“Wonder” instills kindness in students

GWINN — Most attitudes in life can come from experience, but some Gwinn students are learning lessons through reading and enjoying movies.

Students at Gilbert Elementary have been learning the meaning of inclusiveness and kindness through the book Wonder, a story of a boy with facial defects. The book has taught them many lessons.

“It’s all about what’s on the inside that matters, and teaching that with students can be hard, especially at a fifth grade level, but we think that it’s important to discuss,” said 5th grade teacher Debbie Goldsworthy. “And it does create a sense of thinking twice before you speak to someone, ignore someone, before you bully someone, or standing up for someone you see may be bullied.”

“There’s no reason to judge anyone by the way they look, because they have feelings too,” said Miley Noe, a student at Gilbert Elementary.

The book was turned into a movie this year.

Dr. Frank Farbod, who has helped discuss the book with students, bought them tickets to see the movie last week. He is thankful to be able to share a passion and important lessons with the kids.

“It means a lot to me, because cranial–facial surgery is really dear to my heart. And the character in this book has Treacher Collins Syndrome, and life is pretty tough for children like that. It gives across the message of empathy, caring, and being more inclusive,” he said.

“I think it’s cool because it teaches us that we need to be nice to others and how kindness affects other people,” said 5th grade student Carter Stansky.

The students are hopeful that the book and movie can instill that kind of mentality in everyone.