June 2021: Kindness Rocks
Our year finished with a focus on Kindness to Place, with many classes taking on projects such as growing our school garden, keeping our school grounds litter free and piloting a waste management bin system inside the classrooms.
In June, we asked our students to reflect back on which part of the Kindness Umbrella resonated most with them and to share their thoughts by painting a rock. Our "Kindness Rocks" project stemmed from an initiative led by one of our families who were keen on connecting the students learning from home to the school community. Our hope that is that all the rocks painted by our students will be put into some sort of permanent display in the fall.
Our goal of creating common language for our school community was successfully met. Nearly all children could state the 3 strands of the Kindness Umbrella and tell about specific actions that they had engaged in for each strand. "Being kind to self, kind to others and kind to place" can be heard around the school in small conversations or large group discussions.
The next step, for the 21/22 school year, with the guidance of the Social Responsibility Committee and the District ACT team, is to deepen and connect our students' understanding of the Kindness Umbrella to their own learning. We want our students to know how being kind to self, others and place all have a positive impact on their learning as well as that of others around them. This level of understanding is abstract and complex and we need to find a way to make that connection for our students.
One potential way to do this is to use the Core Competencies "I" statements to narrow the focus and make it more accessible for our students.