Marshdale Elementary students are learning that it feels as good to be kind as it does to receive kindness. That was the goal of school psychologist Amy Temple, who has put an emphasis on kindness …
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Marshdale Elementary students are learning that it feels as good to be kind as it does to receive kindness.
That was the goal of school psychologist Amy Temple, who has put an emphasis on kindness and empathy at the school. The result was a paper kindness chain that wrapped around the entire school and a bingo game to provide students with simple ways they could spread kindness.
“I feel like kindness is so critical for our children,” Temple explained. “We have an amazingly kind school, and giving (kindness) more attention is really important right now (because of the pandemic).”
Temple created a list of 50 kind acts and asked students to videotape themselves talking about what they did and how it made them feel. Then in their classrooms, they wrote the kind acts on paper links to create a classroom chain that eventually became a schoolwide chain of kindness.
Each class brought its chain to the playground on Jan. 25, and principal Zak Martin took photos from the roof, noting that the entire exercise in kindness had been awesome.
Temple found a website called the Great Kindness Challenge and gleaned ideas about how to help kids be kind. She also had two students, fifth graders Zuri Perkal and Zach Collins, create a kindness bingo game with 25 squares, each listing a simple act of kindness. Students were asked to put a smiley face on each square after they completed the task and to share them with their classes last week.
Some of the tasks were to play a game your friend wanted to play, listen to your friend or teacher, ask a new friend to play, say please and thank you, pick up trash, take five breaths when you are upset and more.
They want their fellow students to be kind to others because as Zuri explained, it’s hard to know what others are going through. An act of kindness, no matter how small, can make another person’s day better and lift their spirits.
Zach said their efforts helped other students, especially the younger ones, get ideas of how to be kind because it might be hard for them to come up with their own ideas.
Fourth grader Jack Evans helped his dad cook, brought his brother’s sled up the hill and made brownies for his neighbors.
Second grader Cassidy and kindergartner Delaney Croxton decided to perform acts of kindness for each other — Delaney making a video doing the happy dance to make her sister smile, and the two played and made cookies together. Both said being kind made them feel good.
Third grader Grace Kozel agreed that it was important to put other people’s feelings ahead of her own.
“I had fun doing it,” she said, “and it made people cheerful and happy.”
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