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A World of Kindness Begins at Birch Lane
World Kindness Day on Nov. 13 was a chance to celebrate a message that is part of daily life at Birch Lane Elementary School. Students are reminded every day to not only be kind to each other in school, but to spread that kindness wherever they go.
During recess, students rotated through different stations that were led by lunch recess aides and volunteers from the PTA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. The youngsters covered the blacktop in happy and kind messages and images using sidewalk chalk. They also took a kindness pledge by adding their names to one of the letters in “INCLUDE.” The large letters, signed by Birch Lane’s 670 students, will now hang in general purpose room along with last year’s signed letters spelling out “KIND.”
Kindergarten and first graders played a hot potato game with a beach ball. When the music stopped, the student holding it had to identify an act of kindness that was on the ball. For students in grades 2-5, they passed beach balls over their heads and down a line. When it reached the end, the last child had to run up and grab a card with scenario. Together, the group had to determine if it stated a kind or unkind act.
Students and staff were encouraged to wear shirts with messages of kindness. There was also a pair of assemblies by singer and songwriter Jared Campbell. His original songs promoted positive character-building messages. Mr. Campbell explained that his goal was to inspire students through music to be world changers, and that starts by working to make their school a better place through kindness.
Birch Lane Principal Stephen Aspetti and Assistant Principal Joyce Larkin noted that kindness is emphasized every day to set a positive tone in the school. When social and emotional learning is at the forefront, they explained, it creates an environment that fosters all other learning.
“World Kindness Day serves as a reminder of the positive impact that kindness can have on individuals, communities and the world,” Mr. Aspetti said. “It encourages people to perform intentional acts of kindness and foster a culture of compassion and generosity. Mrs. Larkin, myself and all of the Birch Lane staff encourage all our students to practice kindness not only today, but in their daily lives as we strive to create a more harmonious and caring world.”