The IDEAS Academy class of 2017 along with facilitator Karen Robison developed a calendar for the month of December with daily prompts for students to complete in order to spread kindness throughout the school before winter vacation.
The group drew inspiration to do this from the foundation Random Acts of Kindness, whose website states:“We believe that the world will be a significantly better place if we encourage the spread of kindness in schools, communities and homes—so we try to enable that in whatever way we can.” and “We know that you’re tired of all the negativity in the news, frustrated by the politics, sad to hear about all the pain and suffering out there. Believe us, we know. But there is a huge amount of good in this world… if we’d just take the time to notice it. That’s why we exist. To remind you of that good. To show you that love is the strongest emotion in our hearts and that kindness is the antidote to all the bad stuff.”
Alex Daniels, a student who helps facilitate senior class meetings, was very pleased at the results of the calendar.
“The effects are reaching out into the school and not just staying in class meetings. We are able to create things that have benefits emotionally and physically to the rest of the school,” Daniels said.
Some of the daily prompts in the calendar included:
December 14- Ask someone you don’t know well about their IDEAS block project and listen carefully.
December 16- At the Senior Class meeting - make holiday cards for a local nursing or veterans’ home.
December 20- Tell someone all of the reasons that you like them or appreciate them.
December 22- Wear a silly or holiday hat and laugh a lot, take note of others’ hats as well.
December 23- Wish someone that you don’t usually talk to a happy holiday and fun winter break.
Kaniya Crump, a senior who helped to revise the calendar, witnessed a wide impact of people taking time out of their days to be nice.
“I feel like the calendar made the school more positive overall. Even working on some of the tasks around people who you may not normally talk to was a positive consequence of the calendar,” Crump said.
Many in the school would like to see these acts of kindness continue through the school year, be it in a calendar format or students taking initiative to better each others’ days.
Teacher Karen Robison agrees. “It might be a slow build, but a lot of people created signs and picked up litter around the school. You’ve gotta start somewhere and see where it goes.”