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Spreading Kindness at East Lake
Cultivating kindness was the focus of an assembly program at East Lake Elementary School on Oct. 21. Rich Specht, a former science teacher and co-founder of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation, shared his story of how kindness changed his family, and the world, in the wake of a tragedy.
In October 2012, Specht lost his 22-month-old son Richard Edwin-Ehmer Specht, known as Rees, in a tragic accident. Hurricane Sandy struck in the days that followed, and Specht and his children were touched by the kindness of others who cleaned up fallen trees around their house. To repay them, they decided to “pay it forward” by performing acts of kindness for others.
Specht’s Cultivate Kindness program aims to remind people about the importance of community, compassion and respect. His foundation’s ReesSpecht Life Cards have been distributed to more than 650,000 people around the world including to all of East Lake’s students following the assembly. He asked children to pass the card on, along with their kindness, to someone in need of a smile.
Specht encouraged children to “plant the seed of kindness” and that being kind and respectful to others is their superpower.