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La Crosse students show compassion through art

La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – La Crosse students faced a rather intriguing question since fall—what does compassion mean for them?

Students spent months creating an answer through artistic expression and now, their answers will be on display for all to see.

The La Crosse Compassion Project involved thousands of La Crosse Students (K-12). “Compassion means giving your heart into what you’re doing,” Logan Middle School 8th grade student Riley Powell said.

Powell’s brother and Summit Elementary 5th grade student Nathaniel Powell said compassion to him means “helping people who are less fortunate than others,” and Logan Middle School 7th grade student Quinton Graves sees compassion as “going out your way to help someone”.

Nathaniel Powell drew a picture of a tree on top of the earth, as he said it means he feels it is important to “give back to the people on Earth, take care of nature, and let compassion sprout”.

The project is fueled by a study conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison Psychology and Psychiatry Professor and Brain Researcher, Dr. Richard Davidson. Davidson scientifically found that those who practice compassion have healthier brains and generally, a happier outlook on life.

“It just feels good to be a part of something like this, and when you look around at all these pictures, every single one of them has a different story behind it,” Graves said.

“I just think that it’s very thoughtful and that more people should start showing compassion in the world. It feels good to have people showing compassion,” Nathaniel Powell said.

For Nathaniel, Riley, and Graves, putting others before themselves and going out of their way to help someone in need is what fuels them to routinely show compassion.

All three students say drawing and painting is a good way to practice compassion, but they like to express their compassion in other ways, such as through sports, giving to others, and being friendly.

Students art work will be available to the public as of Friday, May 2, and it will be available for the public through June 28 at the Pump House Regional Arts Center.

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