Elementary Kindness Ninjas …Jessie Rieger and Ashlyn Vanderlinde
How can we best model and inspire kindness amongst our students and school community?
How does kindness impact the school community, and make a difference to the overall school culture?
Due to the diversity of our student body we wanted to encourage inclusion and kindness. Studies have shown that modelling kindness promotes inclusion and reduces the instances of bullying. When students put kindness first they develop stronger relationships, which plays an important role in learning (emotional learning). By mentoring kindness we hoped to foster a peaceful and emotionally supportive school culture.
Our goal was to model the ripple effect kindness has in a community and inspire students to proactively spread kindness whenever and wherever possible! We created and executed a kindness club that was open to all students and staff in the school. The focus of the club was to spread an awareness of kindness and share kindness in our classrooms, in the school and out in the community as well. We worked on projects like random acts of kindness, volunteer projects and community involvement. The students tied this club to the Leader in Me philosophy. Being proactive is not waiting for someone to be kind first, but proactively setting a positive example for others.
Ashlyn and Jessie are both Elementary intern teachers in Lethbridge. They are both English Language Arts majors graduating this spring. As huge believers in the power of kindness, they organized a kindness club with their students in mind.