“There is always more room for kindness”, Dr. Sork the proud principal acknowledged. Seven of Dorothy Fox’s third-grade students have taken the initiative to start and run a kindness team. Their goal is to improve inclusiveness and kindness between peers not only at Dorothy Fox but the entire community. Aubrey Schultz and Addie Clark, the creators, have recruited five other members, Deven Pokhard, Maile Wong, Wesley Pachinger, Teddy Wiezorek, and Emma Delahunty who are just as passionate about spreading kindness in the community.
The Kindness Team commenced after Ms. Wicks mindfulness circle, where the students share all their feelings with one another. A discussion was brought up about a class with a fifth/fourth-grade split; the situation is that students were spreading rumors that the reason for a split class was because the fifth graders were not as intelligent and needed to be taught at an easier level. The mindfulness circle talked about ways to stop rumors and any unkindness going around in the school. The Kindness Team then formed in hopes of stopping unwanted behavior around the school to encourage a safe environment.
The Kindness Team then formed in hopes of stopping unwanted behavior around the school to encourage a safe environment.
The Kindness Team has started to spread the word around the school of their existence by appearing on the morning news. They appear on the first Friday of every month to encourage students to participate in the monthly challenge, they also create posters to hang around the school.
So far, they have had four ‘Challenges of the Month.’ For example, getting as many people off the buddy bench, high fives, writing nice notes to students around the school, and smiling at everyone. The buddy bench was created by the staff to minimize being excluded, students sit on the bench when they have no one to play with and whoever comes up to them has to include them in their game or activity. The month of December was a special month for The Kindness Team, every day before the break was a new challenge, for example, two of the days were; sit next to someone new and say hi to someone new.
The buddy bench was created by the staff to minimize exclusion, students sit on the bench when they have no one to play with and whoever comes up to them has to include them in their game or activity.
The month of December was a special month for The Kindness Team, every day before the break was a new challenge. For example, two of the days were to sit next to someone new and say hi to someone new.
The Kindness Team meets once a day in the library during their recess to discuss new issues and how to execute plans. Mrs. Logan who runs the library witnesses the progress and determination of the students every day. As they meet, each of the members has roles that make The Kindness Team successful.
Pachinger, an officer on the team wants to, “Spread the idea of The Kindness Team to other schools and the community.”
The other members had a similar reaction to the question: why did you join? The next question that was asked was is has there been any noticeable change?
Schultz states, “I have seen more people being asked to play on the buddy bench, and just people being kinder than in the beginning of the year.”
Pokhard beamed, “There has been a change in how the fourth graders treat the fifth graders who are in the split class, and it is way kinder.”
Other students around the school also agree to witnessing changes being made, Presley says,“ I see a huge change, I used to get bullied and left out of things. The Kindness team made a monthly challenge to help kids get off the buddy bench and I have been asked to play every day for a while.”
The Kindness Team has worked extremely hard to make a difference at Dorothy Fox Elementary and their motivation has caught the attention of the community! They have lots of ideas for creating a kind space in schools and are ready to show the world their goals. These students go above and beyond with showing their leadership and maturity at such a young age and deserve recognition, making the world a better place one kind gesture at a time.