Early Childhood Schools Practice Kindness

Early Childhood Schools Practice Kindness
The details may differ, but the purpose is the same: All four of Lakota’s early childhood schools are participating in the Great Kindness Challenge, which focuses on curbing bullying and building compassion and understanding.

Creekside held its kindness challenge in December, with suggestions on ways to act kindly shared each day on school announcements. According to Jennifer Russell, guidance counselor, the response from students, staff and families was positive. “We have continued to embrace kindness through words and actions in our school. This month we are having our school-wide focus on giving to others.”

Three areas will be set up for students to participate in “giving back” activities, such as making cards for military personnel and organizing kits for kids for a Cincinnati shelter. Families are getting involved by bringing in items for the kits.

At Liberty, guidance counselor Dana Hallgarth invited Central Office staff to read a kindness-themed story to the classrooms, helping to illustrate different ways students can incorporate such acts into their lives. Each day, a chart is provided for things families can do together, ranging from “play with someone at recess that you have not played with before” to “tell each person in your family something you like about them.”

A kindness assembly, featuring a performance by Sadecky’s puppets, concludes the Liberty 15-day kindness challenge effort.

The event took a different – much more individualized - focus at Shawnee Early Childhood School.

McKenzie Morin, one of Shawnee’s first grade students, is a Leukemia survivor. Currently in remission, McKenzie was selected as one of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Tri-State Heroes.” 

As part of their kindness assembly, the school honored McKenzie by wearing orange (the color for the Leukemia Society) and support ribbons. Each class displayed their kindness banner, created from friendship artwork the students created during character development time. In another example of their acts of kindness, each class received the name of a person or department in the Lakota community to write notes or create drawings for.

“We’re proud of how our students have embraced the kindness theme and, especially in their ongoing support and encouragement of McKenzie,” says Theresa Brock, school principal. “They’ve shown by their actions and compassion that kindness truly is part of the culture at Lakota.”

That’s also evident at Wyandot Early Childhood School, where kindness is the character word of the month.  Every Kindergarten and first-grade classroom is incorporating lessons on kindness and will distribute daily suggestions to students, staff and families as part of their challenge, which will be held in late February.

To kick off the challenge, Wyandot is creating a video featuring personal examples of kindness. The school’s Starlight Leaders, a group of first-grade students, along with several staff members will share what kindness means to them.