Kimberley Park Elementary is among the local schools using Karen Cuthrell’s “The Feeling Friends” program to teach students how to manage anger and channel their energy into something positive.
Cuthrell, who moved back to Winston-Salem after living in the Washington, D.C. area for 30 years, developed “The Feeling Friends” to teach children how to identify, express and manage their feelings appropriately.
The program has been used in schools in the Greater D.C. area. Cuthrell introduced the program to School Board Member Vic Johnson, who has helped her get local schools interested in “The Feeling Friends.”
“As an educator, sometimes we have to step outside of the traditional box to ensure that a child is whole,” said Johnson, a graduate of Kimberley Park. “I believe a program that teaches children about their emotions, like ‘The Feeling Friends,’ would be the missing gap for the school.”
Johnson and his wife, Dr. Constance Johnson, donated $1,800 to cover the cost of “The Feeling Friends” books and supporting music for Kimberley Park’s fifth-graders.
In November, the students were given a feelings pre-test. Afterwards, Cuthrell introduced them to the program. Each month until May 2013, the children will focus on a specific feeling and learn strategies to manage that feeling.
“I want my fifth graders to leave this year not only being academically prepared, but emotionally prepared as well,” said Kimberley Park Principal Dr. Amber Baker. “The Feeling Friends could give them an emotional foundation they can use throughout their lives.”