Elementary school teacher Tracy Kooy brought Red Nose Day to her school in Santa Monica, California, building empathy and inspiring her students to care for others and raise money to help end childhood poverty. Developed in partnership with NBC News Learn. To learn more about Red Nose Day: www.RedNoseDay.org
Schools In Action -- Inspiring Students in Santa Monica to Give Back
CHRISTIAN FUHRER (Principal, Grant Elementary): Part of what the teachers do here is they really get to the core of who our students are, and they develop inside of them this empathy for others.
TRACY KOOY: What you should get in return is the good feeling of doing something nice for somebody else.
FUHRER: Miss Kooy is one of those special educators that teaches them about empathy, teaches them about how we can give back-- not just through Red Nose Day, but every day.
ZOE (Student): She inspires us to do everything we can to make the world a better place, and she's always just so happy to show us what we can do.
TRACY KOOY (Teacher, Grant Elementary): I think it's extremely important for kids to help kids. It's important to empower them to know that they have that ability to do that. And the Red Nose Day model just fits perfectly with all of that.
STUDENTS IN CLASSROOM: Red Nose Day!
KOOY: When we started Red Nose Day here at Grant about five years ago, it was just me buying red noses for my class. And then the following year it became the whole school, because the PTA got involved. That's when it really took off.
HIYAB (Student): Miss Kooy always says, "When everyone does their little part, it can make a big difference.”
KOOY: I'm just trying, with the help of Red Nose Day, to open our kids' eyes to the possibility that they can have a positive impact and a positive change to help end children's poverty. My former students came back to me, and they're going to hold their first Red Nose Day event at their middle school this year.
YOHANNES (Former Student): You wanna apply it to the future because that's what Miss Kooy wanted us to do. She wants to do it for, like, the whole district-- like, the more the merrier.
KOOY: I'm just excited to see it spread. I look forward to Red Nose Day every year. The kids love the red noses. They love to be silly. They love to have fun.
ZOE: It lifts your heart. It makes you wanna smile, and it makes you wanna do more because, you know, that once you've done something, you can do way more.
KOOY: I look out into my students' eyes, and they're filled with hope and determination. They're gonna end children's poverty one red nose at a time, one smile at a time, one joke at a time. They're our next generation, and they're ready and willing.
HIYAB: Noses on!
YOHANNES, ELLENOR, HENRY: Noses on!
KIDS IN CLASSROOM: Noses on!
YOHANNES: Is mine crooked?