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“Random Acts of Kindness

has really made a difference


in our school climate.”
— Lisa, Teacher, NY

TEACHER’S GUIDE

CONTENTS
do kindness

This Teacher’s
Guide will give Practice Random Acts of Kindness™
you many ideas,
Why Practice Kindness and Organize Kindness Events? . . . . . . . . 2
familiarize you
with successful About the Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
kindness projects
in other schools, RAK Celebration Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
and provide
resources to help Getting Started with Your Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
you incorporate Further Thoughts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
kindness into Definitions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
your school.
Activity Ideas by Academic Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Reading and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5


Math. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Science. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Social Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Activity Ideas by School Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Practice Random
Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Acts of Kindness™
Middle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
High School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Ideas for Encouraging Positive Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Random Acts of Kindness™: School Reports . . . . . . . . . 9

How this Section is Organized . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9


Teaching Kindness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
RAK Week™ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
RAK Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
The Random Acts of
Ongoing Kindness Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Kindness™ Foundation
Kindness for Chosen Causes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Response to Tragedy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
1727 Tremont Place Miscellaneous Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Denver, CO 80202 Simple, All-School Ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
800-660-2811
Fax: 303-297-2919
www.actsofkindness.org
info@actsofkindness.org
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PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS™

Why practice kindness and organize kindness events?

KINDNESS INCLUDES EVERYONE. Kindness crosses all those distinctions that we sometimes place among ourselves — distinctions
of race, religion, culture, gender, age. Students learn that kindness is a language that everyone understands.
Through kindness, we celebrate diversity.

KINDNESS IMPROVES STUDENTS’ SELF-ESTEEM AND THE SCHOOL CLIMATE. Whether academically proficient or not, students
are given a way to excel through kindness, and excel they do. One teacher said that a few students who appeared to be headed down
destructive paths were turned around due to the increased self-esteem and positive involvement that the school’s kindness program offered
them. Other teachers have said that students are more willing to participate in class when they know that ridicule of their answers will not
be tolerated. Thus, the learning environment is enhanced.

KINDNESS IS EMPOWERING. Kindness is one of the most powerful interpersonal tools that we, as human beings, use to connect with
one another. When we sense someone’s need, we either choose to help in some way… or we choose not to. If we act from empathy, we
will offer kindness, and in that moment a surprising, gracious, humanitarian connection is made. This is the positive power that each of us
— including children — possesses.
During difficult times, kindness propels students into action and gives them power when they feel powerless. They can do some-
thing to improve the world. You will find examples of students’ responses to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in this guide under
“Response to Tragedy.”

KINDNESS HELPS STUDENTS CONNECT ACTIONS WITH CONSEQUENCES. Students are almost always positively reinforced
when they are kind to others. They see the gratitude of the recipient; they hear the “thank you.” They know that they made a difference.

KINDNESS IS A VITAL, LIFELONG, INTERPERSONAL SKILL. Students will use kindness daily in their relationships at home, at work,
and in the community.

Kindness is an awareness that each of us develops with practice and over time. Through the kindness we give and receive, we
begin to understand that we are intrinsically connected to those around us. We realize that we are part of a human community, in which
giving and receiving kindness are vital to our health, harmony, and hope.
Our children deserve to learn and experience this life skill of kindness… and so do we all. Let kindness flow!

— Your friends at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION “How wonder-


ful it is that no-
The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation was formed to inspire and help people organize body need wait a single
events and conduct activities that encourage others to do kind acts through the use of its minute before starting to
Practice Random Acts of Kindness™ services. By disseminating ideas and developing materials improve the world.” -
and programs, we have helped our kindness coordinators incorporate kindness into thousands Anne Frank
of schools and communities. As people tap into their own generous human spirit and share
kindness with one another, they discover for themselves the power of kindness to effect positive
change. When kindness is expressed, healthy relationships are created, community connections
are nourished, and people are inspired to pass kindness on.
Established in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Random Acts of
Kindness Foundation is a resource for people committed to spreading kindness. We provide a wide variety of materials on our website,
including activity ideas, lesson plans, project plans, teacher’s guide, project planning guide, publicity guide, and workplace resources — all
free of charge.
The Foundation is privately held and funded. We accept no donations, grants, or membership dues. We do not provide financial
assistance to individuals or organizations. The Foundation has no religious or organizational affiliations; we encourage the practice of kind-
ness in all sectors of society.
The emphasis of the Foundation is to create and strengthen communities by inspiring local coordinators, individuals, educators,
schools, faith groups, service clubs, and other groups to share kindness with others and/or to participate in kindness activities. Our project
ideas, website materials, and phone support are provided free of charge. Our website is: www.actsofkindness.org.

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RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CELEBRATION DATES

Each year, you can take part in the celebration of kindness by participating in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week in February and/or
World Kindness Week (an international kindness celebration and alternate RAK Week) in November. Upcoming RAK dates are:

2006
Random Acts of Kindness Week Feb. 13-19
World Kindness Week Nov. 13-19
World Kindness Day Nov. 13

2007
Random Acts of Kindness Week Feb. 12-18
World Kindness Week Nov. 12-18
World Kindness Day Nov. 13

Feel free to choose the RAK Week dates that best meet the needs of your own community. Of course,
you are welcome to celebrate RAK Week at any time of year — or all year long! The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is here to sup-
port you with ideas and materials on our comprehensive website and telephone consultation any time of the year.

GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR STUDENTS

This Teacher’s Guide is not a rigid program that you have to add to your already full school day. Rather, this guide invites you to incorpo-
rate kindness naturally into your current classroom or school environment.

Keep it simple
Keep your first project short, simple, and manageable. Later, when and if you are ready to expand, various planning tools are available in
the Project Planning Guide on our website.

Define the words


Discuss and define the meaning of the words random, acts, and kindness with your students. What are Random Acts of Kindness? (See
pages 5 and 6.)

Check out what other schools are doing


In this guide, you’ll find all sorts of activities and projects that other educators have done successfully. You are welcome to use any of these
ideas, remembering to adapt them to fit your own educational environment.
Also, browse through the webpages of our Kindness Coordinators to find out what they’re doing! Their webpages are on our web-
site under “What People Are Doing.” After you’ve finished your school project, get some students together to create a webpage of your own
using our simple templates in the same section.

Brainstorm ideas
Present a few ideas that you think would be achievable and would interest your students. Allow your students to make suggestions, modi-
fications, and determine the final choice. If they take ownership of the project, their enthusiasm will carry them through the implementation,
and they will experience that sense of satisfaction in completing what they created.

How and when will we do it?


Agree on a clear set of ground rules for your RAK activity, including kindness to one another and respect for each classmate’s ideas and
suggestions.
Define areas in your curriculum which will be enhanced by the RAK activities you have chosen. The activities are meant to sup-
plement your curriculum while allowing your students to practice kindness, a lifelong interpersonal skill.

Who will do what?


Decide which students, or groups of students, will be responsible for certain tasks. If you are undertaking a longer project, introduce your
students to the planning tools in the Project Planning Guide on our website.

And afterward….what did it mean to us?


Encourage students to reflect on their experiences and on the meaning on their activities through journaling, classroom or small group dis-
cussion, essay, art, poetry, collage, etc.

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Reflection…
…is important in helping us understand the wider meaning of our actions and commitments.
…will enhance the sense of cohesion in your class group, helping to create a sense of community in the classroom.
…is a vital tool in helping students link their kindness activities in meaningful ways to the world around them.
…helps to tie RAK activities to other parts of the curriculum, such as language arts and social studies.
…should be a regular activity throughout any RAK program.

Share the experience!


Take pictures and preserve some samples of your activities. Use the webpage templates on our website to share your project and photos
with others.

FURTHER THOUGHTS

Internalizing Kindness
Children must learn kindness experientially. Unless students experience both giving kindness and receiving kindness, they won’t internalize
this value. Allow time for discussion, reflection, journaling, and other methods of thoughtful follow-up.
Although we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week, kindness isn’t just a weeklong activity. It is a lifelong journey, beginning
in infancy as a baby responds to the gentle kindness of a caregiver. Through the practice of kindness, students understand the power they
have to improve the emotional climate around them, simply through the choices they make every day to be kind.

Developing Community
Kindness activities and projects develop a sense of community among your students. They will assemble themselves around this common
theme that allows their creative ideas to find expression.
Students who may not shine academically may come forward with previously unknown talents and skills. A computer whiz can
track the project or create a kindness website. A pianist can accompany other students singing in a retirement center. A writer can produce
a kindness newsletter. An artist can create posters or collages.
A student with a good sense of humor can ease students through tense moments. A dramatic student can funnel his/her pas-
sion into creating a play or puppet show about kindness. A talkative student can interview local kindness heroes or gather volunteers from
neighboring classrooms.
Let your students shine, gently facilitating their discussions, and they will learn to appreciate
one another’s diverse abilities and perspectives. It’s only
me, but I can
DEFINITIONS change a life. - Liz,
high school student
What is a Random Act of Kindness?
When we go beyond duties that are expected of us and reach out to help another person or group of
people, we are performing a Random Acts of Kindness. Kindness and empathy are very closely related:
kindness is the observable expression of empathy. We sense another person’s need, we understand how it feels to be in need (due to our
own past experience), and we decide to offer our help. This profound process can happen almost instantaneously, even if the person in
need is a complete stranger. When we are kind, we express the best of our humanity.

An Explanation of “Random”
The word “random” can be interpreted in various ways. It originally was adopted simply as a response to the often-heard phrase “random
acts of violence.” In this sense, a Random Acts of Kindness does not mean an unplanned act any more than a random acts of violence is
unplanned.
Almost all acts of kindness are planned to some extent. Sometimes the planning takes a couple of seconds. Other times, the
planning can take weeks. All acts of kindness — planned and unplanned — are valuable and beneficial. When people are kind, they
are improving their world by selflessly giving to another.

Definitions for Student Discussions:


Practice: We practice to become proficient at kindness, until kindness becomes part of who we are.
Random: A kind act is “random” when it is unexpected, done for no reason and without expecting anything in return.
Kindness: Helping someone who needs assistance or encouragement
Random Act of Kindness: When we do a RAK, we give for the sake of giving; we act simply out of the goodness within us.
Passing kindness on: When we do kind things for people, they feel so good about what we did that they often do kind acts for others.
As kindness is passed on from one person to another, an outward ripple effect is created, like a droplet that falls into water.
In this way, one kind act connects people and can be passed on and on, bringing happiness to many others.

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ACTIVITY IDEAS BY ACADEMIC SUBJECT

READING and WRITING


Have each student write a positive comment about every student in their class on 3x5 cards or paper. Pass the notes to the children
they describe, and have them make a collage of the answers. Option: sort the comments by student on the computer, print out a list for
each student of others’ comments about them, and give it to them to take home and save.
Ask students to perform a Random Act of Kindness for a stranger and then write an essay describing the experience — how it made
them feel and the reaction of the person who received their kindness.
Provide time for students to start a kindness journal in which they can keep their own kindness stories, pictures, ideas or feelings about
Random Acts of Kindness.
Choose a book at the library or a story in your reading book that describes someone doing something nice for someone else. Read the
story aloud in the classroom. Lead a discussion or have the students write about how the characters felt when they did something nice (or
had something nice done for them).
Ask the students to think about a time when they hurt someone’s feelings by being unkind and then to rewrite the situation with a differ-
ent outcome.
Ask the students to pick two people who have done something nice for them. Have them write letters of appreciation, explaining how
those people have made a difference in their life.
Locate various quotes about kindness. Put them up around the room and discuss what they mean. Students can memorize or illustrate
their favorite quote.
Conduct a newspaper kindness search. Have the students look through the newspaper for stories about acts of kindness and summa-
rize the stories for the rest of class.
Expand your students’ reading skills as well as their social skills by having them read to the
“Kindness younger students in the school.
is a language After your students have finished a novel you have assigned, ask them to write a poem or
which the deaf can interior monologue from the point of view of one of the characters. Give them time (and perhaps
hear and the blind can show them how) to get “under the skin” of the character and imagine his or her emotions. Share an
example of what you want to receive from them.
read.” - Mark Twain
Then collect their works and share them. A teacher assigned this work for the novel Sounder (by
William Howard Armstrong), whose characters’ lives were very different from her own students’. The
poignant writing from this assignment not only brought the novel alive for the students but helped
them develop empathy, a vital component of kindness.

MATH
Make a quilt out of paper or fabric as part of a unit on measurement, with each patch containing a drawing of an act of kindness. After it
is completed, the class can hang the quilt in the hallway or donate it to a local charity.
Calculate the amount of aluminum, paper, and other recyclable items currently being thrown away and how much income could come
from recycling them.
Have your students tutor younger students in math.
Create RAK “script” (pretend money) that can be given to a student by another student, a teacher, the principal, the janitor, etc., to tell
the student that they have done something kind and have made a difference that day. Script could be left anonymously in the student’s
mailbox. At the end of the month, there could be an auction where students could buy privileges with their script, like a ride in the principal’s
car or lunch with a teacher.

SCIENCE
Learn about how pollution and trash affect the environment, including animals and plants. Discuss how kindness towards our environ-
ment can help humans, animals, and plants.
Plant a tree or small flower garden on the school grounds. Discuss each type of plant or flower and how best to care for it.
Adopt a nearby park and learn about the ecosystems within that park. Work together to keep it clean and beautiful.
Learn how to make homes more energy efficient. Share the information with local residents. Discuss how energy efficiency helps the
environment and, in turn, humans and animals.

SOCIAL STUDIES
Identify community helpers such as crossing guards, firefighters, police officers, etc. Visit their workplaces and learn about their jobs.
Discuss how their jobs help the community.
Meet with senior citizens and record their memories of the community when they were growing up. Compare their likes and dislikes with
those of young people today. Compare prices from then to now.

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Choose a problem that needs to be solved in your area, and contact local officials to try to get it solved. Learn about the political pro-
cess by attending city council meetings, visiting local officials, and writing letters.
Arrange for students to attend a meeting of your local or state government and talk about the importance of Random Acts of Kindness
in the community. A good way to get the legislators involved is by sharing RAK stories with them and asking them to share in return. The
students might want to bring RAK gift bags filled with little goodies and decorated with kindness pictures or sayings for the government
officials.

HISTORY
Study kind people in history. Then have kids illustrate their kind works and discuss how their chosen path affected the world.
Create a crossword puzzle with the names of kind people from history. When the puzzle is complete, discuss how each historical figure
was kind.
Discuss the following quote: “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does
not have to be cruel to be tough.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt. Your students will not agree, but you will have an interesting discussion! Note
the merits of interpersonal kindness and respect, and their power to forge alliances among world leaders. Mention the merits of cross-
cultural kindness and its power to create connections among people who might never meet otherwise (e.g., the Peace Corps, pen pals,
schools connecting through the Internet, various charities that focus on creating cross-cultural interaction).

ACTIVITY IDEAS BY SCHOOL LEVEL

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Wave hello to a crossing guard or a police officer.
Share your smile (generously). Smile at your mom, dad, brother, sister, teacher, classmate.
Make a thank-you card for a mail carrier, firefighter, school staff person. Example: Write thank-you notes to firefighters for conducting
fire drills for everyone’s safety.
Make a birthday card for a classmate or teacher.
During class meeting, have children share about a time they did an act of kindness for someone and how it felt. Younger children can
draw a picture and tell about it. Assemble drawings into a paper quilt on a bulletin board.
Have students start a kindness journal. They can keep track of their own kindness stories, pictures, ideas, and feelings about Random
Acts of Kindness.
Choose a book from the bibliography on our website and read it to the students. Do an enrichment activity with the class. Example:
Read Sister Anne’s Hands (by Marybeth Lorbiecki). Have students trace their hand and decorate it. Put the hands on the bulletin board with
a caption. Make a whole school bulletin board by asking other teachers to do the same.
Use excerpts from Kids’ Random Acts of Kindness. Photocopy, laminate. Read and discuss. Children can write responses in journals.
Study kind people in history. Then have students illustrate the kind works of these people and discuss them in class.
Start a conversation with a new student or with a classmate who seems lonely.
Write a nice note to someone in your class who is having a bad day.
Put photos of kinds acts in hearts on the classroom or hallway walls. Afterward, donate the display to a local hospital, nursing home, or
senior center.
Kindness Zone: Put up a sign designating a classroom where students practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Kindness Banner: Make a large banner and invite children to draw pictures about kindness on it. The banner can be displayed in the
school’s lobby, cafeteria, gym, or in a classroom.
Bookmark: Create a kindness bookmark. Laminate. To extend this activity, put lines on the back before laminating, and students can
write their own ideas.
Kindness Rainbow: Have children trace hands in rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and post with kind acts
written on them.
Kindness Acrostic: Use the letters of KINDNESS to create acrostic poems. Use these poems to create a bulletin board, or use them as
the written inserts of kindness cards.
Kindness Week Slogan: Create a slogan and make bumper stickers. Use slogans as writing/illustrating. Examples: “Kindness begins like
a ripple of water.” “Kindness makes your heart glow!
Kindness Quotes: Locate various quotes about kindness. Put them up around the room and discuss what they mean. Students can
memorize their favorite quote. They could also illustrate their favorite one.
100’s day: Collect 100 hugs. Keep track on chart.

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MIDDLE SCHOOL
Ask students to perform a Random Act of Kindness for someone (cafeteria worker, aide, crossing guard, postal worker, secretary) and
then write an essay describing the experience. They should include how it made them feel and the reaction of the person who received the
kindness.
Conduct a newspaper kindness search. Have students look through the newspaper for stories about acts of kindness and summarize
the story for the rest of the class.
Choose a story with a kindness theme. Read aloud or have children read in classroom. Discuss or write about how the characters felt
when they did something nice or had something nice done for them.
Have children start a kindness journal in which they keep their own kindness stories, pictures, ideas, or feelings about Random Acts of
Kindness.
Ask student to pick someone who has done something nice for them and write a thank you note. Example: a tutor for helping them learn
math facts, a nurse for bandaging a hurt, etc.
Buddies: Take students to younger classes to teach little ones to tie their shoes (count to 10, learn colors, etc.).
Pennies for ______. Ideas can be generated by children. A class came up with idea “Pennies for Pets” after visitor from SPCA came to
the classroom and discussed the needs of the local SPCA. They collected $100. The SPCA responded by bringing a detailed account of
how the money was spent.
Historical figures of kindness: Study kind people in history. Have students write a report, illustrate their work, and discuss in them in
class. A book could be made and shared with younger students.
“Giving of our- Set up a “______ Appreciation Day”: This could be for aides, custodians, librarians, teachers,
selves is the way nurses, crossing guards, community helpers, etc. Make a banner or cards that tell them how much
we change the world at they are appreciated. (A kindness basket could also be given.)
the end of our fingertips.” Kindness Zone: Put up a kindness banner or sign at entrance to school or your room to remind
- Richard F. Schubert people to practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Smile File: Create a “smile file” with cartoons that make people smile. Students can pick out a
cartoon to cheer up a friend in need.
Collect used usable games or toys for children in foster homes, child protective services, family
shelters, hospitals, etc.

HIGH SCHOOL
Create a special publication of RAK featuring local kindness stories. These can be broadcast over local TV stations or school intercom.
Create a kindness mascot. It can circulate in high foot-traffic areas distributing bookmarks and/or suggestions for acts of kindness. The
mascot can visit elementary schools to talk about kindness.
Get local police involved in RAK! They can hand out “Kindness Citations” as they witness kind acts, give out “Good Driving” tickets, visit
classrooms with stories of kindness, etc.
Ask the mayor’s office to declare RAK Week in the town. Make a banner to go across downtown streets. Ask local merchants to put
posters in windows.
Go to town library and ask them to forgive late fees during RAK Week.
Hold a poster contest for all ages. Display posters at city hall or the mayor’s office and have the local paper and TV station announce
winners.
Plan a school or classroom recycling effort. Contact local agencies to see if they would be willing to remove recyclables. Find out how
they must be sorted and stored. Collect and recycle everything you can. Contact local media for publicity for efforts.
Tape yourself reading a book. Use the tapes to entertain sick children or adults at local hospital or nursing home.
Collect goods for local food bank (pantry).
Help serve dinner at local soup kitchen.
Write a thank you note to a mentor or someone who has influenced your life in a positive way.
Donate time at a senior center.
Open the door for another person.
Have park clean-up parties at area parks.
Be a buddy to a new student.
As you go about your day, pick up trash.

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IDEAS FOR ENCOURAGING POSITIVE BEHAVIOR

Brainstorm ideas with your students about how they can perform and promote Random Acts of Kindness as individuals, as a class, as a
school, and out in the community. Here are some ideas to start them thinking:

As Individuals
Smile at other students you see in your classes, in the hallway, at lunch, and on the way to the bus.
Start a conversation with a classmate who seems lonely.
Eat lunch with a new student or someone whom you don’t normally talk to.
Write an encouraging note to someone in your class who is having a bad day.
Share your snack at recess.

As a Class
Ask kids to start practicing Random Acts of Kindness but not to tell anyone until the end of the week, when they can share their experi-
ences with the entire class.
Take time out of recess or lunch to wash off graffiti or pick up trash on your playground. One day ask another class to join your efforts.
Surprise another class with cookies, hot chocolate, or treats on a winter day.
Students can learn or make up a rap, cheer, or song to tunes they know, such as the following, created by students in New Mexico:

Cheer: R-A-K Chants: • Kindness is contagious,


R-A-K Spread it around!
We will all be kind today!
• Make up your mind
To be very kind!

Songs: (to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”): (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”):
Kindness matters, kindness matters Do, do, do a deed
Every day in every way Be kind every day
Share with one another That is how to change the world
Care for one another And make the hurt [sadness, trouble, violence] go away!
Let us all be kind today.

Students can also create their own kindness pledge. Here are a couple:

Pledge: We will cheer people up, Pledge: I pledge to myself, on this day,
Help others when they are hurt, To try to be kind in every way.
Share with others, To every person, big and small,
Use good manners, I will help them if they fall.
Ask others to play, When I’m kind to myself and others too,
Greet people with a smile, That is the best that I can do!
Be a good friend, and
Treat others the way we want to be treated.

Write notes of appreciation to the cafeteria workers, janitors, or other staff members who don’t normally receive recognition.
Ask your principal if each student from your class can read a quote or story about kindness each morning over the intercom for as
many days as there are students in the class.
Form a group of students to help the school staff — in the cafeteria, younger ones can clean lunch trays while older ones can pick up
trash, dust classrooms, or patrol the aisles to give the adult monitors a break.
Locate quotes about kindness on our website at actsofkindness.org. Put them up around the room and discuss what they mean.
Students can memorize or illustrate their favorite quote.

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

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RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SCHOOL REPORTS

HOW THIS SECTION IS ORGANIZED

The following activities are separated by topic. Each activity is color-coded by the school level (if known) of the teacher or student who sub-
mitted it to us. However, most of the ideas can be adapted to any grade level. The two letters following each idea indicate the originat-
ing state or province.

E = Elementary school
M = Middle school
H = High school
A = All Grades

TEACHING KINDNESS

In addition to the ideas earlier in this book and in the Activity Idea Guide on our website, here are some methods teachers use to help their
students learn kindness.
E: Kind Words — I started the school year with a class of unruly students. I began teaching them polite words, one a day, such as
please, thank you, excuse me. I taught them how to give a compliment and how to receive one. I gave them a form on which to note their
polite words as they used them. Each morning they all discussed what polite words they’d used the day before and in what situations. After
about three weeks, I began teaching them about good deeds and kindness, and they began sharing the kind deeds they had done. I gradu-
ally weaned them off the forms, and they were doing these things all on their own. After six weeks, these students were not the same kids.
The improvement in their behavior was remarkable. I will be using your materials to continue my kindness work. —MI
E: Cards and Coupons - I visit each class and give two RAK lessons. First, each student is given a card to write a thank-you note to
someone who has been kind to them. Second, each student is given a promise coupon to fill out and give to someone of his choice. -MO
E: Validation Chain — At the end of each class day, we do a “validation chain.” One of the students begins by sharing a respectful,
appreciative remark to another student. This is passed on and on until all students have received and given a compliment. The students
always remind me if time is getting close. They leave feeling really good about themselves and others. They are very careful to include
everyone. This is a powerful remedy to conflict. —CA
M: Various Activities — Students make folders with their names written vertically and a character trait writ-
ten horizontally through the name, using one letter of their name to produce the word. For instance, RE SPECT
“Susan” is in one color and the character traits are in another color. Then, students draw pictures or U
symbols around their names to explain who or what they respect in our lives and what they are responsible for.
KINDNES S
They cut out newspaper articles, glue them to notebook paper and write essays about why certain people in the
news were or were not fair, kind, or respectful. The essays are from the heart and very precious. A
Community speakers or parents come into the class and tell the students true stories when character RESPO N SIBILITY
proved all-important. It has great impact. Police officers or firefighters make great speakers. The sixth graders
really enjoy this material. It reinforces what they already know is right. —CA
M: RAK and Health — I require my health students to do three acts of kindness during the nine-week health program. They write the
kindnesses down and turn them in. During RAK Week I taught kindness, giving my students the chance to perform RAKs in the school &
community and see the effect their acts of kindness had on others. Each time they performed a RAK, they were given a star or a heart to
put on the bulletin board in the gym. It was a wonderful success! —CO
H: Various Activities — A high school math teacher has her class use geometry to design symmetrical Valentines. Then they deliver
the Valentines to nursing home residents.
She also created a kindness door competition. Students in each classroom decorated their door with kindness quotes, stories,
pictures, etc. Some teachers did the judging, and several prizes were handed out, in addition to a breakfast for the winners. The school
climate improved and there was general enthusiasm. A TV station covered the event. —MS
A: Three RAKs — During winter break, students were asked to do three kind things for three people and ask them to pass the kindness
on. After winter break, they discussed the impact their actions had and how they felt. They also kept a kindness journal.
A: Kindness Collage — Students created a large collage of all their names and kind statements about them that classmates provided.

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RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS (RAK) WEEK

E: Secret Kindness Pals — Students in one classroom drew the names of secret kindness pals. All week long, they did little kind acts
for the person and left anonymous notes on his/her desk with kind messages. At the end of the week, they tried to guess who their kind-
ness pal was. They also spent time reflecting and discussing how it felt to give and receive kindness. —NJ
E: Cookies for Businesses — Parents baked cookies and sent them to school. Fourth grade students & their teachers dropped off
cookies at random establishments (local businesses, etc.), then explained Random Acts of Kindness to the workers there and took pictures.
E: Kindness Connection — Students made paper cutouts of the human body silhouette. They wrote an essay, poem, or the name of
someone the students saw doing a kind act. They then connected the paper figures: “We are all connected by kindness.” Another school
used this idea with paw prints (for their mascot) and titled the display “Paws for Kindness.”
E: Kindness Chain — Students in many schools write each kind act they do on a construction paper chain link and create a chain of
kindness, which they hang around the classroom or from the ceiling throughout the school. One teacher took this further, involving all the
students in the school. Her elementary school had a kindness assembly, unfurled the 1,080-link kindness chain (with links made of card
stock for strength), and “wrapped the gym in kindness.” —NJ
E: Various Activities — The school’s RAK coordinator encouraged students to draw pictures of RAKs they did outside of school. They
also collected juice boxes for the homeless. The students’ drawings were in the local paper. —WA
E: School Interaction — A school provided Thanksgiving baskets for the lunchroom and custodial staff. The project helped create
more interaction among teachers and staff, and students and staff. They placed the recipients’ names in a hat and had the teachers draw a
name. Then the classes brought in things for the basket, such as food, toiletry items, books, cards made by students, and other surprises.
On the day before the holiday break, the guidance counselor escorted each cafeteria worker to a classroom, where the basket was pre-
sented and pictures were taken. The lunchroom and custodial staff were overwhelmed; one said, “I feel so thankful to be able to work in a
school that cares.” The students now greet the staff by name, and there is a lot more interaction. —GA
E: Kindness Rainbow — One class made kindness cards. Other classes made a rainbow of
“helping hands” for a wall display, which they called “Rainbow of Kindness.” —TX “Remember
Another school celebrated RAK Week with a school-wide hug and by singing songs. there’s no such
They also wrote their Random Acts of Kindness on colored hearts to form a kindness rainbow in thing as a small act of
the cafeteria. —MN kindness. Every act creates
E: Various Activities — Students in most classes exchanged names and anonymously did a ripple with no logical
kind things for one another. Students in several grades made valentines for the veterans’ hospital.
end.” - Scott Adams
The fourth grade made kindness posters by listing behaviors beginning with each letter of the word
“kindness.” After RAK Week, fourth graders reflected and wrote their responses on hearts, which
were assembled into a large poster. Grades 6-8 wrote notes of appreciation to adults in the school.
The adults participated with kind acts to one another and to their students as well. —VT
E: Various Activities — I worked with a group of student leaders from an elementary school
to promote Random Acts of Kindness Week in February. The mayor presented the proclamation to
the students at a televised city council meeting. The students accepted the proclamation and made a short speech about the importance of
kindness.
Back at school they gave each of the 538 students a heart in which to write a kind act that they observed someone else doing
during that week. These were then posted on a large poster in the front hallway of the school, along with the proclamation. Students were
also given stickers to wear after they did a kind act. I also made copies of the teachers’ lesson plans to give to each teacher, and every
class has been focusing on some aspect of kindness throughout the month. —CO
E: Various Activities — Students made bookmarks, door hangers, and other items reminding people to be kind. The items went to
libraries, veterans groups, schools, and TV stations. They also saved soda can tabs for one week, and the proceeds went to a local char-
ity. They distributed RAK information packets to 10 elementary schools & 12 elementary after school programs. Ten of the after school
programs participated by making Veteran Day cards, bookmarks, and collecting food for the homeless. The cards were given to the local
veterans home. Children made a flag from their handprints, signed their names on it, and gave it to the local veterans home. —AL
E: Various Activities — Students were asked to perform one Random Act of Kindness a day during RAK Week. There was also a
program activity for all students, including collecting pennies, coloring pictures, and writing letters for emergency workers in New York City.
Also, the students collected canned goods for Thanksgiving baskets for families of domestic violence, made a kindness chain in the school,
and had a campus clean-up day with a banner thanking the custodial staff. —FL
E: Various Activities — Members of a club had a canned food drive and donated the food. They also gave teachers, cafeteria workers,
and custodians certificates saying “You were MINT to be appreciated” with peppermints attached. —LA
E: Various Activities — During RAK Week, grades pre-K, K, 1st: Read a story on kindness. Assigned kindness partners. Each child is
responsible for doing kind deeds for his or her partner throughout the week. Grades 2-5: Kindness Bingo: students filled a bingo card with
kind acts. When they perform five acts in a row throughout the week, they have a “bingo” and win a prize. Each student was did kind deeds
to an assigned kindness partner throughout the week. Students in a school bowling league held a bowl-a-thon and obtained pledges to
raise money for a local food pantry. —MI

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E: Kindness Tree — RAK Week was facilitated by the PTA President. For each Random Act of Kindness, she put a hand on the
Kindness Tree. Kids got Hershey kisses for performing a RAK. Over 600 RAKs were recorded in one week. —NY
E: Roses for Kindness — I lead a Brownie Troop of nine girls. Members of the troop made roses from Hershey Kisses and gave them
to neighbors with RAK postcards. I also spoke to my two children’s classrooms about RAK. I showed them a poster of ideas, and then they
came up with their own ideas. —WI
E: Bird Feeders — During RAK Week, kindergartners made bird feeders to give away as a part of their animal unit. —NY
E: Kindness Board — During RAK Week, our student council will be sponsoring a simple way to involve the whole school in kindness.
Here’s what we’re doing:
1. We are using a large bulletin board in the cafeteria as our Kindness Board. We decorated it with a pink background and white border.
We placed a banner in the center that says “Random Act of Kindness Week: Feb.11-17.”
2. We have cut out red hearts and ladybugs and distributed them to the homeroom teachers.
3. When teachers catch a student doing a Random Act of Kindness, the student is allowed to put his/her name on a heart or bug with the
act of kindness and place it on the board.
4. Student council members will make posters to place around the school about kindness. They will produce short skits to show on our
closed circuit, student-produced news television.
5. We will offer a prize for the student with the most Random Acts of Kindness. —AL
E: Kindness to the Staff — The student council gave an apple and a poem to all of the staff members. This was an extremely gener-
ous task because there are 75 staff members, and we are a low income district. —NY
E: Kindness to the Staff — Celebrating RAK Week in February goes along with National School Counselor’s week. I always try to do
a little something special for the staff at my school during this week. Last year I had popcorn, coke and cookies all day in my office so that
teachers and other staff members could come by during their planning period and have a break. This gives us an informal opportunity to
get to know each other a little better and it seemed to help improve school morale. [Note: Students can use this idea to provide refresh-
ments or a “tea” for the school staff.] —GA
E: Kindness to the Staff — Our school participated in RAK Week by celebrating “Custodian and Teacher Appreciation Day.” We served
continental breakfast to the staff, cleaned the cafeteria after breakfast and lunch, and cleaned the windows inside of the school. Everything
went well. The children now have a better appreciation for the custodians and the school. —MD
E: Days with a Theme — During RAK Week, we collect spare change in ‘Kindness Catchers.’
“There’s some- We donate the change to United Way at the end of the week. Monday is ‘Color for Kindness Day.’
thing wonderfully The students illustrate what kindness means to them by drawing and coloring posters to hang
rewarding in being around the school.
part of an effort that does Tuesday is ‘Get Caught Being Kind Day.’ Each student is given two badges to issue to
their peers if they catch them being kind. Wednesday is ‘Make a Card of Kindness Day.’ The stu-
make a difference.” -
dents make Valentine’s Day cards for residents of a local nursing home. Thursday is ‘Reflection
Brian O’Connell Day.’ The students take time to reflect on how kindness has affected their lives in the past week by
writing about the subject. One student essay is picked from each class to be read on Friday at the
Kindness Rally.
Friday is the ‘Kindness Rally.’ The students gather for an assembly. We announce the
amount of money collected in the Kindness Catchers, reminding them that their small acts of kind-
ness led to a significant difference. The students read kindness stories, and I sing and dance. —MO
E: Hands for Kindness — Students wrote a RAK they did or received on a cut-out paper hand, and all were hung in the gym. Students
participated in pennies for patients, raising $114.46. Some teachers also incorporated kindness into core subjects. —NE
E: Various Activities — I wanted to do something during RAK Week that would not stress teachers or students. (We are preparing for
proficiency tests as well as being in the middle of a district-wide construction project.) I encouraged each class to do a RAK project but
made it optional. I offered a goodie basket as a prize to the winning class.
I had five takers. One class decided that everyone would say something nice about the person on their left; one wrote to the Ohio
Senate and House of Representatives asking that sign language be available in all public schools as well as a moment of silence to begin
the day; one made Valentine cards and delivered them to a retirement home; one donated several quilts (made by ironing colored pictures
to fabric and having them bound) to a women’s shelter and a children’s hospital; and one (the winner) chose to clean up the cafeteria every
day after lunch, as well as to assist the custodian for the rest of the school year! I awarded the prize to the winner and gave a bag of
candy hearts to each class that participated. It was low stress, and acts of kindness still occurred! —OH
E: Popcorn Surprise — To celebrate World Kindness Day, third and fourth grade students in the RAK Club at this school held a sur-
prise popcorn party for the school. They filled bags with popcorn, and while the rest of the school was at recess, they slipped into empty
classrooms and left a bag of popcorn for each student. They also got the mayor to proclaim RAK Week. —WA
E: Various Activities — Our students created greeting cards and placemats for pediatric hospital patients; fed animals from bird feed-
ers; presented a spa basket to the school nurse; gave bouquets to school secretaries; treated custodians to a special lunch; worked on
kindness quilt; produced a kindness bulletin board; created Valentines for patients at a nearby hospital and a veterans hospital; and wrote
kindness stories. Enthusiasm has been so great that I offered to do free workshops in my area to promote kindness. —NJ

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E: Kindness Tree — Our school has weekly specials on character education. For caring and citizenship, grades 1-6 made cards for
every teacher and staff person in the school. In the after school program, they made salt clay dough, heart-shaped ornaments and put
decoupage on them to preserve them. They affixed rainbow, heart, or smiley stickers to some and wrote words of kindness, such as “smile”
or “sharing.” They placed a tree in the school lobby with a suggested list of Random Acts of Kindness for people to take home. It was well
received. —CT
E: Kindness Tree — Teachers watch for kind acts that students do, announce it over the morning news, and then place those students’
names on a tree labeled Acts of Kindness. Students collected 1350 cans of food and donated it to a charity; collected over $700 and sent
it to the New York Relief Fund; second graders raised $700 for a research hospital; and fifth graders visited nursing homes during the holi-
days and brought a gift to each resident. —SC
M: Kindness Cards — During RAK Week, the teachers were given kindness cards. It was up to the teacher to give a card to a student
who had done a RAK and send him or her down to the main office for a prize. The kids had to do something kind for someone in the build-
ing. At the end of the week, we drew a couple of names for the grand prize. The grand prize was a T-shirt, water bottle, and a “Superkid”
pen. The prizes we gave during the week were pencils, pencil sharpeners in the form of CD players and calculators, key rings with scooters
attached, slinkies, etc. The week went well. —CO
M: Hands for Kindness — Students posted cut-out paper hands on the school halls with RAK that they had done written on them. The
goal was for 350 hands, and 369 were completed. —NV
M: Children’s Hospital — The district schools celebrated RAK week by collecting school supplies, games and toys and donated them
to the local children’s hospital. —NY
M: Locker RAK — Every student’s locker had a heart on it with a RAK suggestion to perform (e.g., sit with a new person at lunch).
They also had kindness poster contests. —NJ
M: Teddy Bear Drive — They had a teddy bear drive during RAK Week & donated them to the Red Cross. The bears were then given
to needy children as well as elderly patients in local nursing homes. The community also celebrated RAK Week in other ways. —WV
M: RAK Play, School Dance — We will have special morning announcements and some surprises for teachers, parents, and students.
I am interested in starting an RAK club at our middle school, with a focus for each monthly meeting. The club could sponsor a school play
with a theme compatible with kindness. They could also sponsor a school dance with RAK sayings as part of the decorations. —TN
M: Days with a Theme — Their schools celebrated RAK Week with an official kindness theme for each day. Monday was mutual
respect. Tuesday was acts of kindness to the less fortunate. Wednesday was acts of kindness to the environment. Thursday celebrated
diversity and included discussions on hate crimes. Friday was community service. A local restaurant donated 25,000 giveaway coupons for
district employees; the coupons were included with their paychecks. —TX
M: Caught in the Act — We acknowledged kids every time they displayed an act of kindness to someone. We called it “Caught in the
Act.” The student received a $1.00 voucher on the spot that could be use at the school store. At the end of the month, all students received
a carnation with a Random Act of Kindness bookmark attached. We heard that many students then turned around and gave the carnations
to their parents, friends, bus drivers, secretaries, teachers, and custodians. It was great. —RI
M: Kindness to the Staff — Their service club created a Valentine’s Survival Kit for the staff to celebrate the 100th day of school. They
gave each staff member a filled bag with the following text:
A Valentine’s Survival Kit just for you! “It is difficult
Chocolate Kisses to remind you that you are loved! to give away
Matches to light your fire when you feel burned out! kindness. It keeps
Tootsie Rolls to remind you not to bite off more than you can chew! coming back to you.”
Smarties to help you on those days you don’t feel so smart! - Cort Flint
Starbursts to give you a burst of energy on those days you don’t have any!
Snickers to remind you to take time to laugh!
A bag to help you keep it all together and to give you food for thought!
And most importantly, a candle to remind you that you can brighten someone else’s day! —PA
M: RAK Man — Students received a visit from “RAK Man” (a costumed superhero, possibly an energetic parent, teacher, or community
member), who reminded them that even the smallest acts of kindness will result in more kindness. RAK Man also gave an apple to each
teacher. —IL
M: Spontaneous RAK Weeks — A middle school PE teacher says that whenever the climate at her school gets rough, they have a
spontaneous RAK Week. The attitudes and the school climate improves, and they go on. They have several RAK Weeks a year, and these
weeks lift everyone up. She says, “It’s almost as if the students need permission to be kind, and then they do so enthusiastically.” —CA
H: Writing — I am an English teacher, and I used RAK Week to attempt to have my students be more considerate of other people. The
first day we discussed the concept of “Random Acts of Kindness” in terms of what would qualify, and things that had been done for them
that they really appreciated. Their first assignment was to write several paragraphs about the nicest thing anyone had ever done for them,
and to make a list of ten nice things they could do for someone else. They were instructed to keep a log of the nice things that they did for
other people over the course of the week, understanding that their acts of kindness would be deliberate rather than random.
I then showed the movie, Pay It Forward. It took three days of class time. They did character sketches of all of the main char-
acters, and answered a series of questions about the film. At the conclusion of the film, we discussed all of the social problems that were

12
discussed in the movie (alcoholism, child abuse, spousal abuse, school bullies, violence in schools, discrimination based on appearances,
child neglect, drug abuse, and homelessness). My students loved the movie, despite the fact that it has a very sad ending. Most of my
students have never thought about homelessness or the reasons for it. It was an eye-opening experience for many. My students loved this
week devoted to kindness. —FL
H: Various Activities — Our RAK Committee organized RAK Week: $245 was raised for polio; food, blankets, and toys were collected
for the needy; 86 donors gave blood; lunch music was played; and the leadership class passed out stickers, suckers, and friendship brace-
lets. —CA
H: Kindness Chain — We will have a RAK competition among the grade levels, such as how long the students in each class can make
a kindness chain. —NY
H: Locker Surprise — Student Council members made Valentine hearts and wrote kind mes-
sages on them. They taped one to every locker in the school. —NY
“Kindness can H: Writing — This February we will be presenting a special event — a Poetry and Inspirational
become its own Reading evening, presented by the youth. We will invite parents, staff, school district leaders, and the
motive. We are made press! The writing will focus on tolerance. One of the purposes is to give the students a chance to
kind by being kind.” engage in a cooperative, kind, and respectful activity with the staff. —CA
- Eric Hoffer H: Peer Counselors — We distributed “warm fuzzies” to anyone who looked like he/she needed
one. My peer counselors wore “fuzzy” necklaces made from strips of yarn. Each “fuzzy” was a small
piece of yarn that could be pulled off the necklace. They simply gave one to someone or placed it on
someone’s shoulder.
We also did a pass-it-on activity. Each student wore a “Give Someone a Lift” necklace. They had
to perform a RAK for someone and say “I just did a RAK for you. I am giving you my balloon necklace. Please do a RAK for someone else
and pass it on.” Each balloon had room for four people to do RAKs. The last person was to return the necklace to my room for a treat. We
were pleased with the results. —FL
H: Valentines for Veterans — Students from two high schools joined together to make Valentines for hospitalized veterans. —NY
H: Kindness to the Staff — Students in classes with access to ovens made cookies and passed them out to teachers with a kind note.
H: RAK Feathers — Near Thanksgiving, high school teachers made a huge turkey body out of construction paper and affixed it to wall
in commons area of high school. Students received multi-colored paper feathers, and they wrote something nice about other students. The
paper feathers were collected and placed on the turkey.
H: Days with a Theme — For each day of the week, our club will be doing some type of Random Act of Kindness. Monday: we put
signs on cars that say, “Have a nice day!!” Tuesday: students will be at every entrance of the school welcoming other students and handing
them a business card with a RAK on the back to encourage them to go out and act out of kindness. Wednesday: we’re putting up 1,300
dots in our lunchroom. Every student will have their name on a dot, and the dots will create a rainbow effect. The red dots will say “Give a
friend a hug,” blue dots will say “Open a door for somebody,” and so on. Thursday: we’re holding a teddy bear drive. Friday: we’re giving
coffee/hot chocolate/doughnuts to the faculty. —Student, SD
H: RAK Roses — A retirement community gave away 100 dozen roses to 100 random people with the instructions to keep one rose
and give the 11 other away. The goal was that 1,200 acts of kindness would be performed in the giving away of flowers. —SD
H: Various Activities — We did the following activities:
1. “Rake and Run” — they raked the yards of the elderly
2. “Fresh Paint” — they painted rooms in a local teen group home
3. “Church Service” — they ushered, greeted, participated in the service, and gave the staff a break.
4. Habitat for Humanity — they helped build a home
5. “Care Home Visits” — they painted nails and played bingo at a senior home
…plus many more activities!! —Student, MB, Canada
H: College Ideas — The board members launched the week by making RAK labels and attaching them to 1,000 pieces of candy that
were then distributed around our campus. Each label included information about RAK Week and suggested ideas for how a person could
participate in the week and spread a kindness message. Later in the week, we delivered coffee and donuts to the night cleaning and public
safety staff at midnight. As a final act for the week, we decided to take our efforts into the community. After locating an elementary school,
we made arrangements to attend the school and do a guest reading. We read to the classes at the elementary school and talked with them
about RAK Week, as well as bringing them stickers to promote kindness. College student, NH
H: Community Rally — I put together a community rally: “Be a Super-Hero: Commit Random Acts of Kindness.” We recognized every-
day heroes in the community, had motivational presentations, musical performances, and a singer. We also had information tables for
kindness to the environment, to animals, in business, etc. I used your Activity Idea Guide categories to name the tables, which were then
staffed by volunteers from appropriate organizations. We had two superheroes: “Kind-Man” and “Good Deeds Dude,” who made appear-
ances at local schools.
This year I’ll add another superhero, a woman. I’ll have the tables at the library. I’d also like to get 1,000 little RAK footballs made
to be thrown out at the university homecoming parade by the football team. My theme this year is “Practice Kindness in Your Little Corner
of the World.” —IN

13
A: Poster Contest — Have a poster contest, with the students drawing kind acts they observe around the school. Posters can be
judged by student council.
A: Pass It On Cards — When a student does something kind, he/she signs the back and gives the card to the recipient of the kind act.
The recipient passes the kindness and the card on to someone else. Signed cards are collected at the end of the day or week and dis-
played, so students can see where their card went.
A: Teddy Bear Drive — Collect teddy bears for patrol officers to keep in the trunk of their cruisers. They give the bears out to trauma-
tized children.
A: Soup Kitchen — Help out in a soup kitchen.
A: Festival of Kindness — I coordinated a weeklong celebration at our schools, culminating in a Festival of Kindness, which was open
to the community and got media coverage. Children made a kindness quilt, a kindness cookbook, and established “Kindness Zones” in
their schools and homes. (When two or more people enter a kindness zone, they must say something nice to one another.)
They collected food and clothing for a local charity; collected books for a nursery school that had had a fire; and celebrated kind-
ness at the Festival with music, games, and other activities. They recorded acts of kindness on kindness cards and were rewarded with
special prizes at the Festival. They had storytelling, musical performances, face painting, and games. Children’s creative renditions of what
kindness means to them covered the building and stage.
Principals read stories on kindness, the children’s chorus sang, and the children’s band played with local musicians chiming in.
There were balloons, a jumping house donated by a local camp, and a PTA-sponsored Interactive Scrabble Game focused on kindness
vocabulary. I will plan another festival for next year. —NY

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS MONTH

E: Awards — During RAK Month, ten students were awarded $10 each for their enthusiastic participation. —TN
E: Fundraiser — This school celebrates RAK Month. Students and parents held a mini-march to combat cystic fibrosis, followed by a
mini-bagel party. They raised over $1,400 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. —NY
E: Caught Being Kind — We encourage our students and staff to get “Caught Being Kind.” We have set up a display in the entrance of
school, “The Kindness Zone,” and we have made hearts with suggestions of what children can do to show kindness to others. Examples of
our suggestions are:
Set up a board game to play with your family.
Pick up another student’s jacket that has fallen on the floor.
Ask a student you have never played with to join you at recess.
Share your snack with a friend.
Call your grandparents and tell them you love them.
Sweep the kitchen floor for your parents.
Take out the garbage without being asked.
Pick up garbage on the schoolyard.
When a student is seen displaying an act of kindness, he is given a brightly colored happy face to print his name on. The happy
face is mounted on our “Smile Makers” bulletin board in the main hallway of our school.
Weekly in the classrooms, students are given time to participate in “You Are Special Because.” Each student draws another
student’s name from a hat. They then write something special about that student. The teacher gathers the special notes from all students
and reads each one aloud.
On February 13th, we are having “Community Friend Day.” The students have been asked to think of others who are not as for-
tunate as them. The students are asked to bring an extra snack to school on that day. The extra snacks will be collected and brought to our
neighborhood food bank so that others can enjoy a special treat.
On February 14th, our staff is sharing in a “Bring a Lunch for Coworker Day.” Staff members draw the name of a coworker from a
hat. They are responsible to bring a special lunch for that staff member on February 14th.
Our staff also leave notes of praise in each other’s mailboxes and notes of praise to parents in the students’ agenda books for
the month of February.
The children are responding in wonderful ways. —AB, Canada
E: “Caught” Being Kind — A giant paper baseball mitt is posted on a bulletin board. Paper baseballs are passed out for students to
write their names and kind acts on, and these are posted on the mitt for all the school students to see. —FL
E: Give a Dog a Bone — A giant dog made from a board and padding is hung in the hallway. As students are observed being kind,
their kind act is written on a paper bone and posted on the dog. —CO
H: RAK Shamrocks — Students wrote RAKs on cut-out shamrocks and hung them in the school hallway, since March is their RAK
month. —MI

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ONGOING KINDNESS PROGRAMS

E: Citizen of the Month — Teachers have begun recognizing students who commit RAKs. Each month, 21 students (one from each
class) are named Citizen of the Month by their fellow students, teachers, and staff for behaving kindly, thoughtfully, or demonstrating
strength of character. —OH
E: Ticket into Class — I teach sixth grade in a inner-city school. We have a 30% transience rate, which means, during the course of
one school year, 30% of our students will have moved in or out of our building. Facing this fact, I realized my students don’t have a say in
what happens to their lives, but they can have a say in how they react to their life.
In October, I showed a movie called “The Buttercream Gang” to my students. It was about a bunch of kids doing kind deeds in
their community. So I decided to challenge my students to do the same thing. In fact, I said that it was their “ticket into class” the next day,
they had to do one RAK in order to enter our classroom. Today, three months later, they are still doing one RAK daily in order to enter our
room. I haven’t told my students that they can’t enter the room if I’m not there to greet them and ask about their RAK. They simply wait out-
side the door for me to be there, and they tell me their RAK. It is great!
I have a wide range of students and abilities of students, and all my kids participate in this project. I love it! They do too. We
talked about why we continue with it...some kids were complaining, but we finally realized that if you want something to become a habit, it
is best if you practice it every day. —MN
E: International Connection — I run an after-school program with about 230 kids. I am starting RAK with them. My students will be
collecting items for an impoverished school in Haiti and doing RAK in a local project as well. —NY
E: Various Activities — This school emphasizes Random Acts of Kindness in their character Ed
“Kind words program. The students created a kindness chain of RAKs done; read a RAK each day over inter-
com; made cookies for senior center; made holiday cards for homebound seniors/Meals-on-Wheels;
can be short and
and made Valentines for veterans and for current members of the Army & Air Force. —MA
easy to speak but their
E: Kindness Nominations — This school has an extensive RAK program at their school, includ-
echoes are truly endless.” ing a RAK Club. Students are nominated by the staff for RAKs they have done; nomination forms
- Mother Teresa are due on 25th of each month. Each month, the nominated students receive something: a book,
inflatable pen, etc., and each student goes to microphone to explain what he or she did to earn the
nomination. On first of the month, students’ names and their RAKs go home in a newsletter to the
parents. Three times a year, there is a student recognition assembly, and each nominated student
receives a good citizenship certificate. One of their students suggested that the class with the most
RAKs gets a pizza party, so they are considering this as well. There is great enthusiasm and participation in their program. —NY
E: Caught Being Kind — This school recognizes kindness through a monthly drawing (“Caught Being Kind”), gives Beary Sweet
Kindness trophies to recipients, and made RAK Week banners (“Use your heart and mind... be kind”). —SD
E: Kindness Chain — Students at this school made a 360-foot-long kindness chain. Each link had an act of kindness written on it that
had been performed by a student. They hung the colorful chain throughout the school as a reminder of the power of many acts of kindness
and how kindness links us together. —NJ
E: Kindness Coupons — Schoolchildren received a coupon for acts of kindness — cleaning up, trying hard to finish all their work,
using manners, cooperating with other students and with adults. Students who accumulate 5 coupons got a “High 5” hand on the school
wall. Also, for each set of 5 coupons, each student received a prize. Students’ names were printed in the newsletter when they received 1,
2, 3, 4, or 5 coupons. The goal was for every student to have a “High 5” hand on the wall by the end of the school year.
E: RAK Buttons — Students performing a Random Act of Kindness receive a RAK button. When they see someone else doing a RAK,
they pass the button on to that person, and so on. —OH
E: RAK Fund — This school started a RAK Fund. They purchased school supplies for needy students; bought winter coats, jackets,
mittens, and hats for them; funded field trips for students who couldn’t afford fees; and funded cab rides to and from parent conferences for
parents with no transportation. This program secures outside funding for its projects. —WI
E: Kindness Bucket — I decorated a bucket with a koala face and called it our “Kindness Koala.” When a student sees another stu-
dent doing something kind, the student writes the kind act on a form and drops it in the bucket. I start each day by reading the kind acts
from the day before and discussing how they help our classroom be a welcoming, friendly place. Sometimes we discuss the various choic-
es that were available, why the student chose to do the kind act, and why the other student chose to report it to our “class koala.”
M: No Putdowns — A middle school uses RAK in their “No Putdowns” program. The guidance counselor discussed the need for
change with some students, who then took ownership of the idea and helped the student body adopt an ethos of kindness. It has been very
successful in reducing put-down behavior. —CO
M: Various Projects — Our Boys & Girls Club has made the 2001-2 school year a Kindness Year. We delivered donuts to firefighters;
created paper dolls for the children in hospitals around New York City who were affected by the terrorist acts; decorated city hall for Red
Ribbon Week; participated in a street cleanup; donated candy to a school Halloween party; and made patriotic pins for members of the
Boys & Girls Club administrative staff. —NY
M: Gratitude List — We are doing an ongoing “Gratitude List.” Every couple of days I ask the kids to list 3-5 things that they are grate-
ful for, sometimes tying it to the lesson. (I teach health.) For example, the day we discussed substance abuse (alcohol), most of the kids

15
shared their gratitude that none of their family members drank or that they had stopped drinking. Then we shared our ideas and added
them to the master list. Each addition to that list can only be mentioned once. At the end of January, when the semester ends, each stu-
dent will write a letter to his/her parents or guardian, thanking them for all that they have done. I also will write a brief note and explain the
attached master list. We are aiming for a couple hundred entries! I also am going to present each student with a “Blue Ribbon” achieve-
ment and give them extras to pass on to other friends, family, or community members. —NY
M: Kind Acts Hall of Fame — At a martial arts school, students are encouraged to perform 30 RAKs per month. With 2,000 schools
nationwide and 100 students per school doing 30 RAKs per month each, this equates to 6 million RAKs per month. (This would be a good
math exercise for students!)
Students log their RAKs in a journal and turn it into their instructor for review after they’ve logged 50 RAKs. Students who accu-
mulate 1,000 RAKs are entered into the “Kind Acts Hall of Fame.” —WI
M: Weekly drawing — Mystery guests catch students and teachers doing good things that get written down and entered into a weekly
drawing. Winners choose merchandise from the school store. —CO
M: Drawing — Students and staff report kind acts (especially students standing up to bullies) by submitting nominations to a box in
entry hall. In December, the drawing winner gets a CD boom box. —OH
H: Peer Outreach — Our peer outreach organization has adopted the RAK idea for the year. So far we have bought flowers for a
teacher, brought a box of donuts to a homeroom one morning, decorated the school with holiday decorations, baked cookies to give away
to students and staff (with a small RAK note attached), and have worked with the special needs students at our school on academic proj-
ects. We had RAK cards printed up so that we can write a little note when we do something kind for someone.
We will be going to the elementary schools soon to connect with the younger kids in our school district, and we will plan a RAK
activity with them. —Student, NH
H: Senior Buddies — A high school teacher arranged for his students to develop a relationship with senior citizens at a rest home, one
student per senior. They visited their senior companion every week during the school year and became very close. During the year, they
had to deal with the death of one of their senior buddies, and they all worked through that grief together.
At the end of the year, the students created cards on the computer for their senior buddy, with photos of the two together and a personal
letter to the senior buddy, improving their own computer abilities as they did so. They presented the cards to their senior buddies at a spe-
cial luncheon to bring closure to the year. —WA
H: “Make My Day” Committee — Teachers watch throughout the year for students who do kind acts or “make someone’s day” through
helpful behavior. At the end of the year, these students are rewarded with a special “Make My Day” lunch put on by the National Honor
Society students. —TN
H: Various Activities — Members of a service club adopted a snow leopard at zoo; collected
pop tabs in each homeroom for the Ronald McDonald House; helped monthly at a nursing home “We’re here for
with wheelchair patients, luau, and pumpkin painting; helped host the county’s Special Olympics a reason. I believe
bowling tournament and provided buddies, ceremonies, and awards; provided monthly lunch for a
a bit of the reason is to
women’s shelter, donating clothing and toiletries; sold cookie dough to raise funds for the American
Red Cross and the Make-a-Wish Foundation; volunteered at a haunted house for four evenings to throw little torches out to lead
help raise funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation; participated in three exchanges between city & people through the dark.”
suburban schools to help raise awareness, celebrate diversity, and promote community service & - Whoopi Goldberg
volunteerism. —PA
H: Secret RAK Society — A group of students are in my weekly program, which deals with
students at risk due to self-esteem issues. They have formed a secret society, and their mission is
to observe acts of kindness done by their classmates. At the end of the week, we will be awarding
certificates recognizing acts of kindness that have been given. We plan to keep this activity going
year round. —NS, Canada
A: Kindness Bookmarks — Students created kindness bookmarks for themselves and to give away as acts of kindness.
A: Various Activities — Students in this very large school district have posters on the walls, collect reference books (for mothers work-
ing toward a degree), and coloring books (for their children) for a family shelter. They also bring ice cream, soft drinks, chips, and cookies
to the shelter, because the kids don’t receive any of these things from government subsidies. The students leave this food at the shelter
anonymously during lunch hour when the resident children are not there.
Students also create tray favors for a huge medical facility in Houston. They create Mother’s Day cards for all the women in a
senior facility, under the assumption that by the time a woman reaches that age, she has mothered someone’s child somewhere!
To highlight three programs in this school district, they have a poster of a traffic light in their school hallways. Red means STOP
bullying, teasing, and name calling; yellow means CAUTION concerning online chatrooms; green means GO do Random Acts of Kindness
(to replace negative behavior with positive). —TX

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KINDNESS FOR CHOSEN CAUSES

E: Charity Collection — During RAK Week students brought in canned goods, paper goods & toiletry items to donate to a charity. —LA
E: Holiday Cards — Students made handmade holiday cards for senior citizens’ or veterans’ homes for the winter holidays, Valentine’s
Day, Veterans Day, etc.
E: Eyeglasses Collection — Students worked with the Lions Club to recycle used eyeglasses to help the less fortunate in other coun-
tries who need eyeglasses. —TX
E: Ornaments for Seniors — Students created holiday ornaments for a senior citizens’ home.
E: Birdhouse — Students built a birdhouse for a hospice or senior citizen’s home.
E: Quilts for Victims — Design and create quilt covers to be sewn by others and distributed to trauma victims.
E: Thank-you Cards — Create thank-you cards for public, school, or emergency workers.
E: Book Drive — Students collected over 650 books for children and youth and gave them to Head Start and family shelters. —NJ
E: Materials Collection — Collect yarn, fabric, etc., for people who sew or crochet for those in need.
E: Holiday Cheer — For the “Kindergarten Kindness 2001” project, students filled plastic holiday figures with gifts to be delivered to
needy children in Kentucky. Students also created happy holiday cards. —PA
E: Pop Tab Collection — A school collected pop can tabs from students, parents, businesses, etc. A parent built a tall, clear “house” to
put in the hallway so students can watch the tab level rise. Math students count the tabs before they pour them into the house. When the
house is full, they will take it to the recycler and donate the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald house.
E: Charity Donation — For two weeks, students in a class noted RAKs on slips of paper and
“A little kind- placing them in a classroom box. The families agreed to donate a nickel a slip. At the end of the two
ness from person weeks, students decided which charity would receive their donation. —OH
to person is better than H: International Connection — The students worked to provide holiday toys for some children
a vast love for all in Nicaragua. Their goal was to add shoes to the traditional toy drive. The angel tree had specific
humankind.” - requirements: no battery-operated toys and $5.00 for a pair of shoes.
Richard Dehmel With the cooperation of a couple of companies, one of which provided the freight, they provided
each child with a pair of tennis shoes and a toy. They helped 543 children in nine rural areas of
Nicaragua. —FL
H: Bingo Afternoon — Students visited a nursing home and played bingo with the recipients.
Afterward, they shared cake and refreshments, which the students had brought.
H: RAK Warmth — Students in a sewing class connected with a first grade class in another school. These first graders were quite poor,
and their families couldn’t afford to buy them jackets. So the members of this sewing class used fleece to make a hooded jacket for each
child. They met with their first grader and took the child’s measurements, and then they sewed up the jackets. Finally, they had a pizza
party with the first graders and presented them with their new jackets.
H: Animals in Need — I created a RAK project called “Animals in Need” to promote kindness to animals both domestic & wild. I hosted
a public event with speakers and publicity. I made many contacts and had a successful experience. At the time of my project I was fifteen.
Your Project Planning and Publicity Guides helped me greatly. I felt that I was more professional in my organization and dealing with com-
munity leaders. —Student, FL
A: Personal Care Items — Students collected sample-size toiletry items offered by hotels to take to an assistance center to be distrib-
uted to the poor and homeless. Since the homeless live from their bags or backpacks, small sizes work best. In just a few days, hundreds
of items were donated to the box in front of the school’s office. They delivered the items to the assistance center during RAK Week.
A: Seed Harvest — After reading about seed harvesting, students can harvest seeds from different flowers in fall & package them. In
the spring, they can give away the seeds or sell them, possibly for Earth Day. Donate proceeds to a homeless shelter or other charity the
students care about. One school bought evergreen seedlings in bulk and sold them, donating profits to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
A: Bicycle Drive — Have a bicycle drive for needy children who have no bicycle.
A: Blankets for Babies — Students in a Massachusetts school had a “Blankets for Babies” program. They collected money, bought
baby blankets, and gave them to infants living at a residential substance abuse treatment facility. They raised more than $250 and pre-
sented over 50 baby blankets to the facility.
A: Giving Tree — Create a Giving Tree for holidays. Coordinate with a local shelter for a list of names and suggested gifts. Then a
student selects a construction paper ornament with the name and gift written on it, and the student provides that gift, labeled with the
recipient’s name.
A: Spruce Up — Organize recycling or a neighborhood cleanup. Plant a tree and/or bulbs for spring.
A: Share Warmth — Students bring in mittens, scarves, hats, socks, etc., for those in need; younger students can decorate paper mit-
tens for display. Theme: sharing warmth with others.
A: Suitcases for Foster Children — A school collected suitcases for foster children. The students brought in toiletries like soap,
shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, and made cards for the recipients and put the items inside the suitcases before they were delivered to Child
Protective Services. They had hoped to collect one suitcase for each of the 46 foster children in their county, and they ended up with 78

17
suitcases and over $800 in donations. Parent volunteers repaired suitcases as needed, and students assembled the care packages. —OH
Along with personal items, another group put a stuffed animal inside each suitcase with a tag attached to it that said “You are
loved” or “We care about you.” —WV

RESPONSE TO TRAGEDY

Many schools responded to the September 11th tragedy, 2004 tsunami and 2005 hurricanes with kindness, random or planned. Through
this and other tragic events, we are all reminded of the power of kindness — how it moves us to action, inspires us to reach out and help,
and empowers us when we may feel helpless. In many ways, students led the way toward fitting remembrances and toward a kinder world.

Because students occasionally experience other kinds of tragedy, whether personal, school-wide, community, or national in nature, we
have included these project reports from among the many we received. Perhaps one can be adapted to fit a difficult situation your students
are experiencing.

E: Paper Cranes - We did some very large projects with the students creating origami cranes in remembrance of the 9/11 tragedy. --UT
E: Various Activities - Students at this school sent letters and gifts to service personnel in Afghanistan. They collected and donated
over 200 books for New York City students, and they collected and sent 250 teddy bears to students in the World Trade Center district.--NC
E: A Kiss for Kindness — Our Girl Scout troop got a proclamation and chose the theme “A Kiss for Kindness” this year. They gave “It’s
Your Turn” cards to the mayor and city commissioners with a Hershey Kiss and a request to do a kind deed the following week in honor of
the people who died on Sept 11th. —FL
E: Letters to a Hero — Students sent 100 letters to Mark Grillo, a New York City police officer injured in the terrorist tragedy. He later
visited their school that proclaimed him “our hero.” —OH
M: Various Activities — Students sent bottled water, gloves, and other supplies for rescue workers in New York; made red, white,
and blue bracelets and key chains to sell to raise money for victims’ aid funds; brought in dollars for aid to Afghan children; raised almost
$5,000 for victims’ funds at a “Salute America” event that included food, raffles, and performances by the school band and chorus. —RI
M: Fire Truck Fundraising — Students raised over $447,000 to help the fire department of New York City purchase a new fire truck
to replace a truck lost in the World Trade Center collapse. Fire trucks cost $354,000, so the FDNY received a fully loaded fire truck and a
special plaque for the fire department. —SC
H: Various Activities — A high school sponsored a Disaster Relief Drive and sent $610 to the American Red Cross in New York and
Washington, D.C. IN addition, each RAK Club member did ten RAKs on World Kindness Day, Nov. 13th. —AL
H: College Activities — College students strove to perform thousands of acts of kindness — one kind acts in memory of each of the
lives lost on Sept. 11th. They also collected donations for those victims still recovering in hospitals as a result of the attacks. —OH
A: Collecting Games — Our little club of eight children, ranging from ages 7 - 10, has been collecting games and making cards to send
to a school in Louisiana where children and teachers have been displaced by Katrina. The games will be used for indoor recess.

MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS

E: Holiday Project — Children’s RAK poems and drawings were assembled into a book for holiday gift-giving. —OH
E: Kindness And Conflict Resolution — As a guidance counselor in an elementary school for nearly 500 students, I am often request-
ed to address issues related to harassment or conflicts among students. In cases where students have a difficult time with traditional con-
flict resolution strategies, I’ve developed a different approach, using Random Acts of Kindness. The process is organized as follows:
First, I arrange for the group of children who are in conflict with one another other to have lunch with me. (Lunch serves as a non-
threatening time in which I can connect with students without pulling them from classes.) We arrange weekly lunches for at least six weeks.
Second, I read to them the book, Chicken Soup for Little Souls: The Goodness Gorillas (by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen).
This book illustrates a story of children in conflict and their effort to do RAK for others and for those with whom they are in conflict. We also
reference portions of the book, Kids’ Random Acts of Kindness.
Third, we work on RAK for others, first to those who are friends with group members, then to those within the group who are in
conflict with one another. Compliance with doing RAK is monitored with our weekly meetings. In the past, they formulate themselves into a
group working together, rather than students working against one another. —WI
E: Family Teams — Every Monday afternoon we rearrange the whole school into “Family Teams” comprised of students from kinder-
garten through sixth grade, with any siblings, cousins, etc., within the same group. Every adult in the school takes a group, so that the
size of each group is 12-13 students. In that venue, we talk about values, and we generally have a goal of the month. We also all read the
“Book of the Month.” Yesterday we read Miss Rumphius (by Barbara Cooney), which deals with the idea that a person can hold a lifetime
vision, and implies the difference one person can make in the world. One week we used the phrase “Practice random acts of kindness and
senseless acts of beauty.” Each team settled on one thing they would quietly do around the school to achieve the goal of kindness. —CA
H: Pass It On — Members of a leadership club held a RAK Car Wash, charging no money. They only asked that recipients pass the
kindness on. —CA

18
H: Underwear Drive — One group of youth collected new underwear for the homeless — two for each person. They called their project
“A Pair to Wear and a Pair to Spare.” Another youth group collected new underwear and socks for foster children.
H: Memory Book — High schoolers interviewed senior citizens about stories from their past. The students then created a special book
for each senior citizen containing his or her memories. —CA
H: City-wide RAK — Two students involved their school and the city of Lincoln with Random Acts of Kindness. They contacted every-
one in Lincoln: all 8 high school student councils, the mayor’s office for a proclamation, 100 restaurants, 7 bookstores, 7 community service
clubs, 4 banks, 10 senior facilities, 21 grocery stores, 5 libraries, over 50 elementary and middle schools, the children’s museum, a theater
company, and 10 churches. Restaurants had various promotions; the theater company donated prizes; the museum hung posters from a
poster contest; churches put names into a hat so others could draw a name and do something kind for that person; bookstores put up kind-
ness book displays; and banks served as drop-off sites for a teddy bear drive.
They honored people on each day of RAK Week — Mon: teachers; Tues: parents; Wed: government officials; Thurs: custodians;
Fri: employees. On Parent Day, these two students sold carnations after school at the wholesale price, 50 cents, with poems attached for
students to give their parents. This was very successful, and they sold out in ten minutes.
They contacted every community calendar in Lincoln and sent press releases to every TV station, newspaper, & radio station.
They were interviewed on TV and received publicity in all areas.
Even the fraternities and sororities at the university got involved because these two students contacted the president of student
senate, and he passed along the information to all the groups.
The students used the Gantt chart in our Project Planning Guide to plan the entire project.
One student said, “It just shows how if you really want to make a difference, even if you’re just in high school, you can.” -- NE

“Don’t wait
SIMPLE, ALL-SCHOOL IDEAS for people to be
kind, show them how.”
Some educators are opposed to students being rewarded for kind acts, feeling that students should not
receive any other reward than internal good feelings. We believe that there is room for both internal and - Anonymous
external rewards. We reward our children for good behavior in many ways — with hugs, encouraging
words, and sometimes awards. Kindness should be no exception. When students practice kindness often
(for whatever reason), they will eventually discover the internal reward — the “helper’s high.” And as they
look for ways to be kind, they develop the awareness of others’ feelings that is required for empathy to develop.
Following are some ways that schools have incorporated kindness in very simple ways. As one principal said, “Our kindness ‘pro-
gram’ is very simple, but it sure works.”

E: Visit to the Principal — Students who are observed being kind are given a kindness referral to the principal. The principal greets
them, congratulates them with a handshake, and awards them a piece of candy.
E: Drawings — The names of students observed being kind are entered in a weekly drawing for a small treat or toy. Then all the names
collected (not just those who won the weekly drawing) are entered into a monthly drawing (with several winners) for lunch with the principal.
E: Happy Grams — Give “Happy Grams” to students caught doing something kind.
E: Announcements — The names of students who are observed being kind are read over the PA system every morning and are print-
ed in the school newsletter that goes home.
E: Traveling Token — A special token (small stuffed animal, paper mascot or star, etc.) travels around each classroom as kind acts are
done. When a student is observed being kind, the token stays on his or her desk until the next kind act is done. If the token is made out of
card stock or heavy paper, each student who receives it can sign the back. As each paper token is “retired” (i.e., filled with signatures), it is
displayed in the hallway, with signatures showing, and a new token is put into play.
M: Discussion and Reflection — During an in-class discussion, students report and discuss kind acts that were done by one another
when a teacher may not have been present. The class discusses these kind acts, why each was important, and how both the giver and
recipient felt, as well as the reporter of the kind act (since reporting a kind act is a kind act in itself).
M: Note to Parents — When a student is observed being kind, the teacher surprises the student by mailing a note to the parents or
guardians, reporting the kind act to them and commending the student’s kindness. The student is awarded a kindness certificate at the next
school assembly.
H: RAK Coupons — Students who are observed being kind are given a “$1 off” coupon to be used at the student store. Their names
are scrolled on an outside sign by a busy road. Their parents receive a hand-written card about their child’s act of kindness.
A: A Heart for RAK — Students who are observed being kind are awarded a heart (cut from card stock or construction paper). The
student’s name and a description of the kind act are written on the heart, and the heart is posted with others in an all-school hallway dis-
play. Other shapes can be selected instead, such as stars, leaves (on a tree), suns, smiley faces, etc.
A: Kindness Webpages — Create school kindness webpages from one of the simple templates on our website. Announce your RAK
activities, post photos, and find other kindness schools around the country with which to connect.

Special thanks to the many educators and students who continually share their kindness activities and reflections with us so that we may
pass them on. Keep those ideas and experiences coming!
19
do
“Each person has inside a basic
decency and goodness. If he listens
to it and acts on it, he is giving a
great deal of what it is the world
needs most.”
- Pablo Casals
kindness
Teachers’ Corner - Shared Ideas

1. Random Acts of Kindness Papers


Submitted by Beth, Wisconsin
Submit your classroom
kindness activities A number of years ago, after the Columbine High School shooting, I had read how even
at the Teachers’ Corner talking about kindness made a difference in people’s lives. I asked my students to do
an act of kindness for someone, write it up, and hand it in bi-weekly. Students were not
on the Education page, graded on this “assignment.”
or directly to us at
info@actsofkindness.org The paper they handed in needed to have three components. They needed to:

This is a growing document, • Describe what they had done for someone
• Describe the reaction of the recipient (they could not tell the recipient this
and you may see your own was an “assignment”)
activity here soon! • Write down how doing their act of kindness made them feel.

I randomly read some of the papers to the class without identifying the “doer.” I kept all
the papers that were handed in during the year.

During the last week of classes, I handed the papers back to the students. The class-
room was very quiet as the students relived their Random Acts of Kindness. They did
make a difference in people’s lives.

Practice 2. Pennies with a Purpose


Random Acts Submitted by Raquel, New Jersey

of Kindness™ Each classroom is given a plastic 32-ounce pretzel jar. The goal is to collect only pennies
and put them in the jar. When the jar is full, the class is given another one. The money
collected will be given to Habitat For Humanity.

The purpose of this project is to show that one small act (symbolized by a penny) can
grow into many good acts. One good kind act can grow into many acts of kindness. It is
amazing to see how much money has been collected just with pennies.

This is also a good project for math problems (guess how many pennies are in the jar,
how much does the jar weigh, etc.). The project has been very successful.

3. Dancing for Smiles


Submitted by E-Dee, Colorado
The Random Acts of
On a Saturday, members of my dance performance team hosted an entertainment pro-
Kindness™ Foundation gram at an assisted living community. The dancers, ages 6 and up, are looking forward
to sharing an afternoon of dance, fun, and smiles with the residents of the center.
1727 Tremont Place
Denver, CO 80202 Two groups were brought together—what a wonderful opportunity for kids and adults to
800-660-2811 share the benefits of Random Acts of Kindness.
Fax: 303-297-2919
info@actsofkindness.org
www.actsofkindness.org

1
4. Valenkind’s Day
Submitted by Susan

I am the advisor of our school’s PEPP Club (Peers Educating Peers Positively), and we are sponsoring a
Kindness Awareness Week. We have several activities planned.

1. Students are creating bumper stickers with messages & quotes of kindness to place throughout the school.

2. The week before Valentine’s Day, students are selling carnations along with a Heartprint—a card that will
leave a kind message or thought for another student. These will be delivered on the day we call Valenkind’s
Day.

3. Proceeds from our sale will be donated to “Pennies for Patients,” which is a national fund raiser for the leu-
kemia & lymphoma society.

5. The Golden Rule


Submitted by Judy, Ontario

At the independent girls’ school , St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School that I work at as Director of External
Studies, I am planning an activity for my grade 11 girls.

There are two parts to the activity. All girls in the grade (35 students) will be invited to perform a Random Act
of Kindness between December 9-17th. On December 9th, when introducing this activity, we will discuss what
IS a Random Act of Kindness.

On December 17th we will record and share our acts, having a few special awards for the most notable acts.
(We will decide on a criteria for “most notable” on the 9th of December.)

Then we will all write one kind statement about each girl in the grade. All of these statements will be placed
in a festive decorated lunch bag for each girl to take home with her for the holidays.

I am calling the activity The Golden Rule to demonstrate that if you treat others how you would like to be
treated, kindness and good things generally happen.

I am really looking forward to this initiative.

6. Kindness Bulletin Board


Submitted by Toni, Missouri

I am creating a Kindness Bulletin Board. We will brainstorm ideas for kind things to do unexpectedly for peo-
ple... people who would not expect students to do a favor/kindness for them. We will put these ideas on the
board, and when a student does one, they will sign their name on the act that is posted on the board.

Hopefully, by the end of the year, all of the brainstormed acts will have at least one signature on them to sig-
nify that someone acted in that manner for someone. Students will enjoy being able to write their name to be
posted on the bulletin board.

7. Kindness Connects Us All


Submitted by Sue, New York

Right now I am getting a kindness activity going for our school. I am calling it “Kindness Connects Us All.”
When the kids are caught being kind, they get to design a pre-cut-out person shape that will be displayed
throughout the school, hopefully connecting one end of the building to the other. This activity will keep us
busy for a while.

8. RAK Sightings!
Submitted by Jill, Kentucky

I am a therapist in an alternative high school in Buckner, KY. The majority of kids are high school age; we
have a few middle school kids. Since the first day of school, we have been recognizing Random Acts of
Kindness (RAKs) observed by both students and staff. I have a large envelope outside my door that the stu-
dents and staff write about the RAK that they have observed and who they observed doing the RAK.

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Each morning I fill out a certificate that says: Therapeutic Hug presented to (student or staff) for (doing
whatever they were seen doing). I handwrite “RAK” on the certificate and also include the date. Each morn-
ing, usually with a student, I hand out the RAKs during homeroom. We are working on printing up a new cer-
tificate (without the Therapeutic Hug part; it was all that I had at the time, and it has taken off!).

Initially, most of the notes in the envelope were written by staff members, but now the majority of them are
written by students, which is really cool. Some teachers decorate the area outside their door with the certifi-
cates, some decorate a bulletin board in their room, and some of the students (and staff) hang their RAKs
around their homeroom desk or on the wall near their area.

In August we handed out 111 RAKs, and in September we handed out 237, for a total of 348! Being an alter-
native school, we often have some really tough days (as does every school, I know), and sometimes I don’t
always look forward to the new days, especially after a really rough one.

But when I see all the great “little” things that are going on in other areas of the school, while I might be in
crisis mode all day, it really reminds me of the big picture. I also remember that both staff and students are
recognizing kindness, and there is an abundance of kind acts happening all around us here at school on a
daily basis. And these are supposed to be the “difficult” kids!!

For the most part, the entire school has embraced the RAK intervention. Only one student has reacted nega-
tively; even the toughest/hardest kids have responded well to being recognized for RAKs. Most of them aren’t
even aware of the RAK they are observed doing. Many of them want to know who put it in the envelope.
Usually I just smile and say that I don’t know (and often I don’t; the notes are supposed to be anonymous).

But for the notes that are signed or if I recognize the handwriting, I often give the observer/writer a little
wink to let them know that I know they just passed on the kindness by writing down their observation.

It has worked out really well for us and has been a lot of fun. Good luck!

9. School-Wide Kindness
Submitted by Kelly, Washington

As a school counselor, I try to do a school wide project every year at our elementary school. I received infor-
mation about your foundation and thought I could base my school wide project on Random Acts of Kindness.
So here is how it works.

I. We have bi-monthly themes that give us a focus for our Random Acts of Kindness:
• Sept/Oct: citizenship and friendship
• Nov/Dec: older adults and family
• Jan/Feb: community and other schools
• Mar/Apr: school staff and volunteers
• May/Jun: animals and community as a whole

II. I teach a school wide lesson in every classroom the first week of every month, related to the above
themes.
• Oct: The power of unkind words and how they leave “crinkles” in our hearts.
• Nov: Woven thank-you flags that are sent to the local veterans hospital. Read the book The Wall by
Eve Bunting.
• Dec: Lesson on diversity among families and situations, in conjunction with food drive.
• Jan: Peace Cranes, in conjunction with an elementary school in Taiwan. We will make origami peace
cranes with peace messages on them and send them to our host school in Taiwan.

The other months are in formulation at this time. We’ll be working with the humane society sometime in May
and working with community people for some of the other lessons. I just adapt the same lesson to fit all stu-
dents at our school so they are learning the same message.

III. RAK Club: This is a club for third through fifth graders. The club is based on service learning and com-
munity service. The kids have a three-step process (some writing, some getting signatures from staff mem-
bers and signing a contract) to be part of the RAK Club. (I can send you more information or examples if
needed.)

Through this process, I get responsible kids who are going to make the club successful. The kids in the club
will brainstorm some service learning projects, and then we will implement them. Another thing they will do

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is to deliver the items that the school wide lessons produce to the people in need (e.g., pictures to senior
homes, etc.).

The kids get special things for being in the club as well. They receive badges that are similar to our “security
badges” that the staff wear. They also get special surprises. I had a local farm donate small pumpkins for all
the students in the RAK Club, so they are in on the receiving end of RAK as well.

IV. RAK Weekly Awards: I have staff and students on the lookout for RAKs throughout the week. They
have nomination forms to nominate students that they see doing RAKs around the school. Staff members are
also awarded RAKs, and parent volunteers can be nominated as well.
The awards are announced over the intercom on Friday mornings with a RAK announcement or reminder. The
child receives an award, a candy treat, and their picture is taken. The picture is put on a construction paper
brick with their name and RAK. Each week the kids are seeing that brick wall grow, and they want their face
and RAK on the wall. I am hoping to cover a large area by the end of the school year.

V. Buddy System: I had teachers buddy up with a needy student who needs extra attention or support.
They agreed to eat lunch with their buddy once a month to check in and see how they are doing.

VI. Staff RAKs: To increase RAKs and morale among the staff, the principal and I are always providing
RAKs for the staff. A local coffee stand offered to come to the school and make all the teachers’ lattes/coffee
drinks one morning. Another thing we are going to do is randomly give a teacher an extra half hour and take
over their class so they can have some extra time one day.

Teachers actually do not have a lot to do with this project, when it comes down to it. I think that is why
it has been successful so far this year. They just support the program that I am running and continue the
teaching in their classroom once I have left for the month. It really has been great.

I hope this gives you more of an explanation of our project. There is definitely more to it, but that is at least
the skeleton of the project.

Follow-up about getting the staff involved:

I have gotten the whole staff involved and on board. We are using Random Acts of Kindness as a school wide
project throughout the entire year. It is our main and primary focus. There are quite a few branches of how
that is being implemented throughout the school.

The staff has been receptive to the idea because I end up doing a lot of the work and they just help me
implement. There is one schoolwide lesson I teach to all grades each month. Once I teach the lesson, they
use my offshoot ideas to continue the teaching of the idea for the month. There is RAK club, and its main
purpose is to do service learning projects. Teachers help provide adult chaperones for field trips, etc. We have
weekly RAK awards that everyone at the school can be awarded (staff included).

You just need someone willing to take the time to implement and do the leg work, because teachers have
enough to do.

10. 40 Acts of Kindness


Submitted by Renee, Maryland

I am an art teacher and I have one to share. Last year was our school’s 40th anniversary. We were brain-
storming ideas to celebrate the occasion, and I suggested that it might be nice to honor our school with “40
Acts of Kindness.” I couldn’t believe how well received it was!

I asked each staff member to organize one project alone, schoolwide, or within his/her class. I painted a
huge mural of a “Giving Tree” (from Shel Silverstein’s book), and I put up a pink heart shape labeled for each
act of kindness that was undertaken by students and staff. It looked beautiful, and the principal was so proud
of the project that she wrote it up and we won a “Good Neighbor Award” for our school.

Some of the projects included:


• chorus visiting a nursing home
• silent auction of children’s art work, which raised $350 for Kids Helping Hopkins program
• jump-a-thon for American Heart Association
• pen pals with a senior center
• Valentine cards for vets
• food, clothing, toy drives, etc.
• litter patrol

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The most rewarding part for me came at the end of the year at the fifth grade assembly. Each student spoke
about his or her favorite Harford Hills memory, and some of the kids mentioned their act of kindness!

This year, I want to do something with the idea of “Kindness Grows.”

11. Drive-by Flowering


Submitted by Shannon, Wisconsin

I lived in a very small town growing up, and my friends and I had to be very creative to alleviate boredom.
One night, we decided to do a “drive-by flowering.” We went to a few different fields and gathered bunches
of wildflowers until they filled my family’s van (not just with flowers... also with dirt... so be careful!).

Then we drove to our friends’ and teachers’ houses and left flowers tucked under the wiper blades of their
cars and hanging from their front doorknobs.

It was an unforgettable night... but unfortunately my strongest memory of that evening was coming home
and having my parents automatically assume I was up to no good.

As parents we need to remember that, in order for our teenagers to trust us, we have to trust them as well.
(NOTE: This activity could be used within the school, or on a neighboring street if students had permission
to leave campus for a short while).

12. Random Acts of Kindness Week


Submitted by Pat, New York

Chestnut Hill Middle School enthusiastically celebrated Random Acts of Kindness Week. It came at a perfect
time of year as we remember those we love and extend that love out to the world. The Student Council and
Mr. R, their advisor, spearheaded a week of great activities. Just check out all that happened.

Our students, faculty, and staff were very busy finding creative ways to let others know that they matter.
Each homeroom took on a special project.

One homeroom collected children’s books that will be used in the courthouse. The Commission of Justice for
Children at the Courthouse sends each child home with a book. Some students collected food and others met
needs for the SPCA. Still others collected baby items to be donated to a program that helps mothers in need.

This is always a difficult time for those who are hungry. One classroom collected food for the food pantry.
Mrs. M’s community skills class collected pennies for the hospital. Mrs. A’s homeroom visited Chestnut Hill
Elementary and read to Ms. K’s and Ms. S’s classes.

Our music department and the very talented CHMS students hosted a brunch and concert for the staff.
Balloons and individually decorated place mats welcomed us as we entered. The leftover balloons were donat-
ed to the nursing home for a special luncheon. Ms. O’s home and career classes worked creatively to make
picture frames that would decorate the walls of some senior citizens at the nursing home.

The 8 Red team made warm fuzzies that acknowledged the acts of thoughtfulness by their classmates. Not
to be outdone, the teachers had their own way to let students know that their good acts were noticed. They
gave out tickets that recognized students who were “Caught in the Act of Being Kind.”

On Wednesday, all the students were treated to a multimedia production entitled “Common Ground.” The
STOP DWI Program sponsored it through a grant. It underscored the themes of personal responsibility, work-
ing together to make a difference, and most importantly, getting involved.

All in all, it was a great week. We are proud of our CHMS community. As we extended ourselves, we discov-
ered in the process the real purpose of Valentine’s Day and Random Acts of Kindness Week. It was a memo-
rable experience.

13. Letters to Inspire Smiles


Submitted by Claire

Most children love to write and receive letters from friends. How about getting the students to write letters to
other students, not necessarily to their friends, which would make the receivers’ day.

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Or get all the students in the class to write something they like about each student in the class, then get
them all back and write a list of everything the other students wrote about that student and give it to the
student. I got a list from of my year 4 class members, and I’ve still kept it, and it still makes me smile.
(Note from The RAK Foundation: We have a special sheet you can print out on our graphics webpage for this
purpose if you wish. The link is: http://www.actsofkindness.org/file_uploads/graphics/37_pdf.pdf)

Both these activities help the students make more friends and realize that they are loved and appreciated.

14. Random Acts of Kindness Journals


Submitted by Laura, Louisiana

After performing an act of kindness, my fourth grade students reflect in a classroom journal. They describe
what they did and how what it meant to the receiving person.

Once every student has written in the journal, we have a kindness party, and the students take turns reading
their entries. We also have snacks and drinks while we listen.

15. Involving Students in Kindness


Submitted by Cathy, California

Greetings from southern California! I teach middle school (7th grade) English and Social Studies. I have 47
students in two classes. We will be celebrating World Kindness Week in November in several ways, at least
one of which will be ongoing.

I. Students have started picking up Kindness Slips from me to fill out and return. I got this idea from your
website. They describe briefly an act of kindness they did for someone else and then turn the slip in.

At the end of the year I will pass these back to the students for them to re-read and reflect on. Already, a
few students have asked, “Would such and such be considered an act of kindness?”

During our meeting time at the start of class, we have opened it up for discussion. One student wondered
if it “qualified” that he had given his little brother some of his Halloween candy. On the surface I thought,
of course, but the student looked troubled. When the entire story came out, he told us the candy given was
only candy which he himself didn’t like! This made for a lively discussion.

Another student was troubled that he didn’t know what kind thing he could do for his brother, because his
brother was going through a “rough 8-year-old stage,” as he put it. Even though he knew he was not com-
pelled to do an act of kindness for his brother, it was clear that this was the person he really wanted to do
something nice for. This was a cool discussion too, because he wanted to do something nice for a difficult
person. Hooray!

II. In our studies of both literature and social studies, we are learning about people during the Middle Ages
on many continents. Each student will be given a card stock “quilt square” on which they must depict some-
one’s kind act from either a character in a story we’ve read, or an honoring type of custom we have learned
about in social studies.

Their squares will be made into a large class quilt to be displayed throughout the year. We plan to place it in
the office during the month our grade level is in charge of the bulletin board.

III. Using your graphics, I have made bookmarks for each of my students, which I plan to hand out on
Nov. 13th, World Kindness Day. (Note from RAK Foundation: The link to the free graphics page is: http://
www.actsofkindness.org/inspiration/graphics.asp).

16. RAK Clubs


Submitted by Dr. Jean Allen, Tristan’s Quest

Our non-profit organization works with children with behavioral and emotional challenges. In the fall of last
year we got a grant and started two Random Acts of Kindness Clubs in two of the self-contained classrooms
in our school system.

What a marvelous experience! We have seen young, little lives be turned around because of our program.

This year I am proud to say that we got funded again for the RAK Club program and have added one addi-

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tional classroom at another school. We have had two articles in our local newspaper and the children are well
into their kindness activities this year!

All three schools where we have a Random Acts of Kindness Club will be celebrating World Kindness Week,
and our kids are getting a chance to be leaders in a schoolwide activity!

We put together a graphics presentation about all of the clubs’ activities last school year and have shown it to
various organizations and faith groups here in our community. We shared the success of our RAK Club model
with many special education teachers at the 53rd North Carolina Exceptional Children’s Conference last week.

We are gaining momentum here! Kindness...pass it on!

17. Calendars and “Passing It On” with Second Graders


Submitted by Maria, California

I’ve been using several of the free graphics downloads in my second grade classroom. We are using the Pass
It On cards to show how kindness spreads. The kids get excited seeing how their kind acts get passed on.

We are also using the kindness calendars. I’ve made monthly calendar journals. We read the daily kindness
idea and use it as writing prompt each day. (Note from RAK Foundation: The link to the free graphics page
is: http://www.actsofkindness.org/inspiration/graphics.asp).

18. World Kindness Week: Kindness Cards


Submitted by Karen, Georgia

We celebrated World Kindness Week at Stone Mountain Middle School. The Peer Helpers sponsored the activi-
ties by creating colorful posters advertising Random Acts of Kindness and hanging them around the school.
We also printed some of your free downloads and laminated them on colored paper.

Each day the morning announcements encouraged the students and faculty to “get caught” doing a RAK, and
if they did “get caught,” they would receive a card from a Peer Helper. I was informed that kids were coming
up to the Peer Helpers and telling the Helpers they did a RAK, and could they have a card? The Peer Helpers
said they saw kids who never do kind acts actually being kind in order to get a card!

The faculty and staff had fun with it and have asked to continue passing on the kindness cards even after
World Kindness Week was over. We will make another announcement that, although World Kindness Week is
over, we would like to continue passing kindness on throughout the year! It was a lot of fun!

19. Plus Signs for RAK


Submitted by Kim Marie, New York

We modified some of the ideas on your website. We created plus (+) signs for all our students, and con-
structed one large plus sign with our three grade levels and our teachers. When we “caught” students per-
forming a random act of kindness, we put two hands shaking on their lockers.

On Wednesday, the Pepsi Co. will sponsor a Quest for Respect assembly in our auditorium. We are planning
to pick one student from each grade level and one teacher’s name from the nominees caught doing kindness
and hand out a prize.

20. Incognito Students for RAK


Submitted by Chad, high school student, Alabama

We usually try to make the day of a person who is down better. We usually know what is going on because we
have a small high school of about 500 people including staff.

We give cards on everyone’s birthday and give gifts, such as candles and other neat things to students and
teachers having a rough time.

Our latest gift was to a teacher that is having a baby and was put on bed rest. We gave her and a husband a
gift certificate to a local restaurant.

We sign everything we give “RAK.” No one knows what that means, and suspense is building at Deshler High

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School. The cool thing is no one knows who is in it, either. We even have our own hand signals and hand-
shake; it is so much fun.

We learned about RAK from a cool teacher, Mrs. Turner. It is our third block class that started it, and so far,
that is all that is in it.

21. RAK Bookmarks


Submitted by Kay, Minnesota

I pass Random Acts of Kindness bookmarks out to children that I have observed doing Random Acts of
Kindness in the elementary school in which I work. The children who have received one are the envy of all,
and the others want to know how to get one. It presents an opportunity to speak to the child about kind
acts that go above and beyond the norm, without sounding “preachy.”

22. All-School Kindness Program


Submitted by Cabrini, Colorado

The school year is going so well at Mountain View Elementary. So far, my schoolwide efforts to encourage
kind acts and good deeds is paying off. Every classroom was asked to perform a kind act sometime during
the school year and document it in a writing publication of their choice.

One that I wanted to share with you came from our third grade classrooms. They are doing a mitten drive.
They advertised with posters around the school and in the newsletters. Outside of their classrooms is a
Christmas tree where mitten and glove donations are hanging. I thought this was a great idea!

23. Kindness Jar


Submitted by Jacki, California

As a teacher of four-year-old preschoolers, I wanted to bring the concept of kindness to a level they could
understand. I saw an article in a magazine about a Kindness Jar and instituted it.

We start with a clear plastic peanut butter jar. The first month of school I write down acts of kindness on
sticky notes and read them at circle time, and the children put them in the jar. As the jar gets fuller, I chal-
lenge them, “Can we fill it up? Can you find someone doing a kind thing? Did you do something kind today?”

The jar fills, and I bring in a gallon jar and we dump in our notes. After Christmas we start focusing on spe-
cific acts of kindness: kindness to animals, our friends at school, our family, our neighbors, ourselves, the
earth.

Before long they are running up to me outside and in the classroom, asking me to write down things they
have observed or done. I then start encouraging them to write them down. They scribble a few letters and
then explain it.

The joy on their faces as they do kind acts and get “caught” saying kind things is worth a million dollars.
Christmas tree where mitten and glove donations are hanging. I thought this was a great idea!

24. 100 Acts of Kindness


Submitted by L. Davis & C. Adams, Iowa

Though respect of one another is part of every daily curriculum, to spark the midyear slump, my partner and
I used this activity to help celebrate the 100th day of school.

We made a large poster in the shape of the number 100 to hang in the hall outside of our rooms. Several
weeks before the 100th day of school, we would role play and discuss acts of kindness toward others.

Two weeks before the big day, we would announce open season on acts of kindness. We encouraged the chil-
dren to recognize acts of kindness by others.

Each time they saw a classmate or friend engaged in an act of kindness, they would tell us and then be
allowed to put a smiley sticker and their friend’s name on the poster. The students couldn’t name them-
selves, only others.

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It was always easy to reach our goal of 100 acts of kindness. This made a profound difference in behavior,
relationships, and outlook. It was a great activity that we worked on every year. We would often have chil-
dren from other classes approach us and ask to put up a name.

25. Valentine’s Day Kindness Week


Submitted by Claire, Texas

I am chairman of the Spiritual, Character, Citizenship Education committee of Space Center Intermediate
School in Houston, Texas. This is a new committee for PTA, which I think is an exciting step forward!

This year and last we had a Valentine’s Day Kindness Week where the students (or teachers) nominated oth-
ers for doing an act of kindness. These ballots were entered in a drawing for prizes at the end of the week.
The winners were announced over the loudspeaker and brought to the office to collect their prizes. Some
examples of the entries are:

“She helped me pick up my stuff when it fell in the hall.”


“I am a new student from China. She helps me with English. She is a good friend.”
“She always helps people and became my friend when I was new here.”
“Smiles at me in the hallway.”
“He is my only friend.”
“She brightens my day.”
“Is nice to people and sticks up for people.”
“Leaves his friends to sit with students who are alone at lunch.”

When we had this last year, it was right after the Columbia shuttle tragedy, and many students went together
and nominated Tal Ramon (his father was one of the astronauts who perished), and he won! It brought a
smile to Tal’s face but also to the girl who nominated him.

My goal in setting up this Valentine program was to get more students involved in Valentine’s Day and
emphasize kindness to others rather than romantic love.

26. Kindness Community Outreach


Submitted by Betsy, Indiana

In early December, I contacted the director of our local food pantry. She was down to five cans of food on the
shelves.

Our Kids Care Club began a can drive for the next two weeks. We made it a contest between classes, with
the prize being an ice cream party. At the end of the campaign, we had collected over 4,000 cans of food. On
December 14th, the kids stayed after school to help load the food. I heard remarks like, “Some child won’t
go hungry now.”

We have another project for March for the food pantry. We are sponsoring a soup supper and canned food
drive. We have opened our project to the public, and many local business have donated items for the supper.
We hope to sell at least 500 tickets to the event. A local bank has offered to be a drop-off site for canned
goods for us.

The children also had a read-a-thon and collected $221 to give to our local Angel Tree Project.

27. Kindness Tree


Submitted by Marine Creek Elementary School, Texas

I am forwarding to you two pictures we took of our “Kindness


Tree” during RAK Week. As part of kindness and caring, our
students were read Heartprints, by P. K. Hallinan.

All students and staff were given heart-shaped construction


paper which read, “You left a heartprint today!” These heart-
prints were joyously given around the school and some taken
home. Many were attached to the Kindness Tree.

It was a wonderful week and really has helped improve the


students’ relationships with one another.

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28. Kindness In Bloom
Hatcher Elementary School, Kentucky

Hatcher Elementary will encourage each individual classroom to design and complete a large group act of
kindness for Random Acts of Kindness week.

I. We will acknowledge individual acts of kindness by using leaves and attaching them to the tree trunk by in
a hall. Each class will be given enough leaves for each child to have one per day to start. More will be avail-
able as needed. Each leaf should have the student’s name, date of act, and a one sentence description of
the act. Acts may be committed anywhere, anytime, for anyone. The idea is to practice showing kindness.
Teachers will continue to encourage and acknowledge acts of kindness throughout the remainder of the year.

II. We will also be using Kindness Buttons by giving three to each classroom on Monday of that week. The
idea is that whoever gets the button first will pass it on to anybody who commits or shows a random act to
the person who has the button.

Other Activities:
III. The fourth grade class is doing Kindness Pizza. Each student receives individual pizzas cut into 8 slices.
For each act of kindness the student does, the receiver signs a piece of pizza. When all students have com-
pleted all eight slices, each student gets to sign his/her name on a slice of pizza displayed in the hallway.
When all students have signed their name on the hallway pizza by Friday, the class will receive a pizza party.

IV. Students from three primary classrooms are visiting the police and fire stations during Random Acts of
Kindness Week. To show appreciation for these community servants who put themselves in danger every day
to protect us, we are providing a “cookies and milk” treat. While there, we will tour the facilities and discuss
firefighting and law enforcement careers.

V. One class made treat bags for the hospital. They brought in money, and the teacher bought the items
to put in their bags. Young and old residents of this hospital received treat bags. The bags were white and
decorated with hearts, get well messages, flowers, and a rainbow. Inside were pencils, puzzles, a pen, memo
pads, tissues, hand sanitizer, candy, a toy ambulance, a sticker, and a watch in a little case with a picture of
a train. The recipients of these bags were delighted, and one wrote a five-page letter back to the students,
thanking them and letting them know how she used each item.

29. Kindness Ideas


Submitted by The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation staff

In an article called “Recognition Makes a Difference,” Ron Jones shares many ways to recognize students and
staff members. We felt that quite a few—perhaps all—of these ideas could be adapted into Random Acts of
Kindness. Fortunately, both the author and the magazine staff generously gave us permission to share these
ideas with you.

Following is a list of ways you might either show appreciation to others or spread some cheer to people
you meet during the day. It might be fun to take some low-cost mementos and attach a note to each one.
For instance, you could attach cards to inexpensive key chains that say “Thanks for your Random Act of
Kindness. You are the key to a kinder world.”

See what variations or applications come to mind as you read this list. If you think of something, please e-
mail it to info@actsofkindness.org so we can share it with everyone!

A thank-you note that is both personal and specific


An inexpensive memento, sold in bulk at party supply stores, such as the Oriental Trading Company, and
other sources known to teachers. A memento might be a pencil, pen, key chain, squeeze ball, button, or
other appropriate item. Some examples: a vinyl frog: “When I think of kindness, you leap to mind.” A small
ruler or tape measure: “Kindness rules!” A musical note-shaped notepad: “Kindness puts the music in our
lives.” A key chain with a tiny globe: “Kindness connects the world.” A flower: “Kindness helps us bloom!”
Treats (for people you know), which might include candy, cupcakes, fruit, cookies, drinks, granola bars,
etc. A neighboring teen attending college, or a parent returning to college, might appreciate a box of various
munchies.
Candy bars with notes attached for people you know. For instance, Power Bars (“You understand the
power of kindness… thank you!”), Symphony Bars (“Your kindness is music to the soul!”), Kudos (“Kudos to
you for the kindness”), 100 Grand Bars (“Your kindness was worth so much to me!”), Lifesavers (“You saved
the day with your kindness!”), etc.

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Posters and flyers. Janice Margot, a teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in New Jersey,
takes a photo of students who have been observed doing a kind act. The photo is glued to a page that says:
“WANTED… Caught Being Kind!” These notices, with the students’ photos, are posted in the main office win-
dows and around the school.
Notice or article in the school paper, or an announcement in school bulletin or over P.A. system.
A helium balloon, a card, and a bag of treats to students on their birthday or half-birthday (for those with
summer birthdays).
Names displayed on a bulletin board or on a wall in a creative design (rainbow, cut-out bricks, people,
hearts, stars, feathers, leaves on a tree, etc.)
A thank-you or notice in the local community newspaper.
For special recognition, a collage of a student’s photo, schoolwork or explanation, and certificate in
enclosed bulletin board. A variation of this: students could write a kind comment about everyone in the class.
Then these comments could be printed on different colored paper, cut out, and a collage made for each stu-
dent with a photo in the middle. Hang them in the hall for parents’ night!
A memento or treat with a note commending students who have done a kindness that would normally go
unrecognized.
Personalized items for every student and staff member, posted on the walls of the school. They can
include individual construction paper cutouts of shamrocks, snowflakes, autumn leaves, or other item, per-
sonalized with each person’s name, and taped to the wall. Students enjoy finding their own name on the wall
and often retrieve the items and collect them.
This idea could be modified with a kindness theme. For instance, the personalized items could be color-
ful, cutout people and the theme be “Kindness Connects Us All.” With stars, the theme could be “Kindness
Lights Up Our World.”
Buttons with a kindness slogan on them. (Del Oro High School uses Badge-a-Minit supplies to make but-
tons, and students put the various recognition buttons on their backpacks.)
Attractive cards that have kindness quotes on them.
Stickers: address labels on which compliments or a thank-you is written.
Our thanks to both Ron Jones, retired activities director and leadership teacher at Del Oro High School
in California, and Learning Magazine for allowing us to use the ideas in the article “Recognition Makes a
Difference,” by Ron Jones, Learning Magazine, March 2003 (Vol. 31, No. 7), p.16-19. For more information
on NASSP student activities programs, please contact 800-253-7746 or visit www.nasc.us.

30. Kindness Rainbow


Submitted by Miriam

The students in our school are building a “Rainbow of Random Acts of Kindness.” Students bring in a brief
anecdote of their act of kindness. We then print it on a paper—one of the colors of the rainbow—and post it
in place on a foam core board in the hallway.

31. Kindness Boomerang Chain


Submitted by Anne, Minnesota

At Glacier Hills Elementary, all our students were provided with a presentation on kindness. The fourth grad-
ers actually had a full day retreat. We have currently launched a project called the Boomerang Chain, where
students and staff write up boomerangs about Random Acts of Kindness they are seeing throughout our
school.

We want to see how long the chain becomes by Random Acts of Kindness Week in February. We find people
are looking for all the good things that are happening. Like the boomerang, when you throw kindness out, it
comes back to you. This was the message from our retreat.

32. Peace Flag


Submitted by Shawn, Indiana

Our school in Indiana has developed a specially designed school “Peace Flag.” The flag was sewn by a par-
ent and features tie-dyed fabric with a peace sign in the middle. The flag is displayed in a prominent place in
the school, at the meeting of two main corridors. As long as no teacher has witnessed students using unkind
words, the flag remains in place.

Unfortunately, students sometimes forget the school’s goal of maintaining a kind and peaceful environment.
When this occurs, the students are sent to the school counselor to discuss their actions, alternative solutions,

11
and are then asked to take down the Peace Flag. When the flag is removed, a simple sign stating, “The Peace
Flag has been taken down today. Please remember to be kind to one another.” is left in its place. The next
morning the flag is returned to its place.

In addition, if the entire school is able to avoid taking down the flag for 10 consecutive days, the entire
school receives a small reward (usually a pencil or eraser with positive character messages). Naturally this
does not include weekends or holidays. At this time, our record has been 17 consecutive days without taking
down the flag! Thus far, we are experiencing great success!

33. Garden of Kindness


Submitted by Chapparal Middle School, New Mexico

A tree died at our school over the vacation break so we decided to remove the old tree and begin a small
garden. The sixth grade planted marigolds in the middle and the 4th and 5th grades planted spearmint
around the flowers. A small brick wall went around the garden and we decided to call it our “Garden of
Kindness” because all the students were kind enough to take care of it. A volunteer was kind enough to make
a sign for our garden and not only plants began to grow but also “a feeling of being kind’ took hold.

In our second phase, each student, with parental permission, decided to bring one can of food and placed
it on the brick wall for the needy in our community. All can goods will be passed out around Thanksgiving
time. The students donated 66 cans of food on August 20th. We are extremely proud of our 4th, 5th, and 6th
grades.

34. Someone Who Noticed


Submitted by Anonymous Teachers, Tucson Arizona

My friend and I teach at a middle school in Tucson, Arizona, in which many hard-working staff members felt
over-looked. We started an anonymous “Someone Who Noticed” program in September 2003. We made a
complete list of the adults working in our building and each of us took half. Between us, we snuck little gifts
in 10 people’s boxes per week. Each gift included a typed note thanking that person for their contributions.
We make each note as personal as possible, citing the little things that the person does and recognizing the
obstacles they face. We sign each note “Someone Who Noticed.”

The results were “spendiferous!” Everybody started treating each other a little bit more gently, because for
all they know, anybody could be “Someone Who Noticed.” Of course, we are careful to send each other gifts
once in a while to avoid suspicion. We get tickled listening to people postulating about who it must be. We
became more careful listeners, trying to pick up on little bits and pieces to use in our notes. As a result, we
got to know everybody in the building much better than before. We started again this year in September. It
was a real thrill to hear a teacher exclaim to another, “Guess what? Someone Who Noticed is back!”

We get our gifts from online catalogs, swap meets, discount stores, our own kitchens, and craft stores. Some
of the gifts we have given include those cool pencils with a Hershey Bar eraser, homemade sachets for the
socks drawer (for women), Oreo cookies mounted on sticks and dipped in melted chocolate, little pen flash-
lights, miniature Rubik Cubes, teacher-themed keychains, chocolates shaped like coins or Band-Aids, candles,
candy bars, and pens shaped like fish (for the guys).

35. Meridian’s RAK Week Activities


Submitted by Sherry, Meridian High School, Mississippi

In Meridian, Miss., we are having a RAK week with “Fill the Halls with Words of Kindness at Meridian High
School.” I have downloaded lots of useful stuff and created even more. We will fly our Kindness Flag High this
week. We are having: a Kindness essay, poem and song contest, How many words can you make from the
letters in the word kindness? contest and our prize patrol is on the lookout for kind words and acts to reward.
Kindness is still alive in Meridian, MS. We posted words of kindness in three languages on our walls.

36. Reading Kindness


Submitted by Kerri, Hatcher Elementary Kentucky

I have a fifth grade class and we celebrated our RAK Week here at Hatcher Elementary. Throughout the
year we have been participating in Reading Buddies, which is where my fifth graders are paired up with
Kindergarten and first grade students. Due to this, we decided to invite a Headstart classroom over to our
school for our group activity. My kids read aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and then we discussed what
happened to the seed. After the discussion, the students worked together to plant their own seeds so they

12
could watch them grow over the next few weeks. My students really loved working with the younger kids and
had to use their negotiating skills to ensure that things went well. My kids had a blast and we plan to get
together with the Headstart class again in the near future.

37. Candy Grams of Help


Submitted by Mary

After finding out that a first grader in our school was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on her brain
stem, some parents in the Parent Teacher Student Association decided to sell Candy Grams at our school. The
proceeds would be donated to the fund set up to assist the child and her family. Then, the parents reached
out to all of the schools in our district and they volunteered to sell grams at their schools as well to help this
little girl. I think we all got a better sense of the real meaning of Valentine’s Day!

38. Dual RAK Week Projects


Submitted by Allison, CC Griffin Middle School, North Carolina

I am a teacher at CC Griffin Middle School in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. I am the chair of our
Character Education Committee. For Random Acts of Kindness Week 2005, we collected money for a stu-
dent in our school that is in intensive care at the hospital. Her family is struggling financially. We raised over
$4000.00 and think the total may still increase due to late donations.

We also made Valentine cards in our homeroom to give to the nearby nursing homes. The nursing homes
gave one to each person today on Valentines. Our goal for RAK week was to stress to the kids that kindness
and caring for others is important not just on holidays. The kids loved both projects and they feel proud of
themselves.

39. Welcome to our school


Submitted by Anne

This school year, I will be much better organized as I’ve given our Random Acts a lot of thought.

One thing I thought would be nice if new students arrive at the school, they are welcomed on the P.A. or in
an assembly and get a small gift bag with pencils, erasers, crayons, etc. In the bag there will be a note, “We
are happy you are here!” Then, one student from the class could give the new student a tour of the school
and maybe stick with him or her for the first few days until the child becomes more comfortable.

I have other ideas forming. There are more and more grandparents out there raising their grandchildren.
They are giving up their golden years to take care of these children and they need to be honoured in a spe-
cial way. If there are one or two in the school, maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant would be nice or some-
thing which provides them with much needed comfort. If there were enough of them, I would do a “tea” for
these grandparents - not the usual “grandparents day” but a special day devoted to honour the grandparents
who are raising their children. All of this costs money. Maybe your RAK group could have a bake sale or a
draw of some sort to raise money. I found teachers did not want to be continuously asked to collect money
as they already do to for food days, school trips, etc.

This past year, we recognized Educational Assistants (Teachers’ Aids) who are really underpaid and unrecog-
nized. Schools cannot function without them. They have to toilet some children, take blows from aggressive
or out of control students, etc. I had a gathering in the library for them and had a cake thanking them. I also
gave each a thank you card with a lottery ticket in it.

I work in two schools. In the other school, I had “Educational Assistant” Week. It was announced on the P.A.
and everyday, they got something in their mailbox - a pen, a few chocolates, a scratch ‘n win lottery ticket,
etc. On the Friday we had a cake thanking them for their hard work and a small group of students sang a
“thank you” song for them. I had a draw in some of the classes (if I started at the beginning of the year, I
could have got to all of them). I pulled one name and that person got little surprises when they didn’t expect
it. I’d bring them hot chocolate in the morning and a donut or a Sports magazine. One girl got a “For the
Preteens Soul” book. Another student got a submarine sandwich. A group of them had a pizza lunch.

Last year, I spent lots of my own money on a lot of this stuff but, it was okay for me, because I suspended
my normal charities for a while. We put together snack bags and gave them to a shelter for the homeless.
In there was a pudding cup, fruit box, orange and apple, granola bar, etc. The students loved putting them
together. They were very excited about it which was so pleasing to see.

13
Anyway, like I said, I will be more organized in September. I will appoint someone in the group to check with
the office on new admissions. I’ll have the students do the draws rather than myself. I really spread myself a
little thin this past year but all in all, it was a “feel good” year.

The one pitfall I had was when people didn’t show an ounce of appreciation for something. I have to admit,
I was resentful of this at times. Somehow, I ploughed on anyway with a bit of encouragement from someone
on this site and had a successful year which I hope will only be better next year!

40. Pennies for Pets


Submitted by Stacy, Lakeshore Elementary, Louisiana

After the Humane Society Adoption Center came to visit our school and explained the need for heartworm
prevention for their shelter dogs, Lakeshore Elementary went into action to raise “Pennies for Pets.” Every
classroom collected pennies in an empty milk jug. After a month, the school was able to donate a little over
$500 to the Humane Society which helped to put several dogs through heartworm treatments and save their
lives! It was wonderful to see all the students participating and some of them even brought in their entire
piggy banks to empty in the “Pennies for Pets” jug! There were no prizes handed out, but the feeling of
doing something good for the community and save lives was well worth it.

41. Keeping Kindness Alive


Submitted by Kelle, Louisiana

My name is Kelle and I work at a small country school in Louisiana. I love my work and believe that children
can learn that every act of kindness will brighten someone’s day everyday. At our school we have a program
called “Keeping Kindness Alive”. For every act of kindness that the student does, their name is put into a bas-
ket and at the end of each week a child is pulled at random from this basket and their picture is taken and
put up in the lunchroom along with their good deed. They are given a pack of Lifesavers because they were a
“lifesaver” to someone. They get a chance to help out the principal and secretary or just get a chance to visit
with them for a little while at the end of the week. This is just one thing in my life that I am involved in and
it makes me proud to be a part of it.

42. Chico Junior Community Service Club


Submitted by Mary Anne, Chico Junior High, California

Our school has a great group called the Chico Junior Community Service Club. The students, a core of about
12, have seen meeting for the last eight school months at lunch every Tuesday. So far we have accomplished
these projects:
Care for Soldiers Drive - collected 700 personal care items to be sent to soldiers overseas. We also water-
colored note cards to be included in those items.
Paper Cranes - At the local hospital, Enloe, the Cancer Center held a paper crane folding project community
wide. Our club and school folded over 700 cranes, with the community contributing over 10,000. They were
displayed at the Chico Mall, then at the Cancer Center.
Baby Blankets - We have made four baby blankets by hand that are to be donated to the Chico police
department for their cars. If they encounter a situation where a small child needs comforting, the blankets
will be used for that child.
”Operation Christmas Child” - The school filled 12 shoeboxes with small items that will be given to children
as part of a worldwide giving program that serves impoverished villages.
Great American Bake Sale - to raise money for hunger programs in our community.

We also put kindness quotes in our daily bulletin. We are having fun doing this and the students are getting a
lot out of it. I am proud of them.

43. Stepping Up the RAK Program


Submitted by Maria, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Our school has had a RAK program for some time but it was pretty low key. I have taken the program over
this year and I am trying to put a bigger focus on it. Especially in conjunction with our anti-bullying pro-
gram. We have weekly RAK drawings (1 winner for each grade) which are announced by students on our
weekly school news broadcast. The winners are drawn by a different 5th grade student each week & get a
“congratulations you’ve been caught being kind” (taken from your web site) that I put their name, the date
& laminate it for use as a bookmark. I also laminate their winning RAK to take home and show their parents.
Additionally, they pick a small prize.

14
The RAK’s which are not chosen each week get linked together as a chain and we’re making a “rainbow” in
the school’s entryway as a visible sign of all the kindnesses in the school. Also once a month we are drawing
a staff RAK so the students can see the adults continue to be kind.

44. Messages of Kindness


Submitted by Myrtle, Franklinton, North Carolina

We just started our club in October. We are a small high school (approximately 730 grades 9-12) and have
had one fund-raiser in which we raised $85 for our club by selling “messages of kindness” attached to a lol-
lipop. We are planning to use part of this money to give a Christmas party to our disabled students class
and to make them Christmas bags. We hope to donate around $50 to a member of our staff whose family
is in need this Christmas. We hope to sponsor a teacher talent show to raise more money and to help the
Leukemia Foundation by doing the “Pennies for Patients” program. We are getting off to a good start.

45. Musical Can Vote


Submitted by Ellen

We have a group of 13 students at our school that are called the Peacebuilders. They are third through sixth
graders. They spearheaded a canned good drive that collected 600 items in a two week time period for the
area food pantries. Every year, area high schools are asked to collect can goods for local food banks. We are
off two weeks of this time due to our modified year round calendar. Our school normally only collects a few
cans to give to the high school to turn in to food pantries. The Peacebuilders wanted some way to collect lots
of cans. So we came up with an idea and called it Musical Vote Canned Food Drive.

It worked like this: The Peacebuilders picked three groups: Ciara and Bow Wow (as one since they sang
together), Kayne West, and Destiny’s Child. They got boxes and we put a couple of cans in each. Then they
went around to classrooms and told the other students that each can good brought in would count as one
vote for their favorite group. Each day the cans were collected and counted. At the end of the day one of the
Peacebuilders would make an announcement about how many cans and would give a line of encouragement
about the next day.

The cans poured in and so did the excitement. The kids were cheering when the announcements were made.
Cupboards were raided. The second week the student that made the announcements decided we needed a
“pick me up” so we added the group Green Day. The excitement was now wild. Kayne West and Ciara/Bow
Wow were trading the lead back and forth. Green Day passed Destiny’s Child in one day. We collected for
only two weeks and ended up with slightly over 600 cans. Not only did the food banks get much more food,
the students felt like they were giving to someone less fortunate than them.

The Peacebuilders group also collected money for the Heifer International to buy animals for someone in
another country. They read Beatrice’s Goat to each class and gave a poster of animal prices to each also.
They collected two times a week and made announcements every day. In two weeks the total was almost
$200. In this school, many have emptied their piggy banks completely to help.

46. PAL’s Hard Work


Submitted by Nancy, Amarillo, Texas

Last year our 4th grade PAL Team members gave each staff member a snack with a Certificate that said,
”Someone Noticed!” This year they gave each staff member a handmade Valentine with a small bag of
Hershey’s Kisses. These same kids help watch over our early arriving kindergartners and walk them to their
portable classrooms.

Our PAL Team members conducted a canned food drive this year to replenish our Food Bank, because it had
been depleted for the hurricanes. We also conducted a drive and collected 10 huge boxes of hygiene items,
school supplies, toys and games and books for Hurricane victims. One year the PAL Team collected new
socks for adults and took them to our Homeless Center - they collected 1800 pairs of socks!

15
47. The Kind Fairy
Submitted by MaryAnn, Skammestein, Norway

I found you quite by accident while searching the web for a quote by James Boswell having to do with kind-
ness. I feel blessed. I teach at a small school in rural Norway and was inspired by your latest newsletter to
begin a project with my students who are in grades 1-4. I made a small fairy fashioned after the WEE FOLK
pattern and she holds a tiny book titled “The Kind Fairy”. On the inside is written, “Has a kindness been
shown to you? Pass it on.” She has a special little box to live in, so she doesn’t get crushed traveling in the
children’s backpacks, and she goes from student to student with words of kindness which the children have
written themselves.

It’s been lovely to see the anticipation and the warm glow upon the faces of the recipients and the givers.
And without my having to say anything to them, they are careful to make sure that the fairy makes a stop at
everyone’s desk so that no one is excluded. She has made a subtle and wonderful difference in our percep-
tions of each other and the realization of how little it takes to turn indifference into affirmation. Thank you
for the inspiration and keep up the good work!

48. Teacher Appreciation Day


Submitted by Carly, Truman Elementary School, Minnesota

I am submitting a idea that our Truman Elementary Student Council did here at our school for our elementary
teachers. The student council declared May 3rd Teacher Appreciation Day and honored our elementary teach-
ers. They served a light breakfast to the teachers in the morning, and gave them goodie bags with an apple,
a apple pen and apple note pads. They made several posters are still hanging in the hallways thanking the
teachers for all that they do. The council members also made announcements over the intercom to encourage
all the kids to express their appreciation for their teachers.

49. Kindness Songs


Submitted by Bonnie, Pennsylvania

I thought of two piggyback songs (new lyrics to a familiar tune) that I plan to use in my first grade class-
room. I was wondering if you are interested in adding them to your collection. (Lyrics by Bonnie Gambler)

A KIND ACT
(TUNE: If you’re happy and you know it)

Be sure to do a kind act every day.


Be sure to do a kind act every day.
For when we are kind to others,
We’ll all learn to help our brothers,
So be sure to do a kind act every day.

SHOW YOU CARE


(TUNE: Twinkle, twinkle, little star)

Do a kind act every day,


Show you care in many ways.
When you lead by being kind,
Happiness is what you’ll find,
Do a kind act every day,
Show you care in many ways.

50. Action of the Heart


Submitted by Betty, Ada Vista Elementary, Michigan

I am the librarian at Ada Vista Elementary. We are a Spanish Immersion School K-6 in Michigan. I highlight
RAK all year round, put up your posters, calendar for the parents to see, read portions of the RAK for Kids
book, etc. However, the reason I am writing is that one of our teachers (counselors) wrote this wonderful
poem for RAK Week and I thought you might like to see it. I am always looking for things in Spanish for our
students and maybe others are too:

16
ACCIóN DEL CORAZóN
by Sra Willoughby

En el mes de febrero, voy a mostrar


Respeto, cariño y como saudar.
Si algo está sucio, lo voy a limpiar.
Si alguien herido, lo voy a cuidar.

Si yo tengo extra, a los otros daré,


Si un niño está solo, con él jugaré,
El mes de febrero es para celebrar
Nuestra escuela y simpático estar.

English Translation:
In the month of February, I am going to show
Respect, Caring, and how to greet others
If something is dirty, I will clean it
If someone is hurt, I will take care of them

If I have extra, I will give to others


If a child is alone, I will play with him
The month of February is for celebrating
Our school and being kind

51. ?
Submitted by YOU?

We are always looking for more ideas to include in our Teacher’s Corner - Shared Ideas activity guide. You
can e-mail what your school did to celebrate kindness to info@actsofkindness.org or call 800/660-2811.

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

17
do
The ideas that have lighted
my way have been kindness,
beauty and truth.
— Albert Einstein
kindness
MORE ACTIVITY IDEAS: SCHOOLS

These Activity
Note: See also our “Teacher’s Guide,” which contains many other ideas!
Ideas for Schools
provides a wealth
of kindness ideas CONTENTS
for students and
staff. Feel free to Welcome! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
RAK Celebration Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
adapt these ideas
to your own cam- School Ideas
pus environment!
Preschool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Kindergarten - Grade 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Grades 3-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Grades 6-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Grades 9-12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Faculty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Outdoor Kindness Activities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Peaceful Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Responding to Tough Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Teen to Teen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Practice Random Acts
of Kindness™

WELCOME!
Welcome to the Kindness Movement! We hope you find in these pages a wealth
of ideas to help you encourage and promote Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) in
your community! Whether you choose to implement these particular ideas or
allow them to stimulate ideas of your own, we hope that your brainstorming and
planning is both exciting and inspiring for you.

We call our volunteers Kindness Coordinators, and they come from all walks of
The Random Acts of life, ages, and professions. We hope you will decide to join our tens of thousands
Kindness™ Foundation of participants and become a Kindness Coordinator in your area. Everything you
do to share and promote kindness helps make the world a better place.
1727 Tremont Place
Denver, CO 80202 Please use our website to print our free resources. Our Activity Idea Guide pro-
800 660 2811 vides many age-appropriate kindness ideas for schools, and our Teachers’ Guide
Fax: 303 297 2919 also contains hundreds of ideas, both simple and more involved. Our Project
info@actsofkindness.org Planning Guide offers tips for planning and implementing projects. In addition,
www.actsofkindness.org
1
using our Publicity Guide will allow your efforts to receive the media attention
they deserve. We all need to read good news in our daily paper, and you can
provide some of it!

All of the above guides are on our website at www.actsofkindness.


org. While you’re there, check out our free lesson plans, project plans,
inspiration, and other resources!

Please let us know how you use the ideas in this booklet. Learning which
ideas are implemented in different schools helps us improve our resources,
so please tell us about your kindness activity or project. When you share with
us your project description and reflections about that project, you are helping
people around the globe!

We encourage you to use the handy webpage templates on our website and
create your own kindness webpages! You can announce to others what kind-
ness activities you have done, share photos, and make connections with other
schools that have already posted their kindness webpages with us — all free
of charge.

The staff of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is available to you for
consultation and support. Our contact information is below, and we hope that
you will take the initiative to stay in touch with us.

Your friends at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation


Website: www.actsofkindness.org
Email: info@actsofkindness.org

RAK CELEBRATION DATES

2006
Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 13-19, 2006
World Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13-19, 2006
World Kindness Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13, 2006

2007
Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 12-18, 2007
World Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 12-18, 2007
World Kindness Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13, 2007

Feel free to adapt the RAK Week dates to your own community. You are wel-
come to celebrate RAK Week or RAK Month any time of the year — or all
year long! We support participants with ideas and materials on our website
throughout the year.

Also, please keep us informed about your kindness activities. We are a clear-
inghouse for ideas, and your sharing of ideas will help thousands of others
encourage kindness in their schools.

2
SCHOOL IDEAS

PRESCHOOL
FELT BOARD IDEAS
Friendship Tree: Put a felt tree on your board. Have a felt heart prepared with each child’s name. Have the children close
their eyes and each choose a heart with another child’s name. They identify the name and think of something nice they could
do for that child. Then they hang the heart on an empty branch on the felt board tree.
Feelings Board: Have faces prepared with different expressions (e.g., happy, sad) to place on a felt board. Each child
takes a turn to tell how they feel and, if they wish, to explain the feeling. Expand upon the feeling if the child needs help, and
have the other children think of ways they can help the child if he/she is sad, mad, etc.
Lighthouse: Create a felt lighthouse with good character traits angled out as light beams (e.g., kindness, respect, honesty,
responsibility). Discuss how we can best shine our light, and talk about these different traits.
Kindness Clown: Create a clown for a felt board. Have the clown hold felt balloons. At group time, encourage the children
to contribute kindness ideas (e.g., hug a friend, pick up toys). Put one idea on each balloon. Add other ideas as the children
think of them.
Virtue Tree: Create a big tree on a felt board (or on a bulletin board for a longer display), and each week attach the shape
of a leaf with a virtue written on it (e.g., courtesy, kindness, helpfulness, gentleness). Discuss the virtue at group time, and
have children give examples of how to express the virtue.

STORY TIME / GROUP TIME


Storytelling: Create a very short story and have children respond. For example: Johnny is riding his bike. He falls off,
hurts his knee, and starts to cry. What could you do to help him?
Friendship: Discuss at group time how you know people are friends (e.g., they smile at each other, help each other, hold
hands). Then sing “The More We Get Together” and let the children hold hands in a circle and dance.
Spider Web: Have the children sit in a circle and explain that you’re going to make a spider web. Give the first child the
end of the string and the ball. He or she holds the end with one hand and with the other rolls the ball to another child. It con-
tinues in the same manner from child to child. Remind them to hang on. At the end, discuss that we are all connected and the
importance of being kind to everybody in the class.
Hold Kindness Story Time once a week, during which children and teach-
ers can share stories of kindness from their daily lives. Children could draw
a picture about their kindness story and share it with the class. After sharing,
“The best way to cheer yourself
talk about how kindness makes both the giver and the recipient feel. Also, up is to try to cheer somebody
discuss why kindness is important to both friends and families. else up.” - Mark Twain
Hold a “Kindness Sharing Day” once a week. Sit in a circle, and have
everyone in the class say something nice about one child. The teacher
writes all the comments on a “You Are Special” sheet and gives it to the child or posts it on the bulletin board with the child’s
photograph.
In circle, have each child talk about one relative or friend and say why that person is so special. Then discuss what kind act
(e.g., give a hug, draw a picture) the child could do to let the person know that he/she is special.
Encourage the children to do one nice thing every day, like give a hug, lend a crayon, or play with someone new.
Start each day with a story, slogan, or quote about kindness.

3
ART / COOKING
Uniqueness: At group time, discuss what makes us unique as individuals. Discuss that we all have similarities and differ-
ences and the importance of acceptance. Have each child draw a picture of him/herself and a picture of a classmate (perhaps
drawing the names out of a bowl). Then discuss the drawings in relation to similarities and differences between classmates.
Friendship Hands: Create hand prints of each child. String them together as if everyone is holding hands, and hang it in
the classroom.
Mommy’s Favorite Book (or Daddy, Grandma, friend, etc.): Have each child create a book, with help from an adult. The
child specifies what to write in the blanks (Mommy’s favorite food, song, outfit, things to do, etc.), and then creates accom-
panying artwork. This helps children find out about others’ likes and dislikes and can be tied into caring for one another by
respecting their preferences. It also makes a treasured gift!
Friendship Salad: Have each child bring an item to add to your friendship salad (e.g., strawberries, grapes). Design a big
smile into the salad and discuss how everyone participated to make it smile.
Stone Soup: Read aloud the story “Stone Soup” and have each child bring in ingredients. Prepare the soup. Discuss how
each child’s contribution combines with other contributions, and they all work together to make something that wasn’t there
before. Celebrate the kindness of sharing!

OUTREACH
Adopt an assisted-living home and arrange some visits.
Hop-a-Thon: Organize a hop-a-thon to raise money for your RAK project or for a worthwhile cause. Have adults pledge
money per hop, and donate the earnings. The children hop for one minute, with the teacher timing the minute. Make it a fun
event with refreshments!
Toy Giveaway: Young children love growing up. Find a charity that needs used toys, books, etc. Initiate a toy drive at your
school: have the children and their parents decide which toys the children have outgrown, and donate them.

PEACE
Peace Rose: The peace rose is used throughout the year after an initial group lesson about it. The peace rose is used
when two children are having a difficult time resolving a conflict. It is placed in the same place for the entire year.
When two children are having a conflict, one of them (or a third child mediator) retrieves the peace rose. They discuss
their problem by taking turns speaking and expressing their feelings. One child holds the rose and gets to talk without being
interrupted by the other child. Then the rose is passed to the other child so he/she can talk uninterrupted. Whoever has the
rose gets to talk without being interrupted by another child. After they have resolved their problem or overcome the difficulty,
they all put hands on the rose and say “All declare peace.” The flower is then replaced on the shelf.
Peace Table: Set up a special table with two chairs and a flower arrange-
ment. If two children are having a difficulty, they may sit at the table and dis-
“No act of kindness, however cuss it. They keep their hands in their lap, take turns without interrupting, and
small, is ever wasted.” resolve their conflict. Then they may shake hands (or hug if they choose) and
-Aesop go back to their work. The lesson for this activity is given at the beginning of
the year.
Angel Box: Have the children look for others being kind. When they notice
something, they may write it down, draw a picture of it, or have the teacher write it out. Then they put it in the angel box. At the
end of the week, the stories and drawings are read and discussed at group time.
Start a “sticker campaign” to spread kindness. Staff members and teachers can pick up stickers each Monday as they sign
in, then give them to kids they observe doing a Random Act of Kindness, telling them exactly what they did to earn the sticker.
Have your classroom create a kindness quilt for display at the school, in a shopping mall, or at the mayor’s office. Each
child draws a kindness picture on a patch; then ask a group of parent volunteers to assemble the quilt. If multiple quilts are
made, they can be distributed to children’s hospitals and shelters for the homeless or abused.
Put a large blank banner in the entryway and invite the children to draw pictures about kindness on it. Students can then
display the banner at a store or post it in the classroom as a reminder that kindness is fun.
Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to your school and classroom to remind everyone to remember to practice
Random Acts of Kindness.

4
Talk with the children about being kind to animals. Let them tell stories about how they are kind to their pets. Discuss how
to take care of a dog or cat, including food, water, exercise, immunizations, and affection. Encourage them to draw pictures of
animals, and post the pictures on a “Be Kind to Animals” bulletin board.
Try a “Pizza Kindness Kids” event. Give each child a paper Kindness Pizza with sections marked. When they do a Random
Act of Kindness for someone, that person signs one section. When all students have completed their Kindness Pizzas, they
get a pizza party.

SONGS

Peaceful Friends Sharing


(to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”) (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
We come to school and like to say, We share all our toys
“Care for one another every day.” With the other girls and boys,
We learn together and we play We remember how to share,
Peacefully every day. Taking turns and being fair.

Be My Friend Let’s Be Kind


(to the tune of “London Bridge”) (to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Susie, Susie, be my friend, Let’s be kind, let’s be kind,
Be my friend, be my friend, In our heart and in our mind
Susie, Susie, be my friend, To our family, to our friends,
I like you. May our kindness never end.
(place each child’s name in song)

KINDERGARTEN - GRADE 2
Hold Kindness Story Time once a week, during which students and teachers can share stories of kindness from their lives.
Students could practice writing and/or drawing skills by preparing their stories before and during class. There could also be an
interactive discussion afterwards, including brainstorming possible classroom kindness activities, reflecting how kindness has
made a difference in their lives, and discussing school events and how kindness could help.
Put photos of kind acts in hearts on classroom or hallway walls. After a few months of display, donate the display to a hospi-
tal or shelter.
Ask your principal to start each day with a reading about kindness over the intercom.
Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to your school and classroom to remind people to practice Random Acts of
Kindness.
Hold a “Kindness Card Day.” Distribute three cards to each child, with the names of the three students whose last names
are right after theirs alphabetically. Everyone in the class writes something nice on the cards — or draws pictures — their
three kindness pals. Then distribute the cards by name (each child should receive three completed cards), and spend time
sharing what others wrote.
Distribute a checklist of ideas for kind acts to students during RAK Week, encouraging each student to complete some or all
of the kind acts listed. Activities could include: picking up litter, smiling and saying thank you to the bus driver, and eating lunch
with someone new.
Start a “sticker campaign” to spread kindness. Staff members and teachers can pick up stickers each Monday as they sign
in, then give them to students they observe doing a kind act, telling them exactly what they did to earn the sticker. The kids
can then give their stickers to someone in the community they see doing an act of kindness.
Have the students write a kind note to relatives and friends, letting them know why they are special.
Start a Random Acts of Kindness Club and resolve to do at least one act of kindness per week. Tell the class of your activi-
ties and outcomes.

5
Have the students create an alphabetical list of easy kindness activities together. For instance:

A: I pet a friendly Animal.


B: I Brought my laundry to the washroom.
C: I helped a person Carry something.
........
X: I gave someone in my family an eXtra hug.

Then make up a kindness page on bright paper with the A - Z activities listed on it. As students complete each kindness activ-
ity, they can tell about it and punch out that letter with a hole punch (with help, if needed). When the students punch out their
letters completely, they get their names on a bulletin board with a quote from them about why kindness is important or how
their kindness activities made them feel.
Try a “Pizza Kindness Kids” event, where each child gets a Kindness Pizza divided into sections. When they do a kind act
for someone, that person signs one section. When all the students have completed their Kindness Pizzas (with all sections
signed), they get a pizza party.
Have classrooms create a kindness quilt for display at the school, in a shopping mall or at the mayor’s office. Each student
draws a kindness picture on a patch; then parent volunteers assemble the quilt. Give the quilt to a children’s hospital, home-
less shelter, or safe house.

GRADES 3 - 5
Put a large blank banner in the entryway to the school and invite all students, teachers, administrators, parents and other
community members to write their kindness stories on it. Students can then present the finished banner to the principal, dis-
play it at a library, or post it in the classroom as a reminder of the positive effect that kindness has on people.
Have students tape themselves reading picture books. Send each tape, along with the corresponding book, to a children’s
hospital for patients to use.
Work with schools, businesses and merchants to raise “Pennies for a Kindness Park” (or other community beautification
project). Pennies don’t seem to have much value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind
act may seem insignificant, but many kind acts practiced daily have great impact. Be sure to inform the media and community
government of your plans. These offices may publicize your cause or match your donation.
Distribute a checklist of ideas for kind acts to students during RAK Week, encouraging each student to complete some or all
of the kind acts listed. Activities could include: picking up litter, smiling and saying thank you to the bus driver, and eating lunch
with someone new.
Plan a classroom or school recycling effort. Contact an agency to see if it would
be willing to remove your items for recycling. Find out how they must be sorted “Don’t wait for people to be
and stored. Collect and recycle everything you can. If your area has a children’s kind. Show them how.”
museum, contact them to see if they can use recycled materials for children’s -Unknown
projects. If you turn in recycled items for cash, donate the proceeds to a charity.
Contact the media for publicity; perhaps others will join the recycling effort.
Create a Random Acts of Kindness Journal in your classroom by posting large sheets of paper on the walls. Allow students
in your classroom, students from different grade levels, senior citizens, etc., to write personal stories about acts of kindness on
the paper. Rotate the journal through different grades within your school. Send it to the main office and then to other schools.
Ask older students to teach younger students to tie their shoes or another activity.
Sponsor the planting of a Kindness Tree or Kindness Garden. With the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volun-
teers, plant the tree or flowers in a public area, like a park or walking trail. Post a kindness plaque by the display for others to
read about kindness.
Start a Random Acts of Kindness Club and resolve to do at least one act of kindness per week. Record everything in a jour-
nal and prepare to read entries in your class.

6
As a class, adopt a pet that can be cared for in the classroom. Rotate the pet care responsibilities among the students.
Discuss the demands and rewards of caring for another living being, whether it is a pet or another person (e.g., an ill sibling,
an injured or belittled classmate).
Have classrooms create a kindness quilt for display either at the school, in a shopping mall, or at the mayor’s office. Each
student draws a kindness picture on a patch; then parent volunteers assemble the quilt. If multiple quilts are made, they can
be distributed to children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, or safe houses.
Hold a canned food drive and give the food to a food bank or shelters for the homeless or abused. Be sure to include some
kindness cards or letters with the delivery.
Hold a children’s kindness drawing or coloring campaign. Start with the older grades and ask for pictures depicting a
Random Act of Kindness to be submitted for the contest. The author of the winning drawing could receive a book about kind-
ness. Then copy the drawing and hold a coloring contest (using the winning drawing) for the younger grades. The coloring
winner could also receive a kindness book. Ask your town library or shopping mall to post the winning entries for the public to
see.
Start a ribbon campaign and give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed on to others. Students could sign the back
before passing them along. Gather the signed ribbons and give them to a shopping mall, municipal building, or city hall to be
displayed.
Have the students create an alphabetical list of easy kindness activities together. For instance:

A: I Aided someone who needed help on the playground.


B: I Brought my laundry to the washroom.
C: I helped a person Carry something.
.....
X: I gave someone in my family an eXtra hug.

Then make up a kindness page on bright paper with the A - Z activities listed on it. As students complete each kindness activ-
ity, they can tell about it and punch out that letter with a hole punch. When the students punch out their letters completely, they
get their names on a bulletin board with a quote from them about why kindness is important or how their kindness activities
made them feel.
Set up a Custodian Appreciation Day and have students clean classrooms for the custodians. Be sure to make a banner or
card telling your custodians how much they are appreciated. A kindness basket could also be given to these special people.
Children can make kindness coupons that parents, siblings, and friends can redeem for kind favors.
Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to your school and classroom to remind people to practice Random Acts of
Kindness.
Your school’s student council or RAK Club can sponsor an activity each day during RAK Week and can announce the
events each morning over the intercom. Some activity ideas include: picking up trash in the vicinity, visiting senior citizens in a
rest home, serving a meal in a soup kitchen, or helping socialize animals in an animal shelter.
Ask your principal to start each day with a reading about kindness, or let students do a reading over the intercom.
Have classrooms create murals depicting kindness and bring them to nursing homes and senior centers. Hold a class field
trip and tell the recipients about each student’s particular part of the mural.
Study kind people in history. Then have students illustrate their kind works and discuss them in class or write a report.
Start a RAK “button campaign” to spread kindness. Staff members and teachers can pick up buttons each Monday morning,
then give them to students they observe doing a kind act, telling them exactly what they did to earn the button. The kids can
them give their button to someone in the school or community that they see performing an act of kindness.
Create a program where kids write their commitments to specific Random Acts of Kindness on construction paper cut out
in the shape of footprints. The completed footprints are then put up on the walls of the school, with a sign saying, “Follow the
way to a kinder school” or “Walk the path of kindness.”
Connect classrooms in the hallway with cutouts in the shape of people, with the theme “Kindness Connects Us All.” On
the cutouts, students can write kindness stories or the name of a fellow student seen doing a kind act. Save the cutouts for a
school scrapbook or distribute the footprints to the community.
Form a group of students to help the school staff. In the cafeteria, younger students can clean lunch trays, while older ones
can patrol the aisles to give the adult monitors a break. Also, students can pick up trash or dust classrooms for the evening
custodian.

7
Write a kind note to relatives and friends letting them know why they are special.
Create a “smile file” with cartoons that make students smile. The kids can pick out a cartoon to cheer up a friend in need.
Have students write their acts of kindness on paw prints cut out of construction paper. Post the paw prints in the hallways
with the title “Paws for Kindness.”

GRADES 6 - 8
Have older students “mentor” new students for the day. The students can participate in an ice-breaker activity, eat lunch
together, play a game together, and the older students can show the new students around the school.
Gather a collection of kindness stories from students, teachers, families, and administrators. Publish and distribute the col-
lection to the school and community. Allow students to keep a few copies to give to people who have made a difference in
their lives or to offer as a Random Act of Kindness.
Hold a teddy bear drive and collect new and used teddy bears throughout the school and community. Gather all of the teddy
bears and donate them to the police or fire station or to a children’s hospital.
Plan a classroom or school recycling effort. Contact an agency to see if it would
be willing to remove your items for recycling. Find out how they must be sorted
“Love all. Serve all. and stored. Collect and recycle everything you can. If your area has a children’s
Help ever. Hurt never.” museum, contact them to see if they can use recycled materials for children’s
- Sathya Sai Baba projects. If you turn in recycled items for cash, donate the proceeds to a charity.
Contact the media for publicity; perhaps others will join the recycling effort.
Start a ribbon campaign and give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed
on to others. Students could sign the back before passing them along. Gather the
signed ribbons and give them to a shopping mall, municipal building, or city hall to be displayed.
Produce audio books by reading and recording books that would appeal to children who are homebound or in the hospital.
Donate the audio books to a hospital.
Conduct a newspaper kindness search. Have the students look through the newspaper for stories about acts of kindness
and summarize the stories for the rest of the class. Keep a file of all clippings and make a kindness book to be handed down
through the years.
Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to your school and classroom to remind people to practice Random Acts of
Kindness.
Ask the school or town librarian to forgive late fines during RAK Week. In return, volunteer to help librarians with organiza-
tion, book returns, etc.
Create and deliver baskets of kindness for the elderly or shut-ins. Talk with merchants and ask for free supplies or ideas.
Take a class field trip to deliver the baskets.
After calling ahead to see if the site can accept cooked items, create a special dessert in a class with cooking facilities, and
deliver it to a senior center, church group, hospital, or nursing home. Be sure to include kindness stories with your dessert
delivery.
Pass out free coffee or hot chocolate to commuters at bus stops or transit stations. Be sure to have a banner and a smile to
encourage people to practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Have a school-wide activity asking students to write and illustrate a book giving “tips for thriving in middle school” to the
incoming students. This would be published and distributed at registration to encourage new students and help them become
a part of school life.
Hold a canned food drive and give the food to a food bank or shelters for the homeless or abused. Be sure to include some
kindness cards or letters with the delivery.
Sponsor the planting of a Kindness Tree or Kindness Garden. With the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volun-
teers, plant the tree or flowers in a public area, like a park or walking trail. Post a kindness plaque by the display for others to
read about kindness.
Study kind people in history. Have students illustrate their kind works and discuss them in class or write a report.
Volunteer to tutor younger students in math, science, spelling, etc.

8
Make hearts for Valentine’s Day and post them all over the school. Include the name of one student, teacher, administrator,
custodian, volunteer, etc., and a kind act to complete on each heart. Encourage students to find their hearts and complete the
kind act written on it. Record comments and thoughts about the activity from students and staff members and publish them in
the school newspaper.
Your school’s student council or RAK Club can sponsor an activity each day during RAK Week and can announce the
events each morning over the intercom. Some activity ideas include: picking up trash in the vicinity, visiting senior citizens in a
rest home, serving a meal in a soup kitchen, or helping socialize animals in an animal shelter.
Set up a Custodian Appreciation Day and have students clean classrooms for the custodians. Be sure to make a banner or
card telling your custodians how much they are appreciated. A kindness basket could also be given to these special people.
Write a kind note to relatives and friends, letting them know why they are special.
Plan a school-wide RAK nomination campaign. Students can nominate fellow students and faculty whom they have
observed committing a Random Act of Kindness. Post nominations in a visible place. At the end of the campaign, all the nomi-
nations can be used in a drawing for prizes.
Encourage students to bring in — on a particular day — a handwritten note for disaster victims’ families, pennies for a char-
ity, or a toy for a holiday toy drive. Stamp the hand of those students who bring in an item, and allow them to wear a cap or
hat that day, or give them a special button to wear.
Start a Random Acts of Kindness Club and resolve to do at least one act of kindness per week. Record everything and turn
in a journal as a final project or extra credit.
Create a puppet show about kindness and present it to elementary schools.
Make individual checklists for students during RAK Week, encouraging each student to complete some or all of the kind
acts listed. Activities could include: helping neighbors weed their lawns; writing a note to a supervisor of someone who has
helped you and thanking them for having such a wonderful employee; leaving enough money in the vending machine for the
next person to get a free treat; picking up litter; offering to baby-sit for free to give a single parent an evening off; surprising
someone in your house with breakfast in bed (and cleaning up the kitchen); shoveling your neighbor’s driveway or mowing the
lawn; smiling and saying thank you to the bus driver; and helping someone carry bulky items.

GRADES 9 - 12
Contact community people who are actively promoting kindness, and
request that they visit your school for classroom discussions or an assembly. “Kind words can be short and
Create a kindness box to be displayed in the cafeteria, teachers’ lounge, easy to speak but their echoes are
community centers, etc., for students, teachers, administrators, and com- truly endless.”
munity members to deposit personal stories about acts of kindness, kindness -Mother Teresa
wishes, or proposed activities for Random Acts of Kindness Week. Collect all
of the ideas/stories, assemble a group (e.g., student council, service clubs) to implement some of the ideas, and publish the
comments in the school’s newspaper.
Plan a “working” field trip for students to spend a day helping out at a nursing home, shelter, soup kitchen, or retirement
community.
Conduct an annual “Kindness Poster” contest with elementary schools. Choose winners from each grade level and arrange
for them to visit the high school, participate in a high school RAK activity, or receive a kindness item, such as a special book
or memento. Display the posters at a shopping mall, city hall, or the mayor’s office.
Organize a group from your school to go out and perform acts of kindness — such as cleaning up a schoolyard or park,
delivering baskets of goodies to elderly people in the community, visiting a nursing home to provide conversation and compa-
ny to the residents, and teaching at a literacy center. Contact the media about your group’s activities to gain publicity for your
efforts and to recruit more volunteers.
Hand out reminders, such as buttons you have made with a kindness slogan on them, at the homecoming parade, school
assemblies, prom, and other school functions.
Hold a teddy bear drive and collect new and used teddy bears throughout the school and community. Donate the teddy
bears to a children’s hospital or to the police or fire station for distribution to traumatized children.

9
Create and deliver baskets of kindness for the elderly or shut-ins. Talk with merchants and ask for free supplies or ideas.
Take a class field trip to deliver the baskets.
Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to your school and classroom to remind people to practice Random Acts of
Kindness.
Organize a blood drive dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. Your class/group could donate blood to a specific hospital or
cause. At the drive, distribute Random Acts of Kindness reminders, such as kindness bookmarks or ribbons you have made.
Also, another group could bake cookies or supply donuts and orange juice to the donors.
After calling ahead to see if the site can accept cooked items, create a special dessert in a class with cooking facilities, and
deliver it to a senior center, church group, hospital, or nursing home. Be sure to include kindness stories or letters with your
dessert delivery.
Your school’s student council or RAK Club can sponsor an activity each day during RAK Week and can announce the
events each morning over the intercom. Some activity ideas include: a trash pick-up, a visit to a senior home, homeless shel-
ter, children’s hospital, or animal shelter.
Create a puppet show about kindness and present it to elementary schools.
Ask the school or town librarians to forgive late fines during RAK Week. In return, volunteer to help librarians with organiza-
tion, book returns, etc.
On a rainy or snowy day, organize a group of students to travel to the parking lot of a shopping mall or grocery store. Wipe
rain/snow off shopping carts and cars, and hold umbrellas for shoppers on the way to their cars.
Set-up a Custodian Appreciation Day and have students clean classrooms for the custodians. Be sure to make a banner or
card telling your custodians how much they are appreciated. A kindness basket could also be given to these special people.
Create kindness poems, raps, skits, songs, plays, etc., and perform them at a school kindness rally. Invite the media, sports
or entertainment personalities, elementary schools, and community members to share in the rally.
Have a school-wide activity asking students to write and illustrate a book giving “tips for thriving in high school” to the incom-
ing freshman. This would be published and distributed at registration to encourage incoming freshmen and help them become
a part of school life.
Start a ribbon campaign and give out kindness ribbons to be worn
and passed on to others. Students could sign the back before passing
“Waste no more time talking about them along. Gather the signed ribbons and give them to a shopping mall,
great souls and how they should municipal building, or city hall to be displayed.
be. Become one yourself!” Set up a free coffee and/or hot chocolate station near a heavily com-
-Marcus Aurelius muted area. During warm months, offer water and lemonade. Be sure to
have a banner and a smile to encourage people to practice Random Acts
of Kindness.
Sponsor the planting of a Kindness Tree or Kindness Garden. With the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volun-
teers, plant the tree or flowers in a public area, like a park or walking trail. Post a kindness plaque by the display for others to
read about kindness.
Organize days for your school mascot to travel to elementary schools, senior citizen centers, etc., to hand out Random Acts
of Kindness reminders, such as bookmarks you have created with kindness quotes or slogans on them. Send a press release
about the event to the media, and publish stories about the visits in your school newspaper.
Gather your school’s choir or singing group, and sing oldies or uplifting songs at a senior home.
Plan a classroom or school recycling effort. Contact an agency to see if it would be willing to remove your items for recy-
cling. Find out how they must be sorted and stored. Collect and recycle everything you can. If your area has a children’s
museum, contact them to see if they can use recycled materials for children’s projects. If you turn in recycled items for cash,
donate the proceeds to a charity. Contact the media for publicity; perhaps others will join the recycling effort.
Play upbeat music over the intercom during breaks between classes and during lunch.
Write a kind note to relatives and friends letting them know why they are special.
Raise funds for charities through an all-school or county-wide kindness program by holding a pledge walk or run, or even a
concert.
Make hearts for Valentine’s Day and post them all over the school. Include the name of one student, teacher, administrator,
custodian, volunteer, etc., and a kind act to complete on each heart. Encourage students to find their hearts and complete the
kind act written on it. Record comments and thoughts about the activity from students and staff members and publish them in
the school newspaper.

10
Start a Random Acts of Kindness Club and resolve to do at least one act of kindness per week. Record everything and turn
in a journal as a final project or extra credit.
Select a Community Kindness Day and encourage students to bring in a handwritten note for disaster victims’ families, pen-
nies for a charity, or a toy for a holiday toy drive. Stamp the hand of those students who bring in an item, and allow them to
wear a cap or hat that day, or give them a special button or sticker to wear.
Make individual checklists for students during RAK Week, encouraging each student to complete some or all of the kind
acts listed. Activities could include: giving money to someone to make a phone call; welcoming a new student; taking some-
one out to lunch; bringing teachers “treats of appreciation”; helping a lost student try to find a classroom; holding the door for
someone; bringing your teacher or a staff member coffee or tea one morning; picking up trash on campus; helping someone
carry a heavy load into the school; offering to baby-sit for free to give a single parent an evening off; or driving someone home
who usually has to walk or wait for a long time.
Hold a canned food drive and give the food to a food bank or shelters for the homeless or abused. Be sure to include some
kindness cards or letters with the delivery.
Have a “Senior Kindness Day.” All seniors will have this day off if they perform a Random Act of Kindness, record it, and
turn it in to teachers the next day.
Produce audio books by reading and recording books that would appeal to children who are homebound or in the hospital.
Donate the audio books to a hospital.
Encourage the school newspaper to create a special “kindness” section, where good news about acts of kindness can be
reported. It there is no school paper, make a classroom kindness newspaper or bulletin board.
Invite role models to public events to speak about the importance kindness has played in their lives. Invite the community
and media to the event.
Bridge the gap between rival schools with students from both campuses collaborating together on a RAK project they have
chosen.

COLLEGE
COMMUNITY SECTORS TO ACTIVATE
• School districts and educators • Parent groups, such as the PTA
• Hospital administrators and volunteers • Professional organizations
• The city council or mayor’s office • Bookstores
• Senior centers and retirement communities • Libraries
• Fire and police departments • National service or volunteer organizations, such as
• Faith groups the Junior League, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.
• Community centers • Local TV and radio stations
• Arts organizations • Newspaper bureaus
• Merchants, corporations, and manufacturers

STUDENTS
Take a new or transfer student under your wing.
Give another driver your parking spot.
Really listen when someone is talking.
Spend an afternoon visiting with residents at a senior center or nursing home. Organize a sing-a-long or a bingo game.
Baby-sit for parents of young children to give the parents a day or evening to themselves.
Look for the good in everyone you meet.
Give an extra concert or ball game ticket to a stranger.
Help someone struggling with heavy bags.
Invite someone new to lunch.
Compliment a stranger about something he or she is wearing.
Smile at people you pass on your way to class.

11
CLASSES, DEPARTMENTS, OR CAMPUS GROUPS
Draw Kindness Buddy names and secretly do something kind for that person during the week.
Create kindness poems, raps, songs, plays, etc., and perform them at a campus kindness rally or at local elementary and
secondary schools.
Bring coffee, donuts, or chocolate kisses/hugs to campus workers who don’t usually get thanked.
Form a group to help the school staff with activities like clearing cafeteria lunch trays, picking up trash, or cleaning up class-
rooms for the evening custodian.
Write anonymous positive notes to one another, saying what makes the recipient special.
Hand out coffee and hot chocolate to passersby on a cold, wintry morning, or lemonade and water during warm weather.
Solicit requests from the homebound for assistance with shopping or household projects, and organize people to do them.
Go to a supermarket on a rainy day, and dry off shopping carts or hold umbrellas for shoppers on their way to their cars.
Set up a kindness booth during the noon hour at a central place on campus, and give away ideas for acts of kindness and
two lollipops or flowers — one to keep and one to give away.
Create decorations or kind messages for a meal-delivery program.
The bookstore at a Colorado university provides cards for the students to write kind messages to the faculty and staff.
University employees and students deliver them to the recipients at the end of RAK Week.

CAMPUS ACTIVITIES
Hold a campus-wide kindness story contest.
Put up blank banners in public areas and invite students and faculty to write their kindness stories for all to enjoy.
Ask professors, popular artists, or government officials for pledges to perform Random Acts of Kindness. Post the results.
If you have a radio station, ask the radio staff to create Random Acts of Kindness programming, such as listeners calling in
their stories of kindness, or the ANNOUNCER reading submitted stories or selected readings from kindness books.
Hold a campus kindness rally and invite speakers and musicians to give awards to kind students, professors and staff mem-
bers.
Get student campus organizations involved with projects such as creating a campus-wide rally or clean-up, or hosting kind-
ness storytelling parties.
Raise funds for charities through a campus kindness program, like a pledge walk or run, or even a concert.
Hold a teddy bear drive. Deliver the bears to police and firefighters to give to traumatized children.
Collect kindness stories and create a customized campus kindness book for distribution.
Post banners with kindness slogans.
“Giving is theyosecret of a healthy
ud
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES life. Not necessarily
o! money, but
Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to the campus. whatever a person has of encourage-
Host a community event and invite role models to speak about the impor- ment, sympathy and understand-
tance kindness has played in their lives. ing.” - John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Work with schools, businesses, and merchants to raise “Pennies for a
Kindness Park” (or other community beautification project). Pennies don’t
seem to have much value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind act may seem insignifi-
cant, but many kind acts practiced daily have great impact.
Contact your newspaper, radio, or TV station to share kindness stories. The media can use Random Acts of Kindness as
a topic for talk shows, editorials, features, or public service announcements. This is an opportunity to talk about RAK Week
activities and put the public in touch with event organizers.
Ask volunteers from a campus service club to prepare a special meal or dessert for the residents of a nursing home.
Ask your campus library or bookstore to host storytelling events and to display books about kindness and some other infor-
mation about the Kindness Movement.
Place collection boxes in merchants’ stores to gather kindness stories from their customers. Then create a special newslet-
ter featuring the stories.
Ask the campus librarian to forgive late fines during RAK Week.
Create a Random Acts of Kindness mascot to circulate on campus, distributing gifts and/or suggestions for acts of kindness.
The mascot can also visit schools to talk about kindness.
Invite faith groups or schools to come together as a “harmony choir” and perform.

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ADMINISTRATION
Praise the work or attitude of a teacher.
Bring someone a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or a soft drink.
At a faculty meeting, talk with teachers about acts of kindness you all have given or received.
Leave a kind note in the faculty lunchroom with suggestions like, “Take a deep breath and move peacefully through your
day.”
Post copies of inspirational poems or thoughts for all to enjoy.
Put a supportive note on teacher’s desk or in his/her mailbox.
Carry small wrapped candies in your pocket to give as “angel kisses” to someone who needs a lift.
Attach suggestions for acts of kindness to Hershey Kisses and Hugs. Each administrator, teacher, or staff member takes a
candy and then performs the RAK suggested to benefit another administrator, teacher, or staff member.
Sponsor a kindness drawing or coloring campaign for your staff’s children.
Put plants in your facility. A study at Washington State University indicates that living indoor plants may increase productivity
and reduce stress for employees.
Boost morale on campus by having your staff submit stories about kindness in the workplace. Start with a memo giving
them information about the RAK movement and asking them to submit their stories. When the week is over, distribute the
stories as a collection, post them on a Kindness Bulletin Board, or include one or more in each school newsletter. If you don’t
have a newsletter, create a weekly or monthly Kindness Bulletin and keep it going throughout the year!
Create a “good news” bulletin board to fill with upbeat news about teachers (such as write-ups about the teachers’ accom-
plishments and ideas, or photos of their families or newborn babies).

“Do all the good you can. By all the


FACULTY means you can. In all the ways you
can. In all the places you can. At all the
Invite someone new to lunch. times you can. To all the people you can.
Welcome and get to know new hires. As long as ever you can.”
When a teacher needs to talk, meet him or her at lunch and listen
-John Wesley
with compassion.
Tell a fellow teacher or a principal why you appreciate him or her.
Walk a colleague to the car or bus at nighttime for safety.
Leave a treat on the desk of a teacher with whom you normally don’t get along.
Write, draw, make, or buy something encouraging for a colleague who is experiencing difficulties.
Offer to baby-sit a colleague’s children for an evening.
Remember others’ birthdays and important events.
Take a photo of your colleagues at work and give it to them so their families can see them on the job.
Help an overworked colleague with some tasks.
Place a flower on the desk of each of your team members or fellow teachers.
Do some yard work for a colleague who is ill or recovering from surgery.
Refrain from negative talk; concentrate on the positive.
Surprise a colleague with a soft drink, coffee, or bottled water.
Share the not-so-pleasant tasks at work.
Show your appreciation to colleagues through words and notes.
Bring in a treat to share with the faculty.
Keep a Kindness Journal of kind acts you observe among your students. Read it aloud and discuss it with your students
once a week. This will help raise students’ awareness of the impact of their daily actions, and it may encourage you as well.
Give a compliment.
Allow a colleague’s teenager to shadow you for a day and learn about your job
Write a letter commending a colleague who helped you, and address it to your principal.
Share positive news and quotes with others.
Teach one of your skills to another teacher, and learn a skill from him or her as well.

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OUTDOOR KINDNESS ACTIVITIES
Take a moment of silence. Think about how the world would be a different place if we were all kind to one another.
Pick up trash on the playground or around the schoolyard.
Clean up graffiti.
Pair younger students with older students. The older student can serve as a mentor and teach the younger student new
games, how to tie his/her shoes, how to jump rope, etc.
Learn about bicycle and scooter safety. Discuss how you can be a kind rider.
Using chalk, draw pictures and kind words on the cement around the school and playground.
Notice wildlife and plants and talk about ways to keep them and their environment clean, safe, and healthy.
Make up kindness songs or cheers and corresponding movements.
Play “telephone” and pass along a nice saying.
Play freeze-tag and “unfreeze” the person by saying something kindabout them.
Find a peaceful spot. Read kindness stories and then write your own.
Plant trees and flowers.
Learn about and discuss playground safety, courtesy, being a good sport, etc.
“Always be kind, for
everyone is fighting a
PEACEFUL SCHOOLS hard battle.” - Plato

One of the most important ways to maintain peaceful schools is to help your students develop and practice kindness and
empathy. Kindness and empathy work together; a person is empathic toward someone in distress and then extends a helping
hand in kindness. In fact, a common trait among perpetrators is the lack of empathy; that is, they are unable to put themselves
in their victims’ place and anticipate the pain of the offense to the victim.

Another important factor in maintaining peaceful schools is setting a school standard that action must be taken when a wrong
is being done. Administrators need to provide students with various avenues of action, because students have different
levels of comfort regarding conflict and intervention. One student may wish to advise an adult, under assurance of anonym-
ity. Another may be willing to intervene in the situation directly. In any case, the school must clearly set the expectation that
bystanding students and staff are to take some kind of action. Each observer must do something.

School authorities are responsible for providing several means of reporting misbehavior or injustice, including peer counselors,
adult advisors, and/or a collection box for anonymous reporting. Mediation training for all students – not just high achievers
– is imperative as well. Students need to know that they have a variety of ways to take action and deal with uncomfortable or
threatening situations.

Here are some activities that can help promote peace in your school.
After reading a novel together, assign each student a character from the book. The student writes a simple poem or a para-
graph from the character’s point of view, including the character’s imagined thoughts, feelings, and/or fears. This exercise
encourages the development of empathy in your students.
After a noteworthy or troubling current event, provide time for your students to discuss their reactions and feelings together.
Share your own reflections. Ask your students how they think those involved in the event felt or are feeling. Help them name
the emotions they describe. Convey how important it is for us all to understand what we’re feeling and perhaps to share it with
someone we trust.
Hold a discussion about trust, tying the discussion into a current event or school event, if possible. Include a discussion of
whom we might trust to share certain kinds of information. Mention some trustworthy people in the school, such as a school
resource officer or a guidance counselor. Discuss confidentiality as it applies to these adults.
Discuss the demands and rewards of caring for another living being, whether it is a pet or another person (e.g., an ill sibling,
an injured or belittled classmate).

14
Watch for newspaper articles that describe people who are especially kind and caring to others. Explore the choices these
people made along the way to become involved in helping others. How did the caring person feel about the act of kindness
he or she had done? What was the effect of the kind act on the recipient? What decisions did the kind person make during
his/her life to enable him/her to act kindly or nobly? These questions also could be asked concerning characters in novels the
students are studying.
Ask students to suggest interpersonal problems that they may encounter in school, and lead the class in discussing various
solutions and responses to those situations.
Form all incoming students into small groups, with each group led by a couple of older students. This allows the students to
meet other new students, have contacts among older students, and learn about campus life and the layout of the school in a
supportive, welcoming atmosphere.
Create an ongoing student kindness committee. These students, along with teachers, watch for kids who seem to be lonely,
withdrawn, or not adjusting well to campus life. The committee members can reach out to these students: greet them in the
halls, talk with them, encourage them, offer suggestions, check back with them now and then, and invite them to various func-
tions or club meetings. Simply knowing that someone cares can help a student through a difficult time in his or her life.
Teach conflict as a normal result of different kinds of people interacting with one another. Be sure that all students – not just
the high achievers – are trained in healthy conflict resolution methods, and reinforce this training often with them, visually (e.g.,
posters and other media) and through case studies, role playing, etc.
Discuss different personalities and gifts that people bring to the world. Help students understand that everyone has positive
gifts and talents to offer, regardless of personality type, academic or athletic proficiency, physical ability, or financial status.
Use examples like Stephen Hawking, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cesar Chavez, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln.

RESPONDING TO TOUGH TIMES


Occasionally, troubling events such as personal tragedies, school violence, regional disasters, or national emergencies erupt.
Students and staff alike may experience grief, fear, horror, and helplessness.

Human tragedy is often accompanied by acts of kindness, as people help one another through traumatic events. This instant
overlooking of our differences to help one another in emergencies is important to discuss at length with your students. It dem-
onstrates that when we are threatened as a community, kindness often plays a vital role. People reach out to one another,
including strangers or people with whom they might not normally associate.

One of our responses to these traumatic events is often a deeply felt need to connect with those who suffer, and this is where
acts of kindness can empower students and staff. Kindness sets students in motion and helps create hope and action where
there might be despair and bewilderment. Students are forging a positive future for themselves and others through the kind-
ness they share.

Here are some ideas for helping students respond to tough times with kindness:
Create banners on white butcher paper with drawings and expressions of
“When you are kind to others, support and hope. Send or deliver the banners to those in need. Students can
also create a paper quilt by writing on colorful cardstock squares and gluing
it not only changes you, it
them onto a large paper background. Of course, if someone has sewing abili-
changes the world.” ties, a fabric quilt with messages of support can be assembled and sent.
- Harold Kushner Using examples of acts of kindness performed during the tragedy, involve
the classroom or the entire school in a Random Acts of Kindness program.
Students can describe each act of kindness they do on a star, hand, or other cutout, and post it in honor of a victim, a survivor,
or someone in their own circle of family and friends, noting the name of the honoree on the cutout.
Students can host fundraisers in honor of those affected by natural disasters and either mail the proceeds or provide items
they need, such as blankets or diapers.
Students can do any of the kindness activities noted in this guide as a way to honor victims of a traumatic event.
If a particular student is seriously ill, students can create cards and write letters to cheer the student up. Have students
rotate and make a five-minute phone call to the homebound student at a pre-appointed time each day to cheer the student up

15
and keep him/her connected with the classroom. A mother whose child received this honor during a long illness said that those
calls were the highlight of her child’s day.
If a student or staff member dies, have students write their fond memories of the person and send them to the family. Very
young students can dictate those memories to an adult, who can compile them into a booklet. All ages can include illustra-
tions.
Ask students to do one act of kindness for a family member or neighbor as a way of spreading kindness in their part of the
world. Afterward, discuss together both the reaction of the recipient and the way the student felt about the act of kindness.
Kindness empowers children as they learn through experience that they can change their world in positive ways.
During writing practice, have students journal their thoughts and reflections on kindness. Ask them to note how they felt
before, during, and after doing an act of kindness or a classroom kindness project. They can also reflect on how their acts of
kindness made a difference in others’ lives.
Have students express their experiences with a school kindness project — connecting it with the traumatic event they were
responding to, if appropriate — in writing, art, collage, and any other medium that can be collected into a book or a display.
Create the book or display to share with others in the school. If you create a book that can be duplicated, send one home with
each child to share with family. A display could be created for parents during a special evening event and/or shared with the
community at the library or community center.
Help students make kindness a habit; let their communal response to tragedy be a kinder life. Have students keep a
Kindness Journal, write a kindness pledge on the first page, and use the rest of the pages to describe and reflect on acts of
kindness they do. Also, ask them to describe moments when they might have done an act of kindness but didn’t. This activity
raises their awareness of their daily behavior, its consequences, and how they might respond differently next time.
Your students can adopt a classroom pledge, such as “Each of us will do one acts of kindness every week,” and track those
kind acts on a wall chart. In addition, students can receive a sticker, tack a star cut-out with their name on it to the bulletin
board, or do some other visual activity when they have completed their kind act.
Ask students to dream of a kinder world and describe it verbally, in writing, or in illustration. Then ask them to complete this
sentence: “To help create this kinder world, I will….” Cite Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, explaining how he
led the way and worked with others to bring profound change to our country.
Connect with a school in the area of the tragedy and “adopt” the student body, sending letters, banners, brightly colored
paper cranes, or other items of hope.
Model kindness and compassion to your students, understanding that we all respond to tragedy in different ways and with
different timing. Discuss this with your students, helping them understand that they need to treat one another with sensitivity
and care as well. This is a good time to discuss kindness to oneself — getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, spending
time with friends or family, taking quiet time as needed, talking to a trusted person about emotions, etc.

TEEN TO TEEN
“It’s only me, but I can
Give someone a flower or a lollipop to show you care. change a life.”
Invite someone new to your home to hang out.
- Liz, high school student
Volunteer at a shelter, a hospital, or a nonprofit organization.
Mediate an argument between friends.
Help a pal wash her/his car.
Help a teacher.
When friends get depressed, write them a note or bring them their favorite candy. Encourage them to talk; listen and let
them know you care and are there for them.
Volunteer to baby-sit a neighbor’s kids when their parents need a day or an evening out.
Fill up your brother’s or sister’s gas tank when you borrow the car.
Cook a surprise dinner for your parents, complete with candles and a menu.
Stick up for someone who is getting picked on.
Eat lunch with someone who is new or sitting alone, or invite him or her to your table.
Help a student with a computer problem or a tough homework assignment.
Do yard work or shovel the walk of an elderly neighbor.
Invite a friend who’s angry to go for a walk, work out at a gym, or shoot some hoops with you.
Help someone change a tire.

16
Talk to a student you’ve never talked to before.
Unload the dishwasher without being asked.
If someone is short on cash, lend him or her lunch money.
Tell or write your friends why they are important to you.
Take your brother or sister to get an ice cream cone or a smoothie.
Create “Kindness – Pass It On” cards for friends to pass from one person to another to accompany kind acts that they do.
The card might have a simple graphic with the words: “This act of kindness was performed especially for you. Please offer an
act of kindness to someone else, and pass this card on to them.”
A group of teens in Littleton, Colorado, decided to have a Random Acts of Kindness Day before they dispersed for college.
Since they all had summer jobs, they saved some money to prepare for the day, and each of them asked for the day off from
work.
They began the day by eating breakfast out and leaving a generous tip for their waitperson. Then they came home and
baked cookies together. They delivered a large batch of cookies to the firefighters’ station and a smaller batch to an elderly
neighbor whose wife had died recently.
Then they went to the store and bought some bath products and delivered them with some more cookies to a neighboring
mother whose husband was extremely ill. Finally, that evening they entered a restaurant and paid (anonymously) for the meal
of an elderly man who was sitting at the counter eating alone.
Afterwards, the teens talked about their day. They remembered the gratitude of the elderly neighbor when they brought
him cookies and the appreciation of the stressed-out mother who received the bath products. The teens were very happy with
the way things had worked out, and they felt it was a great way to celebrate their friendship and reach out to the community at
the same time.

Kindness activities teach students a lifelong interpersonal skill


and affirm students who may not be recognized in other ways.

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

17
do
“’Wherever there’s a human being,
there’s an opportunity for kindness.’
You don’t have to plan some big event.
You can be strolling the hall in school
and say ‘hi’ to a stranger. Simplicity is
the way, you know?”
— Bow, High School Student
kindness
High School Kindness

This guide shares kind-


1. Welcome Winter Gloves
ness ideas from high Submitted by Anonymous, Idaho
school students and
teachers. A high school psychology teacher in Idaho purchased a pair of winter gloves for
every student in her class and assigned them to find someone in their school or
It is a growing guide community who needs that pair of gloves, perhaps to keep warm or to do a job.
They were to document who received the “helping hands” and why that person
and you can send your was chosen.
examples of kindness
to be included to:
info@actsofkindness.org.
2. RAK Sightings
Submitted by Jill, Kentucky

I am a therapist in an alternative high school in Buckner, KY. The majority of


kids are high school age; we have a few middle school kids. Since the first day
of school, we have been recognizing Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) observed
by both students and staff. I have a large envelope outside my door that the
students and staff write about the RAK that they have observed and who they
observed doing the RAK.

Each morning I fill out a certificate that says: Therapeutic Hug presented to (stu-
dent or staff) for (doing whatever they were seen doing). I handwrite “RAK” on
the certificate and also include the date. Each morning, usually with a student, I
Practice Random Acts hand out the RAKs during homeroom. We are working on printing up a new cer-
of Kindness™ tificate (without the Therapeutic Hug part; it was all that I had at the time, and it
has taken off!).

Initially, most of the notes in the envelope were written by staff members, but
now the majority of them are written by students, which is really cool. Some
teachers decorate the area outside their door with the certificates, some decorate
a bulletin board in their room, and some of the students (and staff) hang their
RAKs around their homeroom desk or on the wall near their area.

In August we handed out 111 RAKS, and in September we handed out 237, for a
total of 348! Being an alternative school, we often have some really tough days
(as does every school, I know), and sometimes I don’t always look forward to the
The Random Acts of new days, especially after a really rough one.
Kindness™ Foundation
But when I see all the great “little” things that are going on in other areas of the
1727 Tremont Place school, while I might be in crisis mode all day, it really reminds me of the big pic-
Denver, CO 80202 ture. I also remember that both staff and students are recognizing kindness, and
800-660-2811 there is an abundance of kind acts happening all around us here at school on a
daily basis. And these are supposed to be the “difficult” kids!!
Fax: 303-297-2919
www.actsofkindness.org
info@actsofkindness.org
1
For the most part, the entire school has embraced the RAK intervention. Only one student has
reacted negatively; even the toughest/hardest kids have responded well to being recognized for
RAKs. Most of them aren’t even aware of the RAK they are observed doing. Many of them want to
know who put it in the envelope. Usually I just smile and say that I don’t know (and often I don’t;
the notes are supposed to be anonymous).

But for the notes that are signed or if I recognize the handwriting, I often give the observer/writer
a little wink to let them know that I know they just passed on the kindness by writing down their
observation.

It has worked out really well for us. I think we came up with the idea from this website. It has
been a lot of fun. Good luck!

3. Incognito Students For RAK


Submitted by Chad, high school student, Alabama

We usually try to make the day of a person who is down better. We usually know what is going on
because we have a small high school of about 500 people including staff.

We give cards on everyone’s birthday and give gifts, such as candles and other neat things to stu-
dents and teachers having a rough time.

Our latest gift was to a teacher that is having a baby and was put on bed rest. We gave her and a
husband a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

We sign everything we give “RAK.” No one knows what that means, and suspense is building at
Deshler High School. The cool thing is no one knows who is in it, either. We even have our own
hand signals and handshake; it is so much fun.

We learned about RAK from a cool teacher, Mrs. Turner. It is our third block class that started it,
and so far, that is all that is in it.

4. RAK Week: A Student’s Perspective


Submitted by Jeff, high school student

I had never heard of Random Acts of Kindness Week until I joined the Students Against Prejudice
club at Wichita East High. I was really excited about doing a good deed for someone, and I sat in
my desk in fifth hour thinking of all the things I wanted to do for my other schoolmates. Then I
thought, if I am here thinking of what I am going to do for someone, then it defeats the whole pur-
pose of the random part of Random Acts of Kindness. So I thought to myself, I will just do some-
thing for someone when I feel the opportunity presents itself. I told myself that I wasn’t going to
even think about it until the week came.

When school let out, my mother picked me up, and we had to stop for gas before we headed
home. I saw my mom get out of the car, but she wasn’t going towards the gas pump. I wondered
what she was up to. My mom had walked across the parking lot to help an elderly lady who had
dropped her cane but couldn’t get it because her other hand was full with a twelve-pack of soda.
My mother offered to put the soda in her car and help her with her cane. The elderly lady obliged
and they said their thanks. And that was it, all done. I was so surprised because I hadn’t told my
mom about Random Acts of Kindness Week yet, and she was the one off doing something kind.

I thought that it was so awesome to see my mom, whom I look up to, do a Random Act of
Kindness and see the lady be so willing. When my mom got back in the car, I told her about what
our school was doing, and she thought that Random Acts of Kindness Week was an extremely neat
idea. I also told her that what she did was really sweet and that I looked up to her for doing that.

2
What really blew my mind was that the sweet, fragile lady trusted my mother, a complete stranger,
to put the soda in her car. I don’t see that every day because so many people are wary about
strangers and won’t accept help that is being offered.

When Random Acts of Kindness Week came, I was so excited. The first random thing I did was to
hug a friend. My friend asked me what the hug was for, and I just replied, “Does a hug need a rea-
son? Why can’t it just be random and from the heart?” My friend told me that she never thought of
it that way. I learned that in order for Random Acts of Kindness Week to work for me, I needed to
step outside myself and think of others and enjoy the time I spend with them. I really came out of
my comfort zone during the week, and I also made a few new friends! So Random Acts of Kindness
Week was really a two-in-one deal! By being kind, I was rewarded with hugs, new friends, and the
feeling a person gets when they give for no reason. Let me tell you, that week was something else!

Each day of the week, our school—a diverse school of 2,200 students—did something innovative
to show our dedication towards RAK Week. Monday consisted of getting the word out and just tell-
ing students and faculty about Random Acts of Kindness. Tuesday was Say Hi To a Stranger Day,
and Wednesday was Hug a Friend Day. A lot of students started to get the “flow” of Random Acts
of Kindness Week. Thursday was Donate Money To a Cause Day. I decided to buy lunch for a friend
who was broke and hungry at the time. It felt good to give, even if it wasn’t that much.

Friday was the best day of all. It was Make a New Friend Day. I sat in our school library to work
on homework, and this girl came and sat right across from me. I thought that it was sort of awk-
ward because there were plenty of seats all around us, but she chose the seat right across from
me. After a few minutes of eerie silence, we both began to open up and start what was not known
at the time to be an amazing conversation. I thought to myself, how cool it was that two complete
strangers could have so much in common.

We got so caught up in our conversation that we didn’t even hear the bell to class. We were aston-
ished by how fast the time seemed to fly right by. Before we went our separate ways, we ended
the conversation with saying how extremely neat it was that we had created a brand new friendship
in such a short time. I was late to my next hour and she was also, but it was a small price to pay
for such an amazing new friendship. It seemed like our school came together and almost everyone
had done at least one Random Act of Kindness before the week was over.

When a person experiences that brief shining moment where they go beyond what is expected of
them and do something for another person for no reason other than love, then that is the best
emotion a person can feel. One unique thing about these deeds is that they are unconditional. This
means that regardless of what someone might have done to you or might not have done for you,
the kind act will still exist. That is what I believed Random Acts of Kindness was all about.

When the week was over, I asked myself, why do we only have one week of Random Acts of
Kindness? It should be every day! So I have decided to do Random Acts of Kindness whenever and
wherever.

5. Learning About Random Acts of Kindness


Submitted by Martin Kimeldorf, Washington

Dear Instructor,
Here is some material I developed for Valentine’s week and Random Acts of Kindness Week. You
may freely distribute this material as long as you do not alter the content of this document. Herein
you will find background material and four exercises or mini-lessons designed to promote empathy
and foster a sense of community service. I generally require the first two lessons and make the last
two optional. - Martin Kimeldorf

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INTRODUCING THE CONCEPT OF RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS AND COMPASSION
I recommend that you get a copy of the book Random Acts Of Kindness (Editors of Conari Press,
1993. Berkeley, CA). Set the stage by reading examples of the Random Acts of Kindness illustrated
in the book. This can be followed by a discussion of the following question and the background
material related to volunteerism in America. Some background material follows; after this, you’ll
find four exercises.

Questions for Discussion


1) What is your definition of kindness?
2) Have you ever felt disappointed or cheated because you did something nice for another person,
but he or she did not return the favor?
3) If you expect to get something back, are you then performing a kind act or are you really trad-
ing favors for favors?
4) Re-tune your definition of kindness.
5) Has anyone ever done something for you anonymously, without expecting something in return?
6) Do one generous act each day and then write down how you feel afterwards.

BACKGROUND-SAMPLES FROM VOLUNTEERISM IN AMERICAN HISTORY


Many people believe that young people volunteering - these “habits of the heart” - are deeply root-
ed in the American community’s volunteer spirit or frontier tradition of help-your-neighbor.

The observation by the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville over 150 years ago is often cited as
an example. He felt that the strength of our democratic institutions lay in the citizens’ habit of get-
ting involved through our uniquely American “voluntary associations.”

A brief summary of volunteering and serving in America will reveal the depth of this experience:

Colonial Period Through 1700s


Town meetings began in New England and set an example for citizen involvement. The Quakers
developed a plan for responding to the needs of the poor. The American Revolution was fought by
volunteer army. One example of “youth service” includes children making bandages. During the
1700s, youth were often recipients of volunteer-driven social reforms (free school societies, local
public health boards, labor unions, and aid societies).

1800s
In the 19th century, voluntary associations flourished and became more organized, especially in
urban areas. Examples of these include the Temperance Crusade of 1830s, Volunteer Health Boards
working on epidemics, and fraternal organizations supporting orphanages and poor houses. Civic
groups with a service emphasis evolved: American Red Cross, settlement houses, B’nai B’rith, boys
clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs, Travelers Aid Society, and PTAs. Abolitionists relied on young people to
help gather support.

1900s
In the early 20th century, the social reform movement resulted in the creation of the Children’s
Bureaus, Urban League, Goodwill Industries, 4-H in rural areas, Scouts, etc. In the early part of
the century, William James described service as the “moral equivalent of war.” In 1918, William
Kilpatrick advocated experiential earning outside of school. During the 1930s, the Progressive
Movement advocated using education as a tool of social transformation. At mid-century (1940s to
60s), private foundations and peace crusades surfaced. During the 1950s, Eisenhower advocated
volunteerism through The Citizenship Education Project. In the 1960s, Kennedy’s “New Frontier”
campaign ushered in programs like VISTA and Peace Corps, and grassroots involvement with social
activities, civil rights, labor reform for migrant workers, consumer rights, urban renewal, and the
peace movement.

In the 1970s, several national reports encouraged service as a way of broadening the range of
people young adults interact with and as way to reconnect with community. In the 1980s, President
Reagan advocated volunteerism. and President Bush promoted a Thousand Points of Light. Several
states created initiatives for funding, planning, and encouraging service while Congress debated

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national service and service corps options. School reformers (Foxfire: Eliot Wigginton, A Place
Called School by John Goodlad, Student Service: The New Carnegie Unit, W.T. Grant Foundation
reports) encouraged the use of Service Learning and community service in school programs. In
November 1990, President Bush signed the National and Community Service Act of 1990. (19)
-Excerpted from “Imagine” (a report on community service by Martin Kimeldorf)

EXERCISE #1-WHY PEOPLE ARE DOING RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS


An entire movement has been created around people doing kind things as individuals rather than
as members of a group. It could mean walking down the street and plugging parking meters as
Janyce Mose does in Olympia, Washington. Perhaps one day you pass out pencils to students in
your class. Someone is doing a report and you see a television show he or she could use, so you
call. These are all little, unselfish acts that make our work less hostile and more hospitable. And
the good news is, it probably makes you feel good doing them. The following passage is my opinion
of how Random Acts of Kindness fits into our world today.

We live in a world where so much is uncertain. Nature’s random floods and earthquakes destroy
homes and entire communities in a flash. Drive-by gangster shootings terrorize entire neighbor-
hoods. These random acts of violence douse hope, call forth anger, and destroy all that is good in
us.
When you are uncertain if you can combat this pervasive misery, when you are unsure of what
to do next, when you don’t know who is on your side-stand up and do the unthinkable! Contribute
a random act of kindness, and in the doing, stake out a small part of the planet that looks forward
to your presence.
When you buy an ice cream cone for the kid who just dropped his chocolate scoop, you buy
more than ice cream. If you are in a long line of cars and you let someone turn in from a side
street, you momentarily turn the asphalt jungle into a safe haven. Letting the stranger behind you
(with only one package) go first in the grocery line means there are fewer strangers in the world
at that moment. When you take a bunch of pink carnations on a cold winter’s day to the elderly
widow at the end of the lock, you treat yourself to wisdom beyond your years. And if you take the
time to leave a message on a phone machine to cheer up a depressed person, you put a human
face on the technology that surrounds (and sometimes threatens) us.
In the process of acting compassionately, you change life for yourself as well as others. You
give yourself the power to be a hero, to experience a divine and cleansing moment of unselfish-
ness. For that brief instant, you crash through the darkness of cruelty, ignorance, and mistrust
which daily threatens to engulf us.
These Random Acts of Kindness may not end racial hatred, droughts, or murders. But they do
throw a counter weight onto the scales where we measure our worth each day. At the end of the
day, you’ll know one thing for sure: you chose not to live in the world as it is, but rather as you
would like it to be.” - Martin Kimeldorf
This is my personal journal entry after reading Random Acts Of Kindness.

Samples of Random Acts of Kindness


Look over the following samples based on suggestions in the book Random Acts Of Kindness. Then
make a list of ten random acts you could perform in your life at home, at school, or in the commu-
nity at large.

• Leave a small gift at the door of a family suffering severe illness, like cancer.
• Pick out some place or object to improve. Clear out a vacant lot and plant trees and shrubs,
straighten a street sign, or re-paint a bus stop.
• Return your shopping cart to the storage area.
• Turn in items to be recycled.
• Write a note to a teacher, thanking him or her for a lesson.
• Select a person in your neighborhood or class who is feeling down. Send that person a greeting
card anonymously.
• If you’ve been a jerk (for instance, if you got into a name calling situation and lost control), apol-
ogize, even if the other person is wrong.
• Take birdseed in a small pouch and spread it where you see our feather friends congregating.
• Visit an animal shelter and bring some treats for the animals and the staff.

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• Do a job (like mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or shoveling snow) for someone who is hav-
ing hard times, and surprise him or her by not charging.
• Take another student to the library with you and help him or her get started on a school report.
• Send a letter to someone (like a teacher or coach) who made a difference in your life.
• Let the impatient person behind you go ahead of you in line.
• Bake cookies or another treat, and give them away at school or at work.
• Bring pencils to school and give them away to people who forget to bring one.
• Slip some money into the pocket of a needy friend.
• Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line.
• Reverse roles. Do something for others who usually do something for you. Clean up the living
room, make breakfast on Sunday, or do the laundry.

Your List of Possible Random Acts


Create a list of ten Random Acts of Kindness that might interest you. What could you do for class-
mates, people you see everyday, neighbors, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, even strangers?

EXERCISE #2-JOURNAL REFLECTIONS ABOUT PERFORMING COMPASSIONATE ACTS


Perform at least five Random Acts of Kindness. In a journal, document the following for each ran-
dom act of kindness. Decorate this journal page and turn it in. It will be posted on the wall.
a) what you did
b) how others felt (or how you think they felt)
c) how you felt afterwards

EXERCISE #3-CONSIDER THE IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH


It has been shown that doing “for others” can benefit the volunteer as much as the recipient. Read
the following quotes to understand how this could happen. Then, answer the question at the end.

From High School Student #1


I got involved after I was required by the court to do community service. Funny thing is, I was
good at it. In fact, my supervisor asked me to stay on and start a program to get other youth
involved. They gave me a desk, a phone, and a small budget. I started a phone bank where neigh-
bors could call in to get some help with chores they were unable to do themselves. Most of the
requests came from elderly people and single parents. I believe that youth can make a difference if
we work together. In the end, I realized that I am not a bad person, and I am capable of incredible
things if I take advantage of the freedom within myself. By giving away my time and myself, I got
back a whole lot.

From High School Student #2


Whenever my buddy (a child at the family shelter) knows that I am coming to see her, she waits at
a certain corner. As soon as she sees me, she runs to me and gives me a huge hug. I can relate to
the relationship I have with my buddy because I had no brothers or sisters, and when I was young
my father traveled 70% of the year. I would have really valued a relationship similar to the one my
buddy and I have. My buddy is not the only one benefiting from this program. I also feel needed
and appreciated.

From a College Student


The organization I work in, Deaf Access Anonymous, provides information and access to twelve-
step recovery programs for hearing impaired individuals. Our goal is to raise money to hire the ser-
vices of interpreters to allow these men and women the opportunity to participate in group meet-
ings and related activities.

The benefits I personally received from volunteering have been ten-fold. I could never have imag-
ined how much I would get back from giving of my time and ideas. I am in recovery myself, and
helping others helps me to stay clean and sober. When I reach out a helping hand to someone
else, I receive help in return. When I am at a DAA meeting, giving information on the TDD, mak-
ing phone calls to raise money, or just telling someone about our organization, I take the focus off
myself.

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Other gifts from my volunteer work are the opportunity to practice and learn sign language, learn
more about deaf culture, and meet deaf individuals. I am currently taking the prerequisite classes
for the Interpreter Training Program at SCCC. Had I known all the unbelievably good things that
would come my way when I quit drinking and drugging, I might have stopped long ago! Life is so
much richer when you give some of what you have away.

From Write To The Core (about journal writing)


Many people who volunteer are described as altruistic. In that larger sense, they work from
their hearts first. In the magazine American Health, Alan Luks and Eileen Growald speak convinc-
ingly about the health benefits of altruism and volunteering. In the article “Beyond Self” they cite
evidence in various studies, which reveal that men who volunteered had longer life expectancies
than those who did not volunteer. Even people who simply viewed movies showing altruistic acts
displayed an improved immune response. All of this research lead the authors to conclude that our
evolution or biology has lead us down a path where our individual health is tied to our collective
health. In other words, we are dependent on interacting with others, and volunteering is one of the
highest quality interactions one can engage in. When you help others, you engage in another form
of health - building community wellness.
Conversely, people who are cut off from others experience increased rates of illness. Other
studies revealed that women living in isolation had more health problems. In other words, people
need people for their health.

In 1 or 2 paragraphs, tell why you agree or disagree about the following statement:
Performing Random Acts of Kindness or volunteerism may make me feel better or help me to live
longer and happier.

EXERCISE #4-THINKING BIG


Pick a quote which best describes your feeling about doing a Random Act of Kindness. Then tell
why you picked it. Explain what it means to you.

• We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. -Winston Churchill
• I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be
remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the
human spirit. -John Kennedy
• Our culture is at a critical cusp-a time that requires that we define what it means to be a citizen
in a democracy. Within our nation we need to foster a greater sense of collective responsibility.
-Robert Bellah (author)
• For whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth…Man did not weave
the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
-Chief Seattle
• Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve -Martin Luther King

© Kimeldorf, 2000
Martin Kimeldorf has been active in service learning, teaching, and writing. His books include The
Grandfriends Project, A Program Creating Friendships Across The Generations and Gourmet Aging.

6. Meridian’s RAK Week Activities


Submitted by Sherry, Mississippi

We had a RAK week with “Fill the Halls with Words of Kindness” at Meridian High School. I down-
loaded lots of useful stuff and created even more. We flew our Kindness Flag High during RAK
week.

We had: a Kindness essay, poem and song contest. We received some great essays and one really
great poem. Also a: “How many words can you make from the letters in the word Kindness? con-
test.” The winner made 43 words.

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Our prize patrol was on the lookout for kind words and acts to reward. They handed out 15 kind-
ness certificates.

Several teachers and classes displayed words of kindness in our halls. And we posted words of
kindness in three languages on our walls.

We had a great week. Kindness is still alive in Meridian, MS. All here feel that the week was a great
success. Our violence rate was down during this week

7. Graduating with Kindness and Safety


Submitted by Mary, Washington

My daughter graduated last year and, as parents, we were concerned about the post-graduation
parties. Our town took the matter seriously and provided a party for the graduates. We used the
school and had parent volunteers to stay up all night with the young adults. The cafeteria was
open season and the gym was theirs. Entertainment was provided and sponsored by local busi-
nesses. We had a few rules and guidelines:

1. If you leave early, your parents will be called so they know you’re on the way.
2. If you stayed until 6 AM, you recieved $50 (donation from community).
3. Prizes were given away on the hour (donation from community).

The event was a success - it was safe and somewhat sane. Many of the teens commented that it
was the best memory of their life. My daughter is still telling stories about the party that we all
want to hear!

8. Backpacks for the Homeless


Submitted by Anonymous

At my old high school, we made up back packs for the homeless. We packed toothbrushes and
toothpaste, soap, warm socks, and deotorant - basically stuff that we take for granted. We had the
students bring in anything they thought would be a good item, even the little shampoo bottles from
hotels. We also packed a blanket and a lunch in the backpack and went around downtown passing
them out. It was great to see everyone’s reaction. I think this is an easy way to comtribute. Most
people have old backpacks lying around, or an extra bar of soap. It adds up to a great difference.

9. UNITY Club
Submitted by Beth, Texas

Hello, I am the Sponsor of the UNITY Club at a High School in San Antonio, Texas. This holiday
season we helped sponsor 18 needy families along with our faculty, other student organizations,
and our PTA at our school. We adopted the families and gave each family member a personal gift
as well as a gift certificate to their favorite store. Also, each of the families received a precooked
holiday meal from our local grocery store. The families were chosen because they were in need of
assistance (several Katrina families, several families where there was a critically ill family member
or perhaps a recent death of a student’s parent, or extreme financial need).

During the course of the year the UNITY club has sponsored Random Acts of Kindness week
where we helped host Mr. Darrell Scott (the father of Rachel Scott, the first student killed in the
Columbine, Colorado tragedy), to come speak to our students in three assemblies. Next semester,
we plan on visiting our “feeder Middle School” to present a “bully proofing” program to the younger
students.

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We also plan to continue holding our twice a year UNITY conference where we invite various stu-
dents to attend an all day conference focused on making our campus a more welcoming place to
go to school. We enjoy your RAK column and use many of the quotes as openers for our meetings.

10. RAK Week in Florida


Submitted by Marcia, Florida

I sponsor the peer counseling program at our local high school. My peer counseling are hosting
a RAK Week. Every peer counselor and staff member receives a “warm fuzzy” necklace which is
composed of small strings of yarn in a ball (easily made) to wear around the neck. Throughout
the week, they pass out “warm fuzzies” as an act of kindness to anyone who looks like they might
need some positive strokes.

We are also recognizing any student who a staff member recommends for commiting an RAK (cer-
tificate and prize given). Also, peer counselors will be wearing paper hot air balloon necklaces on
the last day of RAK Week to “Give someone a lift.” They need to commit a RAK to someone and
pass the necklace on to that person to “pay the kindness forward” to another person and so on.
The last person (four on a balloon) returns the necklace to peer counseling for a treat.

The students really enjoy these activities.

11. ?
Submitted by YOU???

Submit your own high school kindness ideas and experiences for this document via e-mail to
info@actsofkindness.org. Please specify that the activity is for high schoolers.

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

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do
Random Acts of Kindness has
brought more meaning into
my life, and I am committed
to help spread the word.
— Carol, State Parent
Facilitator, Hawaii
kindness
College Kindness

College students and professors, please submit your own college


Our College Kind- kindness ideas and experiences for this document by e-mailing
ness Activity Guide info@actsofkindness.org. Please specify that the activities are for
is full of ideas and college campuses.
activities that
universities and
students have used
to spread kindness 1. University RAK Week
Submitted by Sara, New Hampshire
in their classrooms,
dorms, campuses The Wellness Center’s Student Advisory Board at Southern New Hampshire University
participated in three activities during Random Acts of Kindness Week in February:
and cities.
Board members launched the week by making Random Acts of Kindness labels and
attaching them to 1,000 pieces of candy that were then distributed around our campus.
Each label included information about Random Acts of Kindness Week and suggested
ideas for how a person could participate in the week and spread a kindness message.

Later in the week, we delivered coffee and donuts to the night cleaning and public safety
staff at midnight.

As a final act for the week, we decided to take our efforts into the community. After
locating an elementary school, we made arrangements to attend the school and do guest
reading. We read to the classes at the elementary school and talked with them about
Random Acts of Kindness Week as well as bringing them stickers to promote kindness.

Practice Random Acts 2. Drive-by Flowering


Submitted by Shannon, Wisconsin
of Kindness™
I lived in a very small town growing up, and my friends and I had to be very creative to
alleviate boredom. One night, we decided to do a “drive-by flowering.” We went to a few
different fields and gathered bunches of wildflowers until they filled my family’s van (not
just with flowers...also with dirt...so be careful!).

Then we drove to our friends’ and teachers’ houses and left flowers tucked under the
wiper blades of their cars and hanging from their front doorknobs. It was an unforget-
table night.

3. University of Minnesota’s “Month of Kindness”


The Random Acts of Submitted by Amy, Minnesota
Kindness™ Foundation
Program highlights include Clean Up Day and Winter Clothing Drive.
1727 Tremont Place
November has been declared “Month of Kindness” at the University of Minnesota. Over 60
Denver, CO 80202 campus organizations, departments and student groups are participating in an effort to
800-660-2811 put kindness and civility at the forefront of the University of Minnesota. The goal of the
Fax: 303-297-2919 Month of Kindness is to unite the campus by encouraging acts of kindness that create an
www.actsofkindness.org environment filled with goodwill, tolerance, pluralism and openness.
info@actsofkindness.org
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Individuals and groups within the University of Minnesota are constantly putting on programs that foster kind-
ness to the community, the environment, one’s health and wellness, the needy, animals, the state, the world,
one another. The Month of Kindness is designed to draw attention to these events and integrate them into a
month saturated with kindness activities. In this way, focus will be placed on the kindness the University com-
munity has to offer, not only in November, but throughout the rest of the year as well.

Dozens of groups will be organizing a variety of activities including a blood drive, canned food collections, a
discussion series on kindness and free tutoring. Groups are encouraged to post their events on the University
Events on-line calendar (www.events.umn.edu) under the heading “Month of Kindness.”

Buttons that read “Be Kind, Pass It On” will be distributed by Goldy Gopher in Coffman Memorial Union on
November 3 and at the St. Paul Student Center on another date. Buttons will also be available to be picked
up at a variety of campus locations. Flyers with quotes about kindness (a different quote for each week of the
month) will be distributed and posted around campus.

Three major events will serve as the kickoff, middle and conclusion to Month of Kindness.

On Sunday, November 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., individuals and groups are invited to participate in the Month
of Kindness Neighborhood Clean Up. Volunteers will meet at 11 a.m. at the Dinkytown McDonald’s restau-
rant for hot chocolate and instructions and then return after the clean up, for lunch and to celebrate what’s
been accomplished. For more information and to RSVP, contact Jan Morlock at University Relations, [e-mail
address].

On Wednesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. in the Coffman Memorial Union Great Hall, 300 Washington Ave. SE,
“The Simpsons” writer and producer, Mike Reiss, will speak about writing in Hollywood and screen never before
seen footage of The Simpsons. The first 300 people to arrive with a canned good to donate to the food shelf
will get a free signed Simpsons t-shirt. This event is sponsored by Hillel: The Jewish Student Center and the
Minnesota Program & Activities Council.

Month of Kindness will conclude with “Winter Warmth From U,” a winter clothing drive. On Wednesday,
December 3, a bus will be parked in front of Coffman Memorial Union for individuals and groups to fill with
good quality winter clothing to be donated to families in need, through Pillsbury United Communities, a
Twin Cities nonprofit organization. Ben and Jerry’s will be handing out ice cream and gift certificates and the
University Dining Service will be distributing hot chocolate to every donor. KDWB will be broadcasting live from
their van parked next to the donation bus on the Coffman Union plaza. For more information contact John
Barber at [e-mail address] or Surbhi Madia at [e-mail address].

Amy Olson, director of Hillel, The Jewish Student Center at the University of Minnesota, and co-chair of the
Interfaith Campus Coalition, brought the idea of “Month of Kindness” to the University of Minnesota. Inspired
by a similar initiative at the University of Connecticut, Amy has been organizing a grassroots effort to establish
Month of Kindness at the U. of M.

“My vision is that once we get something off the ground this year, Month of Kindness will grow into an annual
tradition. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. People appreciate when kind deeds are done for
them and they get a sense of well-being and fulfillment when they perform kind deeds for others. It is unfor-
tunate that in our society so often only negative things get the headlines. This initiative focuses on the good
we all have to offer.”

Month of Kindness is partially funded by an Events Partnership Grant from the Student Activities Office at the
University of Minnesota.


Below is kind of a summary of what is being done on campus (much is included in the press release above).
Attached are the flyers we are printing up and distributing around campus. These quotes will also be run in
the Minnesota Daily (campus newspaper), one each week in an ad. We got the quotes from your website.

CAMPUS WIDE PROMOTION

Buttons: We are distributing 4000 buttons that say “BE KIND, PASS IT ON.” Goldy Gopher (campus mascot)
will help kick off the distribution by handing buttons out at Coffman (Student Union) on November 3 and at
the St. Paul Student Center on November 4. Buttons will also be available at the information desk at Coffman
and the St. Paul Student Center and at the Residence Hall Info desks. If your group would like to distribute
buttons, please let Amy know.

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Minnesota Daily Ads: The Minnesota Daily will run an ad each week in November with a kindness quote.

Flyers: Flyers with quotes about kindness from different traditions will be distributed throughout campus, a
different flyer each week. Participating groups will be asked to help run them off and post them around cam-
pus.

University Events Calendar: Groups are encouraged to submit their events to the online University Events
Calendar. Instructions for how to do so are attached. University Relations has added a category called Month
of Kindness so the activities can be so designated. If one sorts by Month of Kindness, one can get a list of all
the activities so designated. To see the list, go to this link....

CAMPUS WIDE EVENTS: Several organizations are planning events. There are three campus wide events
that will constitute the kickoff, middle, and conclusion, and we invite your participation.

Campus Clean Up Day (Kickoff Event):


Sunday, November 2
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We will gather at 11 a.m. at the McDonald’s restaurant for hot chocolate, instructions, and a send-off.
Volunteers will reconvene at 1:15 to 1:30 for lunch and a celebration of what we’ve accomplished.

What else do volunteers need to know?


Come prepared for any weather--wear layers that can resist wind and water. Wear sturdy, comfy shoes. If
you have work gloves, bring them. If you have a rake or utility broom, bring it. Eat a hearty breakfast that
morning! We’ll have some portable calories to take with you on the cleanup, and lunch will be served when
we get back.

What will we be doing?


Mostly picking up trash and sweeping up any broken glass in public areas.

Where will we be working?


Within walking distance of McDonald’s. We’ll scope out the situation early that morning and direct teams of
volunteers to the places that need spiffing up. The Dinkytown Business Association will have street sweep-
ers out in the business district that day, so we will likely be working along the streets on the perimeter of
Dinkytown, up 15th Avenue as far as Como, and on University Avenue if need be.

Be sure to RSVP to Jan at University Relations, [e-mail address], if you or members of your organization plan
to attend. (We want to be sure to have enough food!!)

Mike Reiss (middle event):


Wednesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. Coffman Union Great Hall

Simpsons writer and producer Mike Reiss will speak about writing in Hollywood and screen never before seen
footage of The Simpsons. The first 300 people to arrive with a canned good to donate to the food shelf will get
a free signed Simpsons t-shirt. Sponsored by Hillel and the Minnesota Program & Activities Council.

Winter Warmth from U (Closing Event)


An event to collect warm, used clothing items for underprivileged families throughout the Twin Cities for
the cold days of winter. As a motivational tool, there will be a Fill the Bus theme. On the Wednesday
after Thanksgiving, December 3rd, there will be a U of M circulator bus parked in front of Coffman with the
incentive to fill the bus with as many clothing items as possible. The clothes will be given to the Pillsbury
Community Center. Through the help of the Pillsbury Community Centers, underprivileged families throughout
the Twin Cities will receive winter clothes during the heart of winter.

Ben and Jerry’s will be distributing ice cream and gift certificates and UDS will be distributing hot chocolate to
every donor. KDWB will be broadcasting live from their van parked next to the donation bus on the Coffman
Union plaza. This will be a very fun, exciting, and meaningful event. If you are interested in being a part of
the Winter Warmth for U committee, please contact....

Handout for the Cleanup event:

MONTH OF KINDNESS NEIGHBORHOOD CLEAN-UP


Sunday, November 2

3
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Our thanks to event sponsors....

Guidelines:
The purpose of this project is to indulge in an act of kindness and to have fun. Remember to also be safe!
You will work with a team, and will have an area to cover. Instructions will be provided after you have
registered.
Let people know that you are volunteering today as part of the University of Minnesota Month of Kindness.
Wear your button proudly!
1. For safety’s sake, wear gloves and visible clothing. Reflective tape is available at registration.
2. Cross streets carefully and in crosswalks. Watch for turning cars.
3. It’s best to pick up litter in public areas only—this means streets, alleys, sidewalks, boulevards, parks. It’s
okay to pick up litter along the edges of people’s yards, but (believe it or not!) some people may not want you
in their yard, even if you are doing a good thing like picking up trash.
4. Don’t pick up syringes, needles, condoms, as they might be biohazards. Make a mental note of where you
saw them, and report the items when you get back to McDonald’s at the end of the cleanup. We will send
someone out later to pick them up and dispose of them safely.
5. Broken glass can be picked up with brooms and scoop shovels. If you see piles of broken glass and don’t
have the right tools with your team, report back to us when you return to McDonald’s, and someone can get it
later.
6. Picking up the little trash is important, too (ooh, those nasty cigarette butts). Take the time to really make
a change in the way things look.
7. When you have filled a garbage bag, tie (or twist-tie) the bag closed, and leave it on the boulevard at a
corner. A crew will be out with a truck to pick up the bags.
8. Come back to the cleanup headquarters at McDonald’s upstairs dining room by 1:30 p.m. Food and bever-
ages will be waiting for you. REMEMBER TO RETURN ALL EQUIPMENT AT THE END OF THE CLEAN-UP!
Good work! Thanks for pitching in for the Month of Kindness!
For a calendar of other Month of Kindness events, visit our website, click on “Detailed event search” and
then select “Month of Kindness” from the drop down menu.
The Month of Kindness Steering Committee, chaired by Amy Olson, may be reached at [e-mail address].

Flyers (reduced in size to show here; each flyer was 8.5x11”)


The small print at the bottom of each flyer says: “The mission of the Month of Kindness is to bring kindness
to the forefront of the University of Minnesota community. Be kind. Pass it on.

For more information on joining the more than 60 campus groups that are participating in the Month of
Kindness, e-mail [e-mail address].”

Follow-up letter to Neighborhood Cleanup Participants:


Thanks to all who came out on Sunday morning for the Month of Kindness neighborhood cleanup, and
to all who helped make it a success! Thanks, too, to Mother Nature for holding off with the snow while we
enjoyed being outside on a glorious fall day.
Thirty-plus volunteers picked up 61 bags of trash, making a striking difference in the appearance of the
neighborhood around Dinkytown on that final day before the arrival of winter.
Volunteers included students representing several student organizations, University parents and siblings, faith
community neighbors, Marcy-Holmes neighbors, and supportive University staff.
The MN Daily covered the cleanup in an article on Monday, and TV channels 4 and 5 had the cameras roll-
ing for reports on the evening news.
Special thanks again to McDonald’s Dinkytown Restaurant, Burrito Loco, Subway Sandwiches, Vescio’s
Restaurant, University Land Care and Charles Patterson, the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, the
Student Activities Office, the Office of Student Affairs, and to Peg Wolff and Carolyn Manthei-Lund, who made
all the logistics work.
See the UMTC home page, “spotlight” section, for a link to more Month of Kindness activities, including the
Interfaith Campus Coalition’s blood drive on November 12, starting at 11 a.m. at Hillel House.
May November be kind to you.
Jan M.
Director of Community Relations, Twin Cities Campus, University of Minnesota

“One who knows how to show and accept kindness will be a better friend than any possession.”
--Sophocles

Kindness quote flyers (originally letter-sized, but reduced in size for this publication) are on the following
page:

4
E-mail Update, Nov. 14th:

Dear All,
Here are a few updates on Month of Kindness.
1. I am all out of buttons at Hillel! University Relations took a bunch of buttons to give to Goldy to pass out;
we sent 1000 buttons over to the Residence Halls to be distributed; the Student Activities office had a bunch;
the St. Paul Student Center Information desk had a bunch; Athletics had a bunch; and handfuls were distrib-
uted to a variety of student groups at Coffman including MSA and GAPSA. If you have any buttons you are
not planning to distribute, please let me know so we can get them into circulation.
2. I have many copies of the Kindness quote flyers for weeks three and four. Please stop by the Hillel front
desk next week to pick up any copies you want. We have quotes from Kahlil Gibran and Sophocles. If you
ask nicely, we might even deliver them to you!
3. If you are up early this Sunday morning and listen to Radio K at 9 a.m. you might hear a phone interview
with me about Month of Kindness.
4. The Minnesota Daily will print a guest column I submitted about Month of Kindness next week.
5. Please continue to post any events you may be doing on the University Events Calendar.
6. Go to our site to see the events posted on the University Events Calendar.
There are lots more events happening that have not been posted. Following are events I have been
informed of. If you’d like me to include more events on this list, send details and I’ll send out an update next
week. Have a great weekend! —Amy

5
MONTH OF KINDNESS EVENTS

• Month of Kindness Closing Event: Winter Warmth from U: Winter clothing drive beginning November 17,
culminating in filling a bus with collected clothing on December 3.
• Other events included an invitation to fast for a day with Muslim students (for which businesses donated
funds to a food shelter); a food and clothing drive; cookie- and craft-making for a sale (with proceeds to be
donated); school, hygiene, and cleaning supplies drive; panel discussions and rallies concerning tolerance,
acceptance, and diversity; spirituality presentations.

E-MAIL:

Hey, everybody! Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Check out the U. of M. homepage to see a fea-
ture on Winter Warmth From U and a great photo of Surbhi and John, the masterminds behind this incredible
event. Thanks to all of you for making “Month of Kindness” such a success in its first year. It can only get
better! —Amy

FINAL E-MAIL:

Dear All,
Thank you very much for your participation in the first annual Month of Kindness. I put it that way because
it is my hope that Month of Kindness will become an annual event. We now have a bit of a track record so
next year can be even better.
Yesterday’s Fill the Bus event was truly outstanding. I think it surpassed everybody’s expectations. Many
thanks to Surbhi and John and everyone who helped them make this event possible.
At the beginning of next semester, I’d like to set up a meeting to talk about plans for next year. Watch
your e-mail.
Check out this article that was in the Christian Science Monitor last week! They spelled my name wrong
but I won’t hold it against them. I’m still feeling kind even though it’s not November any more.
Best wishes to all celebrating for happy and healthy holidays. Best wishes to all studying for happy and
healthy finals. Stay kind! —Amy

4. Campus “Hugs”
Submitted by Janet, Tennessee

Our school newspaper, the “Settler,” promoted Random Acts of Kindness, sponsored on our campus by Phi
Theta Kappa. The Challenges Club at Volunteer State Community College is participating in the Random Acts
of Kindness Week from Feb. 9-14th. We will be giving “hugs” (Hershey’s candy Hugs) with an act of kindness
card that asks the recipient to offer an act of kindness to someone else.

The Challenges Club is devoted to promoting the awareness of persons with disabilities. Its members consist
of students with and without disabilities.

5. Penn State’s Kindness


Submitted by Laura, Pennsylvania

I wanted to share a story of something my students just completed as a RAK (of course, all RAK stories are
great stories!). Last year, you featured our program in one of your newsletters - I am part of Penn State
University’s new academic minor in civic and community engagement.

On my campus, Penn State Delaware County, the students enrolled in the minor were approached by an
alum from our campus - someone who received his associates degree back in the 70’s. He volunteers with
the American Heart Association and with the cardiac recovery unit of a local hospital, as he has had a heart
procedure in the past. He knew the local cardiac unit was short on “huggie pillows,” heart-shaped pillows that
are given to patients in recovery to help them with coughing and breathing exercises after surgery. He asked
our group if we were willing to help out the hospital by making some pillows, as the hospital does not supply
the pillows and relies on donations.

Well, it turned out one of the students enrolled in the minor underwent some heart surgery herself when
she was 8 years old, and the entire class jumped on board for the project! Most of the students hadn’t used
a sewing machine since junior high school, but in two hours the group created 12 huggie pillows and wrote
personal messages of inspiration and hope on them for the patients.

6
The hospital hasn’t stopped thanking us for taking the time to make the pillows, and the students want to
make more and hopefully start visiting some of the patients. You can see a picture of the students with the
pillows at: http://community.de.psu.edu/civcm/default.html and the students even created an online photo
gallery of the pillow-making process at: http://www.de2.psu.edu/faculty/uxg3/CIVCM/photos/HuggieJan2006.
wmv

6. Students Today, Leaders Forever


Submitted by Anonymous, Minnesota

The University of Minnesota (MPLS and St. Paul campus) has established a month of kindness each year.
During the month of March, Random Acts of Kindness are encouraged, suggestions are communicated to the
student bodies, and volunteer opportunities are emphasized.

A student group has been established at the University as well, known as Students Today, Leaders Forever.
This group is choosing to teach servant leadership, leading by example and then stepping back to help oth-
ers as they lead. They will assist others to identify their talents and abilities and bring out the best in them.
Their mission statement is “Our ultimate goal is to simply make an impact-to leave an everlasting mark,
proving that we can make a difference, we can change the world, one person at a time.” Their cornerstone
event has been their “Pay It Forward Tour” each spring during spring break.

Students are invited to be a part of a Spring Break trip that does not include sun, sand, and parties. They
are invited to take 11 days to travel from Minneapolis to Washington D.C., stopping each day in a differ-
ent city to help with various volunteer projects. The entire trip is student-planned and student-led. The
first year, there was one bus load of students. The second year, there were 4 busses with 150 students. I
was fortunate enough to be a “bus mom” for one bus this year. This is an incredible opportunity for every-
one. The group is working to establish chapters on other college campuses. Their website is www.stlf.net.
Hopefully this will be an epidemic.

7. Sigma Kappa Sorority’s Week of Giving


Submitted by Nicole, Michigan

It is so special that World Kindness Week has fallen in the same week as Sigma Kappa Sorority’s Week
of Giving! The Week of Giving also happens once a year during the week that Sigma Kappa Sorority was
founded. November 9th, 1874 (131 years ago!) our loyal Founders began bringing sisterhood to life at Colby
College in Waterville, Maine. To honor these five lovely women, and the Sigma Kappa chapters nationwide,
we have a Week of Giving, a time for the sisters to give back to our community. Our Sigma Kappa Chapter
at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan has put together these activities:

Monday - Baking cookies for our local philanthropy, Lincoln Square Assisted Living Home
Tuesday - Washing faculty and staff’s car windows at our University (and leaving a note under the wiper stat-
ing how much we appreciate them)
Wednesday - Visiting the men and women and Lincoln Square to play bingo and have cookies!
Thursday - Cleaning up the trash at the Sorority and Fraternity houses around campus
Friday - A “Bounce-a-thon” (non-stop bouncing on a moonwalk for 12 hours at a visible spot on campus) to
raise money for a local charity.

8. ?
Submitted by YOU??

Has your college or university passed on kindness? We’d love to hear about what your student group, dorm
friends or class did to promote kindness. E-mail us at info@actsofkindness.org. We’ll add it to this guide and
you may be featured in an upcoming edition of the KindTimes newsletter!

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

7
“Kindness is a language
which the deaf can hear and
the blind can read.”

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
— Mark Twain
do kindness

In this BOOKS FOR STUDENTS


bibliography, Aesop. Androcles and the Lion, and other Aesop’s Fables. Paxton, Tom (ed.). New York:
you’ll find Morrow Junior Books, 1991.
kindness-related Aesop. The Lion and the Mouse. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979.
books for both
Aliki. The Twelve Months. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1978. [The poor widow who finds good in
students and every month of the year is rewarded while her complaining rich neighbor receives a jar of
teachers. snakes.]
Bang, Molly. The Paper Crane. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1985. [An honest and hard-working
father and son own a restaurant that has fallen on hard times. One day a stranger comes to the
restaurant, and though he cannot pay for his meal, he is fed like a king.]
Bunting, Eve. Magic and the Night River. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. [A Japanese boy and
his grandfather fish successfully with their cormorants because they have treated the birds with
kindness.]
Bunting, Eve. Smoky Night. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1994. [When the Los Angeles riots break
out in the streets of their neighborhood, a young boy and his mother learn the value of getting
along with others no matter what their background or nationality.]
Canfield, Jack L., Mark Victor Hansen, et. al. Chicken Soup series. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health
Communications, Inc. [Personal accounts that touch the heart and lift the spirits.]
Practice Random Acts
of Kindness™ Carlson, Nancy L. Arnie and the New Kid. New York: Viking, 1990. [Top cat Arnie teases Philip
because he is confined to a wheelchair. Yet when Arnie falls down the school steps and breaks a
leg, twists a wrist, and sprains a tail, he begins to see life from a different perspective.]
Colf, Mary K., and Len Oszustowicz. 301 Random Acts of Kindness: A User’s Guide to a Giving
Life. Arlington, TX: Summit Publishing Group, 1994. [Challenges readers to tackle the list and
actually commit themselves to take concrete steps toward the creation of a better world.]
Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1985. [As a child, Great-aunt Alice
Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her
old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful — and she does all those things, the
last being the most difficult of all.]
The Random Acts of
Kindness™ Foundation Cosby, Bill. The Meanest Thing to Say. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1997. [When a new boy in his
second grade class tries to get the other students to play a game that involves saying the
1727 Tremont Place meanest things possible to one another, Little Bill shows him a better way to make friends.]
Denver, CO 80202
800-660-2811 Daugherty, James Henry. Andy and the Lion. New York: The Viking Press, 1938. [In this retelling
Fax: 303-297-2919 of Androcles and the Lion, Andy meets a lion on the way to school and wins his friendship for life
www.actsofkindness.org by removing a thorn from his paw.]
info@actsofkindness.org
1
DeArmond, Dale. The Seal Oil Lamp. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1988. [Because of a blind boy’s kindness to Mouse
Woman’s kin, she teaches him a magical chant that will call the animals to his spear.]
DeSpain, Pleasant. “Toads and Diamonds.” Twenty-two Splendid Tales to Tell from Around the World. Little Rock, AR:
August House Publishers, 1994.
Fleischman, Sid. The Scarebird. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1988. [A lonely farmer begins a friendship with a scarecrow,
but finds a real companion in his new hired hand.]
Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon. New York: Holiday House, 1989. [A short and funny fantasy about a reluctant
dragon who is engaged to fight with St. George himself.]
Grimm, Wilhelm, and Jacob Grimm. Snow White and Rose Red. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1984. [A bear,
befriended by two sisters during the winter, returns one day to reward them royally for their kindness.]
Hall, Lynn. Barry: The Bravest Saint Bernard. New York: Random House, Inc., 1992. [This is the true story of a Saint
Bernard who rescued over forty people, and whose courage and kindness became legendary.]
Hart, George. “The Lion and the Mouse.” Tales from Ancient Egypt. Cairo: Hoopoe Books, 1994.
Hoff, Syd. Little Chief. New York: Harper, 1961. [An Indian boy’s kindness encourages a group of frontiersmen to settle in the
same green valley as the Indians.]
Hughes, Shirley. Dogger. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1988. [Dave and Dogger go everywhere together, but
when Dave discovers Dogger is missing, big sister Bella’s help is needed.]
Hurwitz, Johanna. Aldo Ice Cream. New York: Morrow, 1981. [Aldo is working through the summer, trying to earn enough
money to pay for the ice cream machine his sister wants for her birthday.]
Hyde, Katherine Ryan. Pay It Forward. New York: Pocket Books, 2000. [Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a
kind act and tells them that instead of paying him back they should each pay it forward with acts of kindness to three more
people.]
Jaffe, Nina. Older Brother, Younger Brother: A Korean Folktale. New York: Viking, 1995. [After being turned out by his
greedy older brother, Hungbu and his family manage to prosper when his kindness to an injured sparrow is richly rewarded.]
Kornbluth, Jesse, and Jessica Papin (eds.). Because We Are Americans: What We Discovered on September 11, 2001.
New York: Warner Books, Inc., 2001. [In memory of the events of September 11, 2001, a scrapbook of America in tragedy
and triumph. All profits from the sale of this book are distributed equally to The American Red Cross and the New York State
World Trade Center Relief Fund.]
Kroll, Steven. Happy Father’s Day. New York: Holiday House, 1988. [Each of the children and Mom have a special surprise
for Dad on his special day.]
Kroll, Steven. Happy Mother’s Day. New York: Holiday House, 1985. [One day when Mom returns home, she is greeted by
surprise after surprise from each of her six children and her husband.]
La Fontaine, Jean de. The Lion and the Rat. Oxfordshire, England: Oxford University Press, 1984. [A small rat is the only
animal capable of saving the life of the king of the beasts.]
Lorbiecki, Marybeth. Sister Anne’s Hands. New York: Puffin, 2000. [Seven-year-old Anna has her first encounter with racism
in the 1960s when an African-American nun comes to teach at her parochial school.]
Mayer, Marianna. Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1994. [Vasilisa, sent by her evil
stepmother on a dangerous journey to the ancient and terrible witch Baba Yaga, is helped by her secret companion, a little
live doll, who acts as mentor and friend.]
McGraw, Eloise Jarvis. The Moorchild. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. [Feeling that she is neither fully human nor fully
fairy, a changeling learns her true identity and attempts to find the human child whose place she had been given.]

2
Morris, Ann. Loving. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1990. [Little ones will enjoy this enlightening encounter with
people from many cultures showing their love for each other.]

Murphy, Mary. How Kind. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2002. [A hen’s single act of kindness becomes infectious as the
animals pass it on; kindness affects every animal in the barnyard and eventually finds its way back to her.]
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh Season. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1996. [When mean and angry
Judd, who has never known kindness, takes to drinking and mistreats his dogs, Marty discovers how deep a hurt can go and
how long it takes to heal.]
Paterson, Katherine. Celia and the Sweet, Sweet Water. New York: Clarion Books, 1998. [While journeying to find a remedy
for her mother’s illness, Celia and her grumpy dog Brumble encounter strange and threatening characters who have never
known kindness.]
Pearson, Emily. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2002. [A young girl’s good deed is multiplied
as it is passed on by those who have been touched by the kindess of others.]
Peet, Bill. Kermit the Hermit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965. [After a mean, selfish crab is rescued by a boy, the crab
searches for a way to repay the kindness.]
Polacco, Patricia. Mrs. Katz and Tush. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. [Larnel Moore, a young African-American boy, and
Mrs. Katz, an elderly Jewish woman, develop an unusual friendship through their mutual concern for an abandoned cat
named Tush.]
Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books, 1994. [The true story of a remarkable wartime friendship between
a young white Union soldier and a young black Union soldier who are captured by Confederate soldiers and sent to
Andersonville Prison.]
Rappaport, Doreen. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Hyperion Books for Children,
2001. [By using simple, direct language — much of it King’s — the text offers young readers an accessible yet profound
introduction to King’s legacy.]
Reynolds, Diana. The Elephant’s Pillow. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2003. [Set in Peking, this story teaches children
about empathy and kindness.]
Rice, David L. Because Brian Hugged His Mother. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1999. [When Brian hugs and kisses
his mother one morning, the act starts a chain reaction of kindness and consideration that spreads throughout the town and
eventually comes back to him.]
San Souci, Robert D. The Talking Eggs. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1989. [A Southern folktale in which kind
Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches, while her greedy sister makes fun of the old woman and is
duly rewarded.]
Schotter, Roni. Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane. New York: Orchard Books, 1989. [In this tender twist on a
familiar theme, a neighborhood curmudgeon — “thin and mean and bent and bitter”— is changed by youngsters’ kindness.]
Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. New York: HarperCollins, 1986. [A moving parable about the gift of giving and the capacity
to love, told throughout the life of a boy who grows to manhood and a tree that selflessly gives him her bounty through the
years.]
Small, Ernest. Baba Yaga. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966. [An adaptation of a Russian folktale about a nasty witch who
supposedly eats bad little children.]
Spinelli, Eileen. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. New York: Bradbury Press, 1991. [An anonymous Valentine changes the
life of the unsociable Mr. Hatch, turning him into a laughing friend who helps and appreciates all his neighbors.]
Steptoe, John. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1987. [Mufaro’s two beautiful
daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.]

3
Wilde, Oscar. The Selfish Giant. Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio USA, 1984. [A once selfish giant welcomes the children to
his previously forbidden garden and is eventually rewarded by an unusual little child.]

Zolotow, Charlotte. I Know a Lady. New York: Greenwillow, 1984. [Sally describes a loving and lovable old lady in her
neighborhood who grows flowers, waves to children when they pass her house, and bakes cookies for them at Christmas.]

TEACHER RESOURCES

Baldrige, Letitia. Letitia Baldrige’s More than Manners! — Raising Today’s Kids to Have Kind Manners & Good Hearts.
New York: Rawson Associates, 1997.
Bennett, William J. (ed.). The Book of Virtues for Young People: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. Parsippany, NJ: Silver
Burdett Press, 1995.
The Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness: An Anthology of Writings by and about the Dalai Lama. Piburn,
Sidney (ed.) Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 1990.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Little Brown & Co., 2000.
Kilpatrick, William. Books that Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values through Stories. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Lamme, Linda Leonard. Literature-based Moral Education: Children’s Books and Activities for Teaching Values,
Responsibility & Good Judgment in the Elementary School. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1992.
Lickona, Thomas. Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility. New York: Bantam
Books, Inc., 1992.
Paley, Vivian Gussin. The Kindness of Children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
Paley, Vivian Gussin. You Can’t Say You Can’t Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Rice, Judith. The Kindness Curriculum: Introducing Young Children to Loving Values. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 1995.

We are grateful for the assistance of Bonnie Calzolaio, Teacher Center Director, and Cheryl Contento, Teacher, both of New
York, in developing this bibliography.

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

4
do
“We must not, in trying to think
about how we can make a big differ-
ence, ignore the small daily differences
we can make which, over time, add up
to big differences that we often cannot
foresee.” — Marian Wright-Edelman
kindness
RAK TESTIMONIALS

“Just wanted to let you know that kindness is spreading here at our
From educators Middle School. To prove that, I have 14 Acts of Kindness slips sitting
and community here. In one day, that many students got “caught.” I really feel like
members your presentation motivated our students and opened up their minds.
involved in “Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences
and outlook with us. I truly feel like it’s already making a difference in
Random Acts our school. I hope you are getting settled in your new space, Thanks
of Kindness again!” —Maureen (Denver)

“I am facinated by this website as it contains gems of thoughts


leading people to be kind to his/her fellow human beings.
“In this world of selfishness, hatred, revenge kindness is medicine.
My hearty congrats to you for offering this website.” —Bro. Arockiam

“As Director of Pupil Services at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo


New York (grades K-6), I am always searching for ideas to promote
positive relationships in our school community. I have developed a pro-
gram that incorporates Random Act of Kindness’ ideas as an important
part of these programs.
Practice Random Acts
“Your site offers some wonderful ideas that are easily incorporated
of Kindness™ into these other programs. I wanted to thank you for the many won-
derful ideas from your site that have directly helped to create all these
programs at our school.” —Susan Gillick, Ph.D.

“I feel that your Random Acts of kindness site fuels the fire inside
us all. We are mothers, sisters and teachers that feel our footsteps are
placed in a manner that allows the strong to take charge.” —Mary

“I have shared your website info with teachers at a workshop I gave


in December.” —Miriam
The Random Acts of
Kindness™ Foundation
“It was holiday here in Japan and by chance I got connected linked
1727 Tremont Place with your website. I started reading each and every word on this site
Denver, CO 80202 and time lapsed very fast. I must say that you deserve some kind of
800-660-2811 award for having such a beautiful website.
Fax: 303-297-2919 “I myself learned a lot from your site. Thanks” —Ari (Japan)
info@actsofkindness.org
www.actsofkindness.org

1
“Thank you for sending me KindTimes--it is terrific. I love the layout, graphics and
great vignettes. Interestingly, a friend of ours who just visited from Atlanta told us excit-
edly about the article in [Delta Airline’s] Sky Magazine. I just knew that it would spark
even greater interest! Way to go!
“I also love the Kids Kindness Calendar--a great teaching resource!
“What a great resource your website is--you have everything there. I love referring
teachers to your site!” —Debbie (Canada)

“I am so impressed with your website and stories that I would like to know if it is
acceptable for me to link to you from our website. Thank you!” —Teresa (Florida)

“Thank you so much for inspiring me with so many excellent quotes! When I first can
here, I was just looking for a simple quote for Public Speaking class. After looking at
several, I felt overwhelmed by happiness that I didnt know could be acheived by simple
things.
“I plan to be the future president and try and spread peace to other nations. Thank
you once again!” —Matt

“The RAK Foundation website was a life saver this year. I did not decide to do all this
until the Thursday before RAK Week. I got wonderful ideas and downloaded a lot of mate-
rial from there.” —Sherry (Mississippi)

“Thank you for the bookmarks on your website. I’ve printed a million (I’m stretching
the truth) to hand out to random people. Going to enclose them in see-through Contac
paper to increase their usefulness. Thanks again, love your site, it makes my day!”
—Barbara

SURVEY: EDUCATORS’ RESPONSES

We circulated a survey to a few of our educators. Their responses help us understand the
practical aspects — as well as the benefits — of teaching kindness. Excerpts follow:

1. Why would teachers want kindness activities or a kindness program in their


school?
“It is easy to teach a student who has a good attitude. Kindness activities help to
improve student’s attitudes. In a classroom where kindness is emphasized and unkindness
is not tolerated, students feel free to ask questions.” —Sherry, MS
“An emphasis on kindness in a classroom or school creates a more positive school cul-
ture, where peace prevails so that learning can be fostered.” —Carol, HI
“Kindness provides a better community of learners. A teacher can do a lot to change the
social culture of a classroom and a school. When the entire community values kindness,
then it becomes the norm.” —Lisa, CO
“Schools need to have environments which encourage risk taking among their students.
I’m not talking about dangerous activities, but whenever learning takes place students
need to feel as if their ideas, thoughts, and struggles will be met with encouragement,
support and understanding.
“Kindness activities/programs are a positive step in improving the emotional climate
of a classroom and school. Bringing kindness to the awareness and conscious level in chil-

2
dren and staff members helps create an atmosphere conducive to learning.” —Peter, NM
“Teachers may use these activities to meet service learning projects, to be a part of
their social studies curriculum, to bring school and community together, to bring students
together, or to change the image of the school or kids.” —Patrick, PA
“Teachers teach kindness to make students more aware of how their kindness has a pos-
itive effect on our community and society.” —Rita, CO

2. What does kindness do for students themselves? Has kindness affected the
emotional climate at your school, and if so, how?
“Students and teachers have noticed more and more that we are responding with kind-
ness, not anger and violence.” —Sherry, MS
“As with adults, there is a feeling of altruism one gets when one extends a kindness to
someone else. Children can learn this behavior, and teachers are positively reinforcing the
students’ good behaviors. An important element is time for students to reflect on their
action — both bad and good. All of this awareness makes for a better classroom climate.”
—Cheryl, NY
“Kindness activities make students more aware of kindness, both the kind things that
they do and the things that others do. This awareness really contributes to a positive
social climate. Kindness becomes something that is expected and valued.” —Lisa, CO
“Kind deeds help empower children. Elementary children, needing concrete examples for
learning to take place, get to see a direct connection between their deeds and the reac-
tions of others. Children increase their belief in themselves and feel a greater connection
to others when they see how their actions positively impact people and places.
“How I wish I could do some study about the emotional climate before and after
RAK week. It is almost as if a burdensome weight is lifted, not only from students but
teachers as well. There seems to be more laughter coming out of the teachers’ lounge.
There is more unity, less gossip, more openness and honesty. There seems to be a pulling
together of everyone working toward our unified goals, objectives and mission.
“Our RAK activities strongly encourage teachers and students to work together and
this has an impact on children feeling safer around our school. There are more smiling,
patient, and kindhearted children.” —Peter, NM
“Kindness generates pride, a sense of accomplishment, a ‘Hey look what we did’ feeling.
It also helps to form and strengthen bonds.” —Patrick, PA
“Kindness helps students feel good about themselves as the giver or receiver; it pro-
motes positive self-esteem. It’s empowering to know that you can make a difference.”
—Rita, CO
“Teachers want a kindness program in school because it motivates positive behavior in
a positive way. Students are often told the ‘terrible’ consequences of their behavior. This
reverses that process; it puts the responsibility on the children and rewards them from the
beginning.
“Kindness instills self-confidence in children. They are able to succeed. Success in
any form breeds success. Urban children have little of this, so this program is important.
Kindness builds self-esteem. It provides the student with an opportunity to feel pride in
who they are and in what they do.
“The kindness program focused the student body and forced the teachers to
address positive behavior. Because of our method of earning cards, the only behavior that
became important was good behavior — kindness. Therefore, the problems became almost
nonexistent. Students didn’t have time to act up.” —Janice, NJ

3
3. Why did you decide to get involved with kindness?
“Several years ago I became concerned about the way students put each other down. I
really liked what RAK stood for.” —Sherry, MS
“I decided to get involved because the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation speaks to
my heart.” —Janice, NJ
“I saw kids being ostracized and bullied all the time, and yet when I had heart-to-heart
talks with kids about this, nobody was happy with it. The students themselves wanted to
change. They wanted to see if their kind acts would make a difference, and they really felt
they did.” —Lisa, CO
“Kindness tied in with the curriculum and with my own value system.” —Cheryl, NY
“I’ve always believed that setting up a positive, supportive classroom environment is
a key to successful teaching and learning. Kindness activities have become a big part of
establishing this atmosphere in my school.
“Recently there has been some brain research pointing out the impact of kind deeds
and certain chemicals being released in the brain that may enhance children.” —Peter, NM
“I decided to get involved with kindness because it is the foundation of what a safe com-
munity is based on.” —Rita, CO
“There are many reasons…and being involved with kindness has also helped me grow as
a person.” —Carol, HI

4. How easy or difficult was it for you to incorporate kindness into your curricu-
lum or school(s)?
“The hardest part was getting started and setting aside the time. Once this became a
priority and I took the first steps, everything else seemed to fall into place. When I went
to others with specific ideas and specific requests for help, many were willing to lend a
hand.” —Peter, NM
“The administration and staff have supported and encouraged me. Recently our district
has established a character education program that incorporates all of our kindness activi-
ties.” —Sherry, MS
“Students, teachers, and the community planned together so that incorporation was not
a chore.” —Pat, PA
“I think more teachers need to be made aware of the information they can access
through the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. I plan to make an effort to get the
information to them this year, perhaps through the teacher’s union.” —Carol, HI
“Easy enough. I had the support of administration, and other teachers saw the value and
joined in.” —Cheryl, NY
“It was easy. Parents, administrators, and students were all very excited to try some
new ideas related to kindness. In one language arts class, I carefully planned writing
assignments around our kindness idea to further enhance the academic aspect of this
project and also allow kids the time to reflect on it and discuss it.” —Lisa, CO
“I used the materials from the RAK website, gave my students journals, and began.”
—Janice, NJ

5. How have kindness activities been received by students, by other teachers,


and by administrators?
“Overwhelmingly, mainly because we made it easy by having ideas and materials ready
to go for a school-wide project.” —Cheryl, NY
“I think everyone values these activities towards making the school and community
more caring and conducive to learning.” —Carol, HI
“I’m fortunate that each principal I’ve worked with has thrown 100% support behind
our RAK Week activities because they see and have heard the positive impact it produces

4
in our school. We implement activities that aren’t too time consuming or overwhelming
for the teachers, yet are meaningful enough so they become vested in the projects. RAK
Week has become one of the highlights at my past school. Once posters and announce-
ments go up signaling the approach of RAK Week, children become excited. Parents, too,
have had nothing but positive comments.” —Peter, NM
“Very well. The entire community has encouraged the students to do this.” —Lisa, CO
“All the activities have been received well. The organized activities had inspired many
random acts of kindness. We always have more participation than I can even imagine.
Most years I never buy enough ribbon or order enough materials. Teachers are glad to
help.” —Sherry, MS
”I can’t explain enough the importance of this program. The title alone — kindness
— has an enormous impact. This program took an urban school and raised the self-esteem
and attitude of 820 students. We had students who had refused to come to school start
attending because they said ‘they could be kind’ and they wanted to earn their cards.”
—Janice, NJ

6. Has there been any community outreach from your school, or community
involvement with your school, as a result of kindness activities?
“We established a network and a partnership with the local senior center.” —Patrick, PA
“Last year I connected different organizations in our school with community groups. I
asked for volunteers and called the community groups to see what we could do for them.”
[The students did acts of kindness for the police, veterans, National Guard members serv-
ing in Afghanistan, Navy and Marine personnel, firefighters, and emergency response per-
sonnel.] —Sherry, MS
“The importance of a program like this in an urban district such as ours is multi-fac-
eted. Our area is in the process of redevelopment. The poor people feel as if they no lon-
ger count. Their self-esteem has been beaten down over and over again. This program,
through their children, gave the parents the courage to feel good, to feel proud, to feel
that there was meaning in the changing world around them. The parents helped their chil-
dren become aware of kind acts, gave them hints on how they could help, how they could
be kind. The redevelopment of our area is not in the real estate, but in the parents of our
students.” —Janice, NJ
“Each class that participates adopts a local agency on the pueblo (e.g., police depart-
ment, social service agency, fire department) and does a kind deed for those workers dur-
ing RAK Week. Because our schools have traditionally had difficulty getting positive press,
this has been a big boost. Children feel a closer connection to other positive role models in
the community, and outside community resources seem more willing to come do presenta-
tions to our students as a result. The parents in our community seem to love the fact that
the school is doing something for the community.” —Peter, NM

7. Other thoughts or comments:


“This movement grows each year. This week I am planning how staff and students can
honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, and those heroes who tried to res-
cue them. We are also honoring community people who are recognized as persons of out-
standing character.” —Sherry, MS
“Our RAK activities last year in Albuquerque went over so well and generated such posi-
tive press coverage that I’ve had a few people I’ve never met call up to ask what we’re
doing this year.” —Peter, NM
“I think it is very easy to incorporate this type of program into schools and very neces-
sary, given our current state of the world.” —Lisa, CO

5
One teacher’s experience:
“I think that first year, students in my classroom did 700 acts of kindness during RAK
Week. The following year I opened it up to the school and invited anyone who wanted to
participate. Not many teachers participated, but students came to me from other class-
rooms to participate in this project.
“The third year I planned a school-wide RAK Week. I worked with 820 students and
created a 1080-link chain of kindness. At that point, teachers saw what an impact it had
on the students and wanted to get involved. We will do it again this year.
“Our conflict resolution program and our kindness program have been responsible for
our discipline problems dropping nearly 70%.
“Kindness activities are now embraced by 90% of the teachers. Administrators and
students, of course, embrace the program. The community celebrated the success of the
program by broadcasting it on the local cable channel. Newspapers both local and city
embraced the program. The mayor and council members all expressed pride in our accom-
plishments.
The other district schools have contacted me to participate in the kindness program
for this year.” —Janice, NJ

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™

6
do
“Just because an animal is
large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t
want kindness; however big
Tigger seems to be, remember
that he wants as much
kindness as Roo.”— A.A. Milne
kindness
ANNOTATED VIDEO BIBLIOGRAPHY

Note: The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has compiled this list with
suggestions of movies, videos, television shows, etc. that demonstrate
kindness. However, we cannot guarantee the age-appropriateness of any
In this of these offerings and suggest an adult watch and review the offerings
bibliography, before showing them to children.
you’ll find
kindness-related
movies, videos
and television MOVIES
shows for adults Amelie - Amélie is a shy waitress in a Montmartre café. After returning a long-lost childhood trea-
and children. sure to a former occupant of her apartment, and seeing the effect it has on him, she decides to set
out on a mission to make others happy and in the meantime pursues a quirky guy who collects dis-
carded photo booth pictures. Little by little, Amélie realizes that the way to happiness (and yet more
subtle humor) requires her to take her own initiative and reach out to others. (In French) (UGC)

Because of Winn-Dixie - A 10-year-old girl, abandoned by her mother when she was three, moves
to a small town in Florida with her father, a preacher. While there, she adopts a stray dog whom
she names after the local supermarket where he was found. With her goofy pooch by her side, she
meets an eclectic group of townspeople and rekindles an almost lost relationship with her father.
(20th Century Fox)

Big Fish - About the life of a man who told fantastic stories about his life to his son, who, until the
father’s last days, only saw them as tall tales. Good family values. Honesty, sincerity, bravery, trust-
Practice Random Acts worthiness issues. Very interesting, magical, and moving, and great tall tales, too! (Sony Pictures)
of Kindness™
The ButterCream Gang - Unlike most gangs, the ButterCream gang does good deeds. Their
leader, Pete, has to go live with his aunt in Chicago. But things don’t go well in Chicago and Pete
is changed when he returns. Soon Pete is hanging around with the wrong crowd. But the remain-
ing members of the gang, especially their new leader, Scott, refuse to give up on their friend Pete.
(Bonneville Entertainment)

The Children of Chabannes - From 1939 to 1942, in the village of Chabannes in central France,
more than 400 Jewish children were hidden, schooled, and ultimately saved through the heroic
efforts of the school’s director and teachers and of Jewish rescue organizations that first got the
The Random Acts of children there, and then, as war closed around them, got all but a handful out safely. In 1996, two
Kindness™ Foundation aged teachers and the children and their families reunite. Lisa Gossels, whose father and uncle
were among the children, records it. Survivors’ comments, photos and drawings from the war, foot-
1727 Tremont Place
Denver, CO 80202 age of the school and town, and a celebration of the heroism and leadership of the school’s director,
800-660-2811 Felix Chevrier, comprise the film. (New Video Group)
Fax: 303-297-2919
www.actsofkindness.org
info@actsofkindness.org

1
Chocolat - Vianne Rocher and her young daughter are drifters who are met with skepticism and resistance when they move
to a conservative town in rural France and open a chocolate shop during Lent. As Vianne begins to work her magic and help
those around her, the townspeople are soon won-over by her exuberance and her delicious chocolates - except for the mayor,
who is determined to shut her down. When a group of river drifters visit the town, Vianne teaches the townspeople something
about acceptance, and finds love for herself along the way. (Miramax)

Dear God - Tom Turner is a con man, defrauding people from their money with a variety of two-bit hustles. One night he
makes the mistake of attempting to hustle some undercover cops, and finds himself in court faced with the dilemma of either
going to jail or getting a real job. Choosing to stay out of jail, he gets a job at the post office working in their Dead Letter Office
helping to sort Dead Letters (i.e. mail which, for whatever reason, can’t be delivered). Some of the mail he recieves can’t be
delivered because it’s addressed to God, and he accidentally answers (sending them money in the process). This starts the
ball rolling as more of his co-workers get in on the idea of helping people by answering “God” mail. (Rysher Entertainment)

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story - Down-and-out horse trainer Ben Crane is given an equally broken-down (but once
great) racehorse, Sonya, as severance pay. It will take the unwavering faith and determination of Ben’s daughter, Cale, to
bring these two damaged souls together in a quest to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. (DreamWorks Pictures)

Driving Miss Daisy - An elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta can no longer drive. Her son insists she allow him to hire a
driver, which in the 1950s meant a black man. She resists any change in her life but, Hoke, the driver is hired by her son. She
refuses to allow him to drive her anywhere at first, but Hoke slowly wins her over with his native good graces. The movie is
directly taken from a stage play and does show it. It covers over twenty years of the pair’s life together as they slowly build a
relationship that transcends their differences. (Majestic Films International)

The Five People You Meet In Heaven - On his 83rd birthday, Eddie, a war veteran and a maintenance worker at the Ruby
Pier amusement park, dies while trying to save a girl who is sitting under a falling ride. When he awakens in the afterlife, he
encounters five people with ties to his corporeal existence who help him understand the meaning of his life. (Lions Gate)

Forrest Gump - The story follows the life of low I.Q. Forrest Gump and his meeting with the love of his life Jenny. The film
chronicles his accidental experiences with some of the most important people and events in America from the late 1950’s
through the 1970’s including a meeting with Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, fighting in
Vietnam, etc. The problem is, he does not realize the significance of his actions. Forrest becomes representative of the baby
boomer generation having walked through life blindly. (Paramount)

Friendship’s Field - Ira and Oscar, two kids from different cultures, developed an enduring friendship which triumphed over
tragedy and taught lasting lessons. An aged crayon drawing found in a trunk awakens memories from the unforgettable sum-
mer of 1965. Ira was 11 years old, enjoying her last year of freedom before working on her family’s beet farm. When her father
hired migrant workers to help in the fields, Ira didn’t realize the experience would change her life forever. In spite of local hos-
tility shown to the migrants, Ira befriended Oscar, a young Mexican boy. Their summer of carefree fun was tested by prejudice
and taught Ira how to be a true friend and stand up for her beliefs. (Bonneville Entertainment)

Good Morning, Miss Dove - Miss Dove is a strict disciplinary, plus a well respected teacher, who has inspired her students to
individual greatness. One day during class, Miss Dove experiences great pain in her back, but continues with the class. After
class she asks one of her students who is staying after class to get a doctor. Thomas, a doctor, and a former student of her’s
takes her to the hospital and hospitalizes her. While in the hospital her former students rally around her causing Miss Dove to
reflect on her past. (20th Century Fox)

Harvey - Elwood Dowd, a middle-aged drunk, has been driving his sister and niece wild by introducing everyone he meets
to his pal Harvey. Harvey is a big white rabbit, six feet eight inches tall, which only Elwood (and occasionally his sister when
she’s feeling odd) can see. The sister, Veta Louise Simmons, tries to have Elwood committed to Chumleys Rest sanatorium,
but they let Elwood out and lock her up. After sorting out the mistake, Dr. Chumley goes after Elwood himself. (Universal
Studios)

2
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Based on the book by the famous Dr. Seuss. Inside a snowflake exists the magical land
of Whoville. In Whoville, live the Who’s, an almost mutated sort of munchkinlike people. All the Who’s love Christmas, yet just
outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch. The Grinch is a nasty creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it
away from the Whos which he equally abhors. Yet a small child, Cindy Lou Who, decides to try befriend the Grinch with sur-
prising results. (Two versions: 2000, Imagine Entertainment; 1966, MGM Television)

I Remember Mama - Based on a play by John Van Druten, this drama gathers the recollections of a Norwegian family relo-
cated to San Francisco -- especially those of Katrin, a novelist who credits her mother, Marta, for her and her siblings’ success.
In spite of poverty and the difficulties of adjusting to a new country, Marta persevered, paving the way for her children’s bright
future. (Warner Home Video)

Ice Age - Back when the Earth was being overrun by glaciers, and animals were scurrying to save themselves from the
upcoming Ice Age, a sloth named Sid, a woolly mammoth named Manny, a saber-toothed tiger named Diego, and an acorn-
loving saber-toothed squirrel named Scrat are forced to become unlikely heroes. The four reluctantly come together when they
have to return a human child to its father while braving the deadly elements of the impending Ice Age. (20th Century Fox)

A Little Princess - When her father enlists to fight for the British in WWI, young Sara Crewe goes to New York to attend the
same boarding school her late mother attended. She soon clashes with the severe headmistress, Miss Minchin, who attempts
to stifle Sara’s creativity and sense of self-worth. Sara’s belief that “every girl’s a princess” is tested to the limit, however, when
word comes that her father was killed in action and his estate has been seized by the British government. (Warner Bros.)

Millions - What would you do if you were a kid just playing around in a cardboard box and all of a sudden a bag filled with
money plops into your lap? That’s the question asked in “Millions,” a gentle family film. Damian is playing by himself, mind-
ing his own business, when a bag full of pounds 265,000 literally falls into his hands. Letting his big brother Anthony in on the
secret, the two decide it’s best to not let their dad know about their newfound riches. Danny, the idealistic one, has conversa-
tions with saints who appear to him and help advise him on the good he can do with the money. Following the advice of the
saints, Danny sets out to give the money away to the poor. But his brother Anthony has other ideas. Anthony’s ready to buy
real estate and advance his family’s fortunes. There can’t be a bag full of money without there being a bad guy, so soon after
their discovery, everything takes a dangerous turn when the kids encounter the man who stole the cash and who wants it all
back. (20th Century Fox)

The Miracle of the Cards - is based on the true story of Marion Shergold and her son, Craig, an eight-year-old English boy
who had a brain tumor. Several events convinced Marion that God was leading her to a cure for Craig and that the get-well
cards he was receiving had the power to keep him alive, so she launched a worldwide campaign to break the Guinness record
for receiving the most get-well cards. At the time, the world record seemed an impossible 1,000,265, but Craig received over
350 million cards from all over the world. Against the advice of her doctors, Marion followed one of those cards to America for
Craig’s miraculous cure. (Legacy Filmworks/Viacom Productions)

Patch Adams - This movie is based on a true story. In 1969, Hunter Adams was a troubled man who voluntarily committed
himself into a mental institution. Once there, he finds that helping his fellow inmates there gives him a purpose in life. Thus
inspired, he leaves the asylum and vows to become a doctor to help people professionally. However, what he finds at medical
school is a sickeningly callous philosophy that advocates an arms-length attitude to the patients that does not address their
emotional needs or the quality of their lives. “Patch” Adams is determined to find a better way to help them, although the con-
sequences of his defiance of the rules and the authorities are severe. (Blue Wolf/Bungalow 78 Productions)

Pay It Forward - Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is
caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something
to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good
deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor’s efforts to make good on his idea bring
a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an
ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him. (Warner Bros.)

3
Pollyanna - A little girl comes to a town that is embattled by feuds and intimidated by her aunt. By the time she must leave,
she has transformed the community with her indominatable will to see the good side of even the worst situations and bring it
out for the betterment of all. (Walt Disney Co.)

TV SHOWS

Horton Hears a Who - In this story, Horton discovers there is a microscopic community of intelligent beings called the Who’s
living on a plant that only he can hear. Recognising the dangers they face, he resolves to keep them safe. However, the other
animals around him think Horton has gone crazy thinking that there are such beings. They resolve to take action for his own
good and Horton and The Who must struggle against these impossible odds to prevent a tragedy. Based on the book of the
same title by Dr. Seuss. (Warner Bros. DVD)

Joan of Arcadia - Millions of people speak to God. What if God spoke back? Life just got a hell of a lot more confusing for
teenage Joan Girardi, who already deals with feeling out of place in her family: her police chief father, her somewhat overbear-
ing mother, her geeky younger brother and former football star older brother, now paralyzed. They’d never believe her if she
told them that God is talking to her. Does Joan have a higher purpose on earth, or are these strange conversations just in her
head? (Paramount)

The Muppet Show - For 50 years, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and all their friends have entertained and educated countless
children and adults with their antics. Numerous videos (Walt Disney Co.)

Sesame Street - Starting nearly 40 years ago, Sesame Street was designed to use the medium of television to reach and
teach preschoolers, and give them skills that would provide a successful transition from home to school. The show gives chil-
dren a head start and provides them with enough confidence to begin learning the alphabet, numbers, and pro-social skills.
Numerous videos (Sony Wonder)

Winnie the Pooh - Winnie the Pooh endlessly craves snacks (preferably honey) to soothe his appetite. But even honey isn’t
as important as his friends. Their happiness and feelings are Pooh’s chief concerns - and there is no better friend than Winnie
the Pooh. Numerous videos (Walt Disney Co.)

Wonder Pets! - Wonder Pets! is a Nick Jr. show for preschoolers. Each episode follows the adventures of three classroom
pets who travel around the globe helping to rescue animals who need their help. Like real preschoolers, these three unlikely
heroes don’t have any actual super powers, but by working together they can conquer any obstacle: “What’s gonna work?
Teamwork!” Each episode encourages teamwork, empathy, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation of music and humor.
(Nick Jr.)

The items in the “video-graphy” were comprised based on suggestions by members of The Random Acts of Kindness
Foundation. Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute your idea.

We are always looking for new suggestions to help our list grow. Please e-mail your contribution to info@actsofkindness.org.

Practice Random Acts


of Kindness™