GP’s are now making community referrals for art activities, creative writing, Mindfulness, volunteering, group learning, and sports, etc., to facilitate wellbeing and recovery. ‘Social prescribing’ is becoming ever more important as we become increasingly aware of holistic approaches to wellbeing and embrace the idea of the ‘whole person’. Being conscious of our own physical and mental wellbeing over our lifetime requires self-awareness and a personal investment in our physical and mental health.

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My daughter and I caught the wrong bus in a strange district in another state while on holidays. I had no idea where it was going after a while and we were becoming worried. We were driving through bush and were the last people on the bus when the bus driver asked us where we thought we were going. It was dark now and he said we were on the wrong side of the Island. He was going home to tea so said he would drive us back to our hotel. read more →

There are so many wonderful people in our communities who go out of their way and even risk their lives for us every single day. Often these people go about their jobs without ever really being thanked for the extraordinary things they do.

Here are some fun ways to show community workers how much they really are appreciated or to show your support for someone who may need a little encouragement.

For Law Enforcement or Fire Fighters

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Quote - We cannot always return an act of KINDNESS to the person who bestowed it, but we can pay back the debt by HELPING others!

My story of kindness is unique in that it involves many people and takes place over many years. It’s the story of a student of mine who I have seen grow into a fine young gentleman because of the kindness of others.

I first met Tony when he was five years old. He was enrolled as a kindergarten student in my special education classroom. His preschool teacher had already contacted me before his arrival and told me a lot about him. I knew that he was classified under a pervasive developmental disorder which meant that he showed a lot of characteristics typical of Autism. She shared with me all of his unique traits like how he often hid action figures in his pants, spoke by quoting movie lines and had a real aversion to anything academic. They really didn’t know what he was capable of because he hadn’t produced much up to that point. That would soon change. read more →

Students who are loved at home

I substituted in first grade today. I taught it the first two years of my 35 year teaching career and realized I was an older kid teacher. But I go where I must these days.

There was one li’l boy who was ferocious and obstinate. I called on every strategy I knew from being a teacher-mom-of-sons, but to no avail. Finally and futilely as I sat next to him as he sobbed because I’d removed him from kicking people in the center and I blurted out what popped into my head. “Riley, may I give you a hug?” I asked. He bolted into my arms, snot and all, and held on for dear….something. read more →

Quote - When we put a smile on someone's face, we put one in our own heart and these positive feelings are what helps change the way we think, feel and behave.

When I read how the CEOs at the top of most charities are taking such ridiculously high salaries for themselves (some of them well over a quarter million), I was so disgusted I decided I wasn’t donating to the big companies anymore. Every time I see a collector for a charity I once believed in, a couple of pounds go into my own charity stash. Now, when I see someone in need, I buy whatever it takes to ease their way. read more →

Image of students hugging with caption students spread kindness to build character and reduce bullying

Bostian Elementary in North Carolina is a school that cares about building character and empowering students with kindness and empathy. I recently connected with 4th Grade Teacher, Donna Rymer about the great work the teachers are doing to make kindness the norm in their school.

Donna explained that they saw a problem in the world with a lack of kindness contributing to sadness, and saw a need to bring happiness and compassion back. They decided they needed to start in their school and launched their kindness initiative to encourage more empathy and ensure less anti-social behaviour. 

Their campaign was triggered by a conversation she had with a colleague who had been given a wristband by a kindness ambassador. They decided to invite Rebecca Sutton from The Kindness Revolution to speak to their grade 4 students. Once they heard her speak they were convinced that they needed to expand on her presentation and turn it into a full-blown PBL (Project Based Learning) to reach the whole school and community.

Donna was keen to share how staff and students have worked to promote kindness in the hopes that it will inspire other teachers to also start a kindness initiative at their school. 

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I remember when I went to Christian Youth Training Camp out in Hickory Corners, MI to be a counselor. I didn’t know anybody there and everyone else did, all classmates from other Christian colleges. read more →

Literacy Pegs Easy DIY Teaching Resource Ripple Kindness Project

I stumbled upon this video for a clever DIY teaching resource that can be made and used by both teachers and parents to expand vocabulary and improve spelling and literacy in children. What I really love about it is that with the use of pegs, children are not only flexing their mind muscles but also building coordination and strengthening the fine muscles in their hands that are used for writing. 

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Be-someone-who-makes-everyone-feel-important---poster-by-Ripple-Kindness-Project

Today I heard a beautiful story about students showing pure kindness towards a peer with disabilities and I believe that sharing it will bring as much joy to you as it did to me.

There was a student at a high school level who was not only having a rough home life but also had autism. Despite his hardships, he came to school every day with a huge smile on his face and did his best to try to impress his teachers.

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Experts advocate for teaching kindness and empathy in schools to reduce bullying. Why? Because kindness is the antithesis of bullying and empathy is the foundation of kindness.  

Being kind means that you consider the needs, feelings and concerns of others to ensure you act appropriately. Having empathy means you're able to put yourself in someone's shoes to understand their needs, feelings and concerns. 

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Images of trees made from paper with wording 34 Inspiration Kindness Trees building character in schools.

A Kindness Tree is a creative and beautiful way to encourage and acknowledge acts of kindness within a school. As a whole school project, it's a heartwarming way to help foster kind, supportive relationships amongst students and teachers. Watching the tree come to life as good deeds are added creates positive and uplifting feelings and behaviour, making it a highly effective way to build character and reduce bullying.

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 encourage student involvement. For the tree itself, you can use paper, fabric, paint, crepe paper or real tree branches. Tree leaves upon which kind deeds are written can be made from paper or card in the shape of leaves, hearts or even hands.

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