Tuesday Buddies. Our emphasis is always on empathy.

My kids and I are so lucky. We get to spend time with our Tuesday Buddies (a group of adults with early memory loss) every month. Not only do we enjoy listening to stories, singing songs, and creating holiday crafts with them, we are also building community and connections while cultivating awareness, identity, diversity and empathy.

We also get to join in when miniature therapy horses from miniwonders come for a visit. It’s amazing to see how calm 22 kids become when those adorable furry friends are around.

After spending time with our Tuesday Buddies, we discuss the ways we are like and the ways that we are different. Every time, my kids realize how much we have in common. My kids always notice the smiles on our friend’s faces and they are understanding the impact they make. That’s empathy.

Here are few of my favorite books that encourage awareness, empathy and acceptance:

A Color of His Own (Leo Lionni)

The Invisible Boy (Trudy Ludwig/Patrice Barton)

Chrysanthemum (Kevin Henkes)

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (Mo Willems)

Bear Feels Sick (Karma Wilson/Jane Chapman)