Fighting loneliness for school success


TYLER (KYTX) - Loneliness can not only make you feel sad, it's also bad for your health. USA Today reports people who feel lonely on a regular basis have a 14% higher risk of dying an early death than those who live happier lives. That's according to researchers from the University of Chicago.

Nobody likes to feel left out or feel like they have no friends in life. One local school wants its students to realize that early on, so they can grow up to be empathetic adults with compassion for others. The learning style in the classroom is one way to teach kids how to do that.

Those at UT Tyler's Innovation Academy call it "an inclusion school." Just by the way the desks are set up, you can tell children are encouraged to work in groups. And, that's the way sixth grade student Rachel Humphrey prefers to learn.

"Most of the time, it's a lot better than working by yourself." she says.
Teacher Astrid Marcano says this set-up allows students to be more inclusive and collaborative with others.

"They're learning how to communicate with someone who may have some social struggles, how to build them up, how to encourage them- 'hey let me show you how to do this.' Or, 'hey, let's work on this together so that you know where to move forward.'"

That way no one feels lonely or left out.

"One of those things that you worry about in school, or sometimes students do, is that they're going to be bullied. And, you don't see that here. Everyone is so big on collaborating, and communicating and helping their fellow classmate that it's more about encouraging than discouraging."

Marcano says this encouragement builds the confidence students need to succeed in school.

"Helping their friend who just has some struggles and needs that encouragement and that friendship and that love from them to do something better."

She hopes students will take this team player attitude with them into adulthood and into the workplace.





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