Sunday, December 8, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

"Ms. Albert, says, that everything we do goes out, like a ripple into the world." This excerpt is from the book, Each Kindness, written by Jacqueline Woodson, which Mr. Dearborn read to the class the other day as part of "Inclusive Schools Week".  The story is about a young school girl who misses several opportunities to befriend a classmate.  She finally makes a decision to be friendly to the other child.  The end of the story is not what one would expect (ask your child to share the story ending.)

Adding a rock for each kindness shown
The students (and I) were moved by this book.  So much so they were asking if there was a sequel. It gave us an opportunity to talk about friendship, inclusion and simple ways to make someone feel connected.   Next we discussed "Random Acts of Kindness".  Students brainstormed how to "Treat Others Like You Want to be Treated".  A few thoughts included: holding the door for someone, passing the ball to someone who usually doesn't get it; help find a missing item and Smile at someone.  

Knowing I must do something with these ideas,  I decided I needed to find a way for students to create "ripples" of their own.  I grabbed a container and filled it with water.  As I have a container of rocks in my classroom I grabbed those too.  And so, the Ten Days of Boyden Random Acts of Kindness was born.  Each student who performs a RAK at school will drop a rock in the container at the end of the day.  We will celebrate the ripples that will surely ensue from these simple yet grand gestures.  
Creating Ripples of Kindness

We started on Friday and were able to collect 12 rocks in our container.  While hoping to fill that bucket before the holidays the long-term goal is that these acts of kindness will continue way beyond our holidays and creep into our lives by habit!

Students:  What are some ways we can extend this to our lives at home?


Others:  What are some other RAK that could be added to our list for school?


Resources:

Cybraryman: Character and Ethics. This collection is filled with all kinds of resources for Character Education which includes Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

20 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids: A list of other ideas that go beyond the classroom.