The crumpled paper lesson is a very powerful bullying activity which we believe was originally used by a teacher in New York to show her students the lasting impact that anti-social and cruel behaviour can have.

We love this bullying lesson but adapted it to use in conjunction with our primary and elementary school curriculum during assemblies and in the classroom. We substituted a plain piece of paper for a red heart or cut-out of a person (an activity in the curriculum for older students) to make it more relatable for younger kids.

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Everyone can have a positive impact on someone else’s life and this teacher is showing kids just how important it can be.  Continue Reading

Quote - One of the most important things we adults can do for young children is to model the kind of person we would like them to be.

I’ve used several of your Ripple Kindness suggestions here in my room in the middle school where I work. Recently we’ve had a student diagnosed with bone cancer. This student is a very popular student, very conscientious about their studies, and comes from a fantastic family. read more →

Tips from a principal who nurtures kindness and empathy at school and encourages her school community to part-take in good deeds. #kindness #ripplekindness #makeadifference #bedkindedu #teachers #principals #school #positivevibes #teachingtips

I constantly research and try to stay in touch with what's happening in the world of kindness. During one of my web surfing sessions, I came across some advice in a school newsletter by Tanya Uren, principal at Kingston Primary School in Western Australia.

I love that she encourages her whole school community to show kindness and prompts parents to nurture it at home. I felt it is something that other schools may also like to highlight in their communication to parents so I asked Tanya if she minded me sharing her insights with you below.    

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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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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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It's heart-warming to see so many teachers embracing kindness and having such a big focus on character in their classroom. It's always made sense for kindness to be taught in the schools because, to me, it's the foundation on which all other values are based. Kindness is the opposite of bullying so it makes sense that it should be fostered to give students a sense of belonging and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Recently, I've been fortunate to connect with several amazing ladies who have started Kindness Clubs! Yep, there are actually clubs dedicated to this good old-fashioned value and they're doing a lot more than just teaching kids to be kind!!

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Image of kindness advent calendars with a cartoon girl holding a flower and copy that says build character this Christmas with kindness advent calendars. Free printables for kids and adults!

Ho, ho, ho!! It's almost Christmas!!

Many of us are in denial that the festive season has arrived again SO SOON!! I'm pretty sure science hasn't proven it but I'm convinced that time goes faster the older we get! 

Though parents and teachers are usually pretty busy at the end of the year, it's actually a great time to get your kids involved in doing good. Encouraging kindness should, of course, be a year round endeavour because it's shown that after the fourth grade, positive perceptions of kindness decrease in children.  

Because we know you've got other things on your mind right now, we've put together a kindness advent calendar to help you nurture the positive values we all want our kids to adopt. 

The hard work has been done and all you have to do is inspire your kids to participate!

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Can kindness be taught? 

While researching for our school curriculum many years ago, I came across the work of Maurice J. Elias, a Professor of Psychology. His view about kindness being a teachable quality mirrors my own and like me, he's a huge advocate for teaching it in schools. 

Like me, he believes that children have an emotional response to kindness but that emotionally intelligent kids have a better understanding of the feelings they're experiencing. 

"Kindness depends also on possessing certain learnable skills, and these are included in most evidence-based efforts to promote children's social-emotional and character development."
- Maurice Elias

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Most children enjoy being creative with pencils and crayons. But did you know there are an impressive number of reasons why both kids and adults should partake in this peaceful pastime? 

The significant benefits of coloring are now being realised for all age groups as it takes its place alongside yoga and meditation as an enjoyable way of improving mental and physical well-being.

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Our elementary school serves approximately 800 students PreK-3rd grades.

The week of February 11th, 2018 happened to be “Random Acts of Kindness Week” so I challenged the staff to a Kindness Challenge — I challenged them to complete these simple, kind acts that would make our students’ and colleagues’ days just a bit brighter!

little-star Complete a challenge – mark it off on the challenge sheet
little-star Each challenge completed earned a TICKET in the raffle
little-star Earn an EXTRA TICKET for each challenge that is completed and shared on social media with the challenge hashtag
little-star The WINNER of the raffle… earned a HALF DAY OFF!

This also rewarded me with an amazing opportunity to sub in the classroom for the winning teacher. - Melissa Kartsimas, JF Kennedy Elementary