This program teaches very young children how important it is to be kind. The children are encouraged to do as many kind acts as they can during a specified amount of time. Repeatedly doing acts of kindness teaches and reinforces how to be a person of character. Parents, school staff and the school community assist the child in recording acts of kindness. The kind acts are tallied and submitted to the school administrators. The goal of the lesson is to complete as many kind acts as possible. The more kind acts done, the better!
To infuse values and cultural awareness into the curriculum, the principal and school staff developed “Kindness is Contagious.” The program promotes kindness, which leads to students developing respect for themselves and others. Children were asked to do kind deeds in school, at home, and in the community. Each classroom set goals as well as a schoolwide goal, and children were asked to keep logs of their kind deeds. The children did 50,000 acts of kindness in one month, and the school was recognized as the “Kindest School in New Jersey” by Mission Kindness International Inc. This began a 10 year journey of children in Brigantine actively doing acts of kindness. Brigantine Elementary has won multiple awards including being a Best Practice of New Jersey, a Promising Practice, recognized four times as an SSOC, an NSOC, and part of the National Boyer Award.
The process is quite simple. Each year, the principal begins the year with an assembly empowering each and every student to be the best they can be. After the principal’s kickoff, letters are sent home explaining that the children, during the entire month, are to try to do as many kind acts as possible. The teacher, prior to sending the letter home to parents, explains the goal to the children. The teacher gives examples of kind behavior. Children and parents collectively log all kind acts. The acts are turned into the teacher (who can also log acts as part of the daily routine) and then submits the log to the principal. The principal announces the students who conducted the most kind acts during each week. Additionally, if a teacher catches a child doing a kind act, they can submit their name for a weekly drawing in the Kindness Jar. This goes on for an entire month, constantly reinforcing how important it is to be kind.
The students will learn to respect the differences in each other by doing kind acts randomly at home and in school for others.
The students will understand that they are helping to be part of a caring community.
The teacher will infuse kindness and respect for others throughout the community.
The parents and teachers will support the students by recognizing the kind deeds in school and at home.
The community will adopt the kindness program and promote the values at work and throughout the city.
Student logs for school and home to record the acts of kindness done.
Kindness Jar (for nominations)
Teachers reinforce Principal’s message in class and pass out logs and introduction letter to parents.
Teacher explains what being “kind” means and demonstrates kind acts for children to better understand.
Children do kind acts.
Parents record the acts and submit to school.
Teachers look for kind acts, add them to the student’s log and can nominate students for the Kindness Jar.
Teachers turn in tallied acts of kindness for her class per week.
Principal announces most kind class and student weekly. The student receives a Principal’s Certificate and is recognized by the principal.
At the end of the month, the total amount of kind acts are tallied school-wide and recognized by the school.
Teachers see a marked improvement in social behavior during this period of time. They often refer to it in their teaching, will use it as a stepping stone for a project, or incorporate it in their classroom policies.
Students are positively reinforced for the acts of kindness done by the good feeling of being recognized for being a person of character.