Students and volunteers staff an Appreciation Station where students could turn in their Caught Being Kind Cards for colorful bracelets. (courtesy of Laura Stephens)
Kindness Week another success
Jerabek Elementary School held another successful Kindness Week Jan. 8-12, ending with a big outdoor rally featuring special guest Deven Sideroff of the San Diego Gulls hockey team.
Students celebrated the Jerabek culture of kindness which includes kindness to friends, family, schoolmates, their bodies, their community, and the environment. Teachers facilitated creative “kindness focused” activities in class such as art projects, thoughtful discussions, meditations and music.
Beyond the focus on kindness throughout the week in the classrooms, the program features peer-to-peer interaction. The students have opportunities to practice kindness each day with one another. The children were encouraged to be aware of acts of kindness and give each other “Caught Being Kind” cards when they witnessed acts of kindness. Students could redeem their cards at the end of each day for kindness bracelets.
Kindness Week, the first of which was held last spring, is intended to be held a total of three times this school year. One was held in October and the next is scheduled for April 9-13.
Kindness Week originated from an idea by Laura Stephens, a Jerabek parent volunteer and the leader of Kindness Week.
The first version last spring included basic class activities, curriculum for the teachers, some websites the students could visit with a little mindfulness and kindness, meditations and art projects. Stephens said it was so popular that a request came about to hold Kindness Week again this school year, and now the school’s Family Faculty Organization is sponsoring it. The idea is to hold it once after school begins, once after winter break and again soon after Spring Break to keep it on the minds of the students.
Kindness journals in the community
This year, as part of this mission, Jerabek Elementary plans to distribute kindness journals into the community to show students that small acts of kindness can change a whole community and even the world.
A person will perform an act of kindness for another person in the neighborhood and document the kind act in the journal. The recipient of the kindness act will then write their reaction to the kind act. He or she will then pass on a kind act to another person in the community with the journal, and it goes on from there.
The journals will be returned to Jerabek Elementary on June 1, so the students can see the chain reaction of their original acts of kindness and how kindness spreads throughout a community. The school plans to distribute 10 journals throughout Scripps Ranch.