices in their physical, spiritual and emotional health.


Chasity Collier has been an educator for 21 years and has spent the last two years teaching fourth and fifth grade science at Dawes Intermediate School. Previously, she taught science at Hankins Middle School and Florence Howard Elementary School, before working as a science content coach for the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative. She was recently awarded Alabama's 2017-2018 State Teacher of the Year and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.






© 2017 NNSTOY, All Rights Reserved
Website by David Taylor Design | NJ Website Design Company