Kindness Trees are a beautiful way to focus on and acknowledge the importance of showing kindness within a school. The tree helps foster kind, supportive relationships amongst students and teachers, and everyone loves to watch the tree “grow” as each good deed is recognized.
As you’ll see by the examples below there are many variations, some big, some small, but each one beautiful and unique. There are no rules when it comes to creating your kindness tree. Use your imagination and get the kids involved. For the tree itself, you can use paper, fabric, paint, a stencil or real tree branches. Tree leaves can be made from paper in the shape of leaves, hearts or even hands.
“Kindness trees have bloomed at Goodnoe! Each hand represents our commitment to spread kindness throughout the school!” – Michael Catalano, Goodnoe Elementary, Newtown, Pennsylvania
“The week of February 11th happened to be “Random Acts of Kindness Week” so I challenged the staff to a Kindness Challenge — I challenged them to complete some simple, kind acts that would make our students’ and colleagues’ days just a bit brighter! To go along with this kindness challenge, I was Inspired by Bethany Hill (see her tree below) and we added a school Kindness Tree to our main hallway and challenged our STUDENTS to brainstorm ways they can be kind friends & spread kindness.” – Melissa Kartsimas, JFK Elementary, Schiller Park, Illinois
“We have a tree that changes seasonally. All kids contribute to it. This one was for kindness. Staff and kids brag on others for acts of kindness.” – Bethany Hill, Central Elementary, Cabot
Kindness is in full bloom at John Ward Elementary, a National School of Character in Houston, Texas, where hearts are added to this beautiful display every time someone catches a kind act making their school a better place. – Submitted by Barbara Gruener who couldn’t resist snapping it when she visited the school.
Barbara also spied these amazing kindness crayons!! Can’t say I’ve ever seen this idea before. It’s a beauty!
Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week from Feb. 12-16, 2018 this massive tree bloomed from students sharing kindness throughout the school. “So many are stuck in their math and English scores, we aim to help students get high character,” – Dr. Robert Anderson, Gowanda Elementary School, New York
The staff and students at Mesabi East School in Minnesota “planted” a kindness tree where everyone is invited to share the good deeds they have done or the good things that others have done for them. Every day more hearts show up around the tree and everyday everyone gets to see how kindness makes a difference. – Barbara Hinsz
“This a photo of my 1B student’s Kindness Tree. They receive a leaf after they have done something kind. We are enjoying learning about kindness this year and have been doing daily individual, weekly whole class and big end of term acts of kindness. Some of our end of term acts of kindness include Easter colouring books for the pediatric ward at the Cairns Base Hospital, gratitude cards for the ANZAC veterans attached to our local RSL and ‘Worth it’ boxes for all the teachers in our school (40 teachers).
We can’t wait to see how big our tree will be at the end of the year!” – Felice, Hambledon State School
Character Strength Tree created by Carmen Bonnici at George Waters Middle School. Green leaves show student’s strengths. Yellow leaves show areas that students want to work on. Yellow leaves will turn green when students feel they have improved.
The students and staff at Central Elementary School have been challenged to show kindness in every way possible. Whether in the classroom, hallway, cafeteria or on the playground, kindness is always appreciated. Students are recognized for displaying acts of kindness and are given a leaf to add to their Kindness Tree.
A kindness tree in the cafeteria at Alta Vista Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida is part of the Kindness Starts with Me program. Students fill out smile cards, color-coded by class, to acknowledge each other for the kind things they’ve done which are then attached to the kindness tree.
A “crazy” Kindness Tree created by an art teacher at Christ the King Catholic School, Omaha, NE. It even features bugs and Disney characters!
Character development is an important part of the Evergreen Country Day School climate. Students receive “kindness leaves” to place on their Kindness Tree for acts of service, compassion and cooperation.
Students performed 2052 acts of kindness in 21 days at W.J. Watson Public School, Keswick, Canada.
The main hallway at Greenbrier Elementary School is painted with a huge Tree of Kindness that is adorned with leaves given and received by students and staff. Names are added to leaves, which are then placed on the trees to acknowledge those who have shown kindness towards others. Signs located throughout the school ask questions like: Did You Take Time to Be Kind Today? How Do You Take Time to Be Kind? and Taking Time to Be Kind Feels Good!
During Valentine’s week, students at Pasodale Elementary celebrated “Random Acts of Kindness Week. Each day students dressed up and participated in kindness activities. Messages on how to express kindness were read during the morning announcements, students filled out “compliment hearts” which were placed under the “Tree of Kindness” and students were encouraged to use kind words and make a new friend.
To celebrate Random Acts of Kindness week, students were encouraged to “pay it forward” and document acts of kindness on a tree. “We try to get the children to understand that doing something kind for others, you don’t necessarily need a reward or expect an award back from it. When you do something nice, it’s like a trickle effect. When someone does something nice for you, they want to do something nice for someone else. I always tell them kindness is free, you don’t have to have money to give it to someone.” – Christa Jeter, Doby’s Mill Elementary, Lugoff, South Carolina
Students at Phuket International Academy value compassion and service. Their aim is to cultivate genuine happiness and commit to treating others and the planet with respect, kindness and consideration, helping even in the smallest of ways. The Kindness Tree in the school’s entrance symbolises service, compassion and kindness.
Staff and students give each other a ‘character heart’ for acts of kindness with is then attached to the Carleton Heights Public School Kindness Tree.
This Kindness Tree at Thompson Elementary School, Richmond, Canada was created to showcase good deeds during Random Acts of Kindness Week.
When students at Clark Fork School in Missoula, Montana are caught in an act of kindness, they are presented with a Kindness Heart to pin on their Kindness Tree.
Community of Kindness Tree at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School.
Fourth graders at Virtual School House, Cleveland OH added a colorful rainbow and flowers around their Kindness Tree to enhance their hallway.
The Kindness Tree at Loreto Normanhurst in New South Wales, Australia, was placed in their foyer during mental health week. Students were invited to extend a ‘helping hand’ to those in the school community who would appreciate a small act of kindness.
The students at Upper Greenwood Lake School, West Milford, NJ created a Kindness Tree in their gym. They feel the Kindness Tree is an important part of their school because it reinforces their Code of Conduct by being kind.
This Kindness Tree is a staple fixture in the entryway at Memorial Spaulding Elementary School. Students give and receive kindness leaves that acknowledge a helpful or inclusive act. Fifth-grade student council members said the kindness tree had been an ongoing part of their school community since they were in Kindergarten.
Kindness Trees are a beautiful way of nurturing a caring culture within schools and is something we encourage as part of our whole school kindness curriculum. If your school has a Kindness Tree, we’d be thrilled to add it or perhaps include it in our school newsletter. Please submit your photo here.