Four years ago, I approached my children’s principal, and asked if we could talk about deepening a “culture of kindness” at school, which already existed long before my kids got there! We have fantastic administrators and teachers and amazingly generous families in our school community.
Instead of talking about anti-bullying as part of the school climate program, we agreed it would be more positive and beneficial for the students to talk about kindness, empathy and compassion and the importance of including others if you see someone alone on the playground, reaching out to a kid if you see they look sad, smiling at one another in the hallways, and being of service in the community through Random Acts of Kindness. We want to teach kids leadership and empowerment by uplifting, encouraging, helping others and to be stewards of one another’s spirits and to understand it’s never, ever ok to tear other people down.
We started by celebrating “Random Acts of Kindness Week”, created by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, every year during the first week of February, and the “Kindness Committee” was born, which is made up of parents who are passionate about these same topics.
The Kindness Committee is part of the PTA and meets once a month to talk about activities we can do both in the school and the community at least once a month. Sometimes it’s a drive or collection, like a coat or food drive, and sometimes it’s a planned “Kindness Excursion” into the community, like making cards for Veterans and attending the ceremony on the green and reception afterwards to honor them and spend time with them and express our gratitude for their service.
Our mission going forward is to get our “Kindness Matters” program into the other schools in our community of Fairfield, the state of Connecticut, and schools around the country with inspiring ideas and that parents, PTA’s teachers, and administrators can easily implement that do not take much time at all, but have a positive, uplifting effect on everyone involved and gives kids true firsthand experience of being leaders of their own lives through kindness.
- Veronica Mollica