Active Listening

Listen to Children Programs

The Listen to Children volunteers are ready for another school year. One of the most important skills used by the volunteers is “active listening.” This is accomplished by gathering information, reinforcing and retaining information, analyzing feelings and emotions and listening “between the lines.”

Volunteers listen intently to what is being said (the words) and the manner in which it is said (the tone of voice, the facial expression, etc.) After the child has stopped talking, listeners identify the feeling even though the child has not used feeling words.

Then the listener chooses a feeling word or phrase that seems to accurately describe what the child is feeling. They may restate or paraphrase what the child has said. Listeners are trained to be able to think in another person’s place; to actively hear what the other person is saying. As a result, listeners build supportive relationships with the students, foster self-esteem and encourage the child’s own goals and aspirations.


The Listen to Children program is sponsored by the Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, with generous funding from

  • CIT Group, Inc.
  • Livingston Board of Education
  • Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee (LMAC)
  • Livingston Parent Teacher Council
  • United Way of North Essex

Participating & Volunteering

If you would like more information for your child to participate in their school, or if you would be interested in volunteering to become a Listener please contact JFS Volunteer Coordinator at 973-765-9050 or by email. We are always looking for members of the community who care about the future of our children.