Grants in Action: The WSF provides funding for the Kindness Curriculum at Red Mill Elementary School.
The goal of their Kindness Curriculum and Passion Projects program is to teach students to be kind to themselves through mindfulness activities and to be kind to others through lessons in kindness, empathy, and service. The students were encouraged to use multiple methods to become leaders showing kindness within their school, their homes, and the community. The school year would have ended in a culminating assignment (in which students would plan and perform kindness passion projects) to be presented at a “Share Kindness Fair”.
Then the coronavirus came, and school shut down through the end of the school year. But that did not stop these teachers and their students from spreading kindness. Even in a time of quarantine, kindness continued to be a focus. The teachers integrated kindness into their distance learning curriculum with kindness read-aloud videos and activities, kindness bingo cards, and reflection questions on being kind.
Although the students and families were notified that the “Share Kindness Fair” would not happen this school year, students took the initiative to start their passion projects anyway. “Spirit Fairies” popped up on Facebook where people could exchange addresses and information about their school age children who are missing friends and school. They became pen pals and would sometimes drop off gifts for each other on front porches or in the driveway. Emma K. from Mrs. Toohey’s class created 125 pieces of artwork to send to all the residents at a nursing home to brighten their days.
These teachers will continue to promote their kindness curriculum into the next school year, and we look forward to seeing the new passion projects from all their students. We are #WestShoreProud of all the effort to make a difference in our community, and we are glad to see that kindness truly is contagious.