Copperview students learn lessons in spreading kindnessApr 12, 2021 09:54AM ● By Julie Slama
A Copperview student gives a cafeteria worker some artwork and a cake as part of the school’s second annual Random Acts of Kindness Week. (Jenna Landward/Copperview Elementary)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
It’s been said “a little kindness goes a long way.” That’s a lesson that Copperview Elementary students learned—to give to one another, to their neighbors and to themselves.
During the school’s second annual Random Acts of Kindness Week in mid-February, students put up hearts around classrooms, wrote thank-you notes, created dance videos and sang songs to one another and to staff and faculty as ways they demonstrated kindness, said Jenna Landward, Copperview community school facilitator.
“Every single person in the building received some act of kindness,” she said. “The kids were really excited to come up with ideas they could share.”
The excitement spread to staff and faculty, who also did kind acts, from sharing treats to giving books.
The kindness was shared every morning as students’ focused on respect, caring, inclusiveness and courage in their morning meetings.
“We asked students what kindness looks like and how we can encompass those as a class, school, community and in ourselves,” Landward said. “They learned that their own behavior at school, in a park, in a neighborhood grocery store can show kindness in everyday life—and we asked how they can show kindness.”
The morning meetings, designed to be a time to greet one another, share and build community, also became a time of self-reflection as students became mindful. They practiced positive affirmations about themselves, people they care about and the world they live in, she said.
Second-graders put that lesson into practice as they created acrostics—a form of poetry in which the first letter of their name spells out a word or message.
“It’s an important lesson to be able to reflect upon their strengths, things they love and enjoy so when they may be down, sad or upset, they can remember those traits and that important message. It’s important they learn to be kind to themselves so they can share kindness with others,” Landward said.
The 420 students in-person and 55 online also had a chance to complete the Kindness Week Bingo. By doing acts of kindness, such as picking up litter, recycling, doing something nice for a neighbor, picking up after themselves, waking up with a smile on their face, students could complete the challenge.
“We had more than 100 students complete it and many more did several squares to become involved in it,” she said.
Teachers also could award students with pretend money called Cougar Tracks for showing random acts of kindness. Those would be traded in at the school store for special prizes.
“The kids love it and get excited to be kind. This is the most energetic week of the school year and it ends with an amazing Valentine’s Day, which they understand what it means to be respectful and kind to one another,” Landward said.
She said that when she learned there was a national Random Acts of Kindness day and then a website to support it, their celebratory week fell into place with lesson plans and ideas. While this year’s activities may look different than last year’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic health and safety guidelines, the message remains the same.
“There’s a whole movement behind it and why it’s important to be kind,” Landward said. “It’s turned out to be a fun schoolwide celebration and tradition and something we want to continue and practice every day.”