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Building Kind Schools and Communities

Resources for Choose Kindness Day & Week

We have created these flyers, a pledge, and suggestions for families, schools or any organization or community to use for Choose Kindness Day and all year. :)  There are also two pages of more detailed information to help if you would like to participate in the activities.  :)  There will be more resources coming. :)

Please do feel free to print and share widely!!!  :)

Choose Kindness Week is October 19- 25, 2015

Choose Kindness Day is October 22

points and pledge 10-18-14

 

 Activities for Choose Kindness Day and Week!! 

Monday, October 19 – I will use kind words and actions.

  1. Practice:
    1. Write down all the kindness you see around you today including kindness you say or do, kindness you witness and kindness that is done to you.  These could be written on a large piece of paper or banner in classrooms or in the hallway. Consider having staff participate, as well.
    2. Pay attention to the messages in the media regarding what is acceptable behavior towards others. Are kindness and respect encouraged?
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. Is kindness important?  Why or why not?                                                                                                                                                 ck pledge
    2. What does kindness look and sound like?
    3. How does kindness feel as the receiver, witness or giver?
    4. What are some reasons that people may not be kind at times?
    5. What might it require to be kind?
    6. What are some of the messages in the media about being kind?
    7. Who in history has been someone who was known to be very kind?
    8. Who in your personal life is really kind?
    9. What character in a book you read recently showed kindness?
    10. What are some easy, small ways we can show kindness?
    11. Describe a couple of more involved ways that we can spread kindness?
    12. What are things we can do to remember to be kind?
    13. How can we help/remind each other to be kind?

 

Tuesday October 20 – I will befriend those who are sad or lonely.

  1. Practice:
    1. Throughout the day when you enter a room, look for someone who looks sad or lonely.  Do or say something to let them know you care. Notice how you feel and how they seem to feel.
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. Why might this be important in creating kind and respectful schools?
    2. How can you tell if someone is sad or lonely?
    3. How do you feel when people leave you out or no one picks you for a game or wants to sit by you?
    4. What are some ways you might let someone know that you care?

 

Wednesday October 21 – I will show appreciation often.

  1. Practice:
    1. Every morning and every night think of 3 things you are grateful for in this day
    2. Say thank you (appropriately) as often as you can during the day.
    3. Tell or write a thank you note to someone who doesn’t often get noticed or appreciated for who they are or what they do
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. Why is gratitude important?
    2. Is expressing appreciation important?  Why or why not?
    3. What are some easy and quick ways we can express gratitude?
    4. What are other more involved ways we can express gratitude?
    5. How can we make these efforts a habit?

 

Thursday October 22 – Choose Kindness Day!

  1. Practice:
    1. Pledge to Choose Kindness Every Day
    2. Begin a new practice that will spread kindness
    3. Wear yellow (Jeremiah’s favorite color) as a sign of hope and your commitment to spreading kindness
    4. Smile often and at everyone! J
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. Are these practices hard to do?  If so, why?
    2. Where some more difficult than others?
    3. Do you think they are important? Why or why not?

 

Friday October 23 – I will look for opportunities to be kind.

  1. Practice:
    1. Set your intention as you begin your day to watch for opportunities to show kindness
    2. In every situation throughout your day look for ways to be kind as in to share, to listen, to think about how others feel, to smile and be grateful, to sit by someone who is alone, asking someone who is alone to join you, asking someone how they are, opening and holding doors, helping carry a load, saying encouraging and supportive words, by showing that you care in whatever ways you can. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. J
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. Was it difficult to find opportunities to be kind?
    2. Were you surprised by anything in this practice?
    3. Is this a practice that you think would be good to continue?

 

Saturday October 24 – Celebrate Kindness!

  1. Practices:
    1. Share stories with your friends and family from the week…
    2. Have a Celebrate or Choose Kindness party or event (Ideas  in “18+ Suggestions” PDF in Choose Kindness toolkit)
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. Why should we celebrate kindness?
    2. How can we regularly celebrate kindness in little and in big ways?

 

Sunday October 25 – Reflect

  1. Practice:
    1. Reflect on the past week- what did you like? What was difficult? What will you continue to do? What will you do different next time?
    2. Consider and plan how you will incorporate the practices of the past week into your daily life.
    3. Take time to relax and enjoy yourself. :)
  2. Questions for discussion or journal writing:
    1. What did you like?
    2. What was difficult?
    3. What will you continue to do?
    4. What will you do different next time?

 

Continuing the effort to foster kindness-

  • Discuss what a kind and respectful school looks and feels like?
  • Make a plan with students and staff to take more steps towards that vision.

Please share your thoughts, experiences, stories and/ or pictures with us at Jeremiahshopefk@gmail.com or on our Facebook page. Thank you!! :)

 

18 + suggestions for homes, schools, work places, faith-based, youth, adult, civic & government organizations & communities

1.  Form a “Choose Kindness” team or club that meets regularly to plan & oversee activities. This can be incorporated into an existing club or group.

  • Invite representatives from all areas of your school, business, organization or community to join.
  • Create a plan to foster kindness and respect in your organization.

2.   Declare October 22 “Choose Kindness Day” & the surrounding week as “Choose Kindness Week”.  Have a celebration including the following (&/or spread these out through the year).  Learn more about Choose Kindness day at www.jeremiahshopeforkindness.org

  • Essay, poem, skits, songs, music writing & performing activities with themes around kindness
  • Invite youth and adult members of the community to share how giving and receiving kindness has impacted their lives.
  • Speakers and discussions around kindness themes, looking at ways to foster kindness in homes, schools and communities and creating welcoming environments.
  • Information booths or forums for parents, students, educators, health workers, police, business and religious leaders on how to enhance kindness in their respective environments
  • Invite nonprofits and other community organizations to have tables/ booths sharing what they do to spread kindness &respect in the community.

3.  Offer a “Choose Kindness Everyday” poster activity: Invite youth and adults from all areas of the community to participate drawing about kindness, reflecting on the following questions. Display posters around the community.

  • What kindness means to me
  • How I spread kindness to others, myself, animals and the earth
  • Kindness shown to me
  • Why kindness is important.

4.  Adopt this pledge or motto declaring the community’s commitment to Choosing Kindness or create your own.

ck pledge

5.  Learn about what schools and other organizations are doing to spread kindness and how your community can support their kindness-spreading activities.

6.  Provide public places such as a wall or bulletin board for people to write notes describing kindness they observed or were recipients of or pictures, poems and quotes related to kindness. .

7.  Provide a wall, perhaps in the library or another space, for posting and sharing apology notes from and to members of the community. After reflecting on harm done to others in the community, going through the act of writing and sharing a note of apology can be very powerful for all.

8.  Create a public kindness or peace garden or space with flowers, benches, mementos and other signs of kindness, peace & friendship.

9.  Offer regularly scheduled gatherings & discussions with a focus on articles, books or speakers with an issue of concern or interest. Discuss the role kindness & compassion play in this issue and how can we enhance them?         Questions or topics for discussions may be:

  • What do kindness, compassion and empathy look and feel like?
  • Why might someone behave in a kind or an unkind way?
  • Who has shown great courage in being kind in your life, in your community or in the world recently and throughout history?
  • What are attitudes, practices, beliefs, policies and social norms that may support or encourage disrespect and hurtful behaviors and do not support kindness and compassion?  Additionally, discuss alternatives that do foster kindness, compassion and empathy. How do the above contribute to environments that are welcoming or not?
  • Examine gender roles and how we socialize boys vs. girls. How does this affect individuals and our communities? Does it contribute to violence in our homes, schools and communities?
  • Are there certain groups (i.e. athletes, cheerleaders, wealthy, educated etc.) that receive more respect and are treated differently than others?  Are there certain people (i.e. LGBTQ, kids from lower SES, from other cultures, of certain races or religions, etc) that are not treated with respect or kindness and may not feel welcomed?
  • Discuss stereotypes and their role in how we think about and treat others.
  • How do mindfulness, gratitude, happiness and social emotional learning fit into creating kind & respectful homes, schools & communities?
  • What are restorative practices & trauma informed practices?  How do they fit into fostering kind and respectful environments? How can these practices be implemented in our organization & community? (info and links to info about restorative practices on our website)
  • Examine and discuss the media and the messages portrayed in TV shows, movies, music & games. What role do the media play in how we treat others?  How can we become more educated and critical consumers of the media and the messages that we are exposed to?
  • What are your community’s strengths?  How can these strengths be used to enhance a kind and welcoming community?
  • What we do as individuals & an organization and/or community to enhance kindness and respect in our community so that every child and adult feels cared about, respected and welcomed?

10.  Provide support groups for those who have experienced bullying.  Consider using the circle process with these groups.

11.  Invite other schools, youth and adult group, clubs, faith-based, civic and community organizations and businesses to create their own plan for fostering kind, respectful and welcoming environments.

12.  Provide community service learning and mentoring programs in your schools, businesses, organizations and community.

13.  Take time for everyone to plan ways they will spread kindness every day at home, school, work and in the community.

  • Take 1-2 minutes at the beginning and middle of everyday to consider how we can be kind and respectful.
  • Take time at the end of the day to reflect on kindness witnessed, kindness received and kindness given

14.  Offer opportunities and activities to show and express gratitude to others regularly such as a wall in the library, schools and business for people to post notes of gratitude to others in the community especially to those who may not receive recognition or gratitude often.

15.  Document and display publicly your community’s efforts to foster kindness.

16.  SMILE! :)   A smile is a simple yet powerful way to spread kindness. Share your smile often and with everyone!  :)

17. Reflect regularly on your efforts

18. Celebrate Kindness and celebrate your efforts regularly!!  :)

*Continue to recognize, reflect on, celebrate, plan and provide activities and discussion around kindness themes through the year, every year. :)   Be creative and have fun!!   Thank you! :)   10-15-15