Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
As she has done for a number of years, Malletts Bay School fifth-grade teacher Dawn Buswell hosted an “Acts of Kindness and Justice” challenge for her class—and three weeks later, the students had amassed an astounding 633 of them!
Mrs. Buswell’s twenty-four students embarked on a mission—based upon the KJ Challenge in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—to perform and tally their acts of kindness and justice in order to experience how conducting one’s self honorably and helpfully can impact one’s self and the world. It was an effort to celebrate the work of Dr. King, improve class climate, and encourage our students to work for social change.
The students’ acts ranged from helping their neighbors and cooking dinner to shoveling sidewalks and standing up for others. Other examples included telling peers that they were being unkind and admitting to a lie. The acts had to extend beyond normal chores, and they had to be signed by an adult in order to be included in the official count. The class members met regularly to share what they’d done and to count their acts, working their way toward their goal of six hundred. Acts of kindness were worth one point, while acts of justice were worth five; the class decided to differentiate the values because acts of justice are generally a bit scary, involve some risk, and are typically harder to do.
Some of the students shared their thoughts about the “Acts of Kindness and Justice” challenge on their classroom blogs, all of which can be accessed directly from the Buswell Blog, as it is called. Here are some excerpts:
When our class was doing acts of kindness and justice I felt like a hero.
But the best part is that you realize that one little act of kindness or justice makes the world a better place and it spreads around the world!
Doing something for someone is always nice, but when people don’t expect it, that is even better!
I feel like a king when I did justice stuff.
It’s like I changed the world.
And it’s just wonderful to see someone smiling because of what I did. And to see their smiling faces just warms my heart.
It is a good thing and it is fun to do, too. You should try. I tried it and it turned out pretty good. It is a good thing.
I feel amazing when I do lots of acts of kindness and justice because it makes the world a safer place.
It felt like I did a change to the world.
Once you start to really notice the little things you can do to help people, you can’t stop. Now I constantly am looking for acts of kindness and justice to do for people. My acts of kindness and justice have improved my life, and others.
I felt a phenomenal surge through me. Like I was on heaven on earth.
Check out the students’ blogs to read more about what they thought!
Every school in our district works hard to foster a strong sense of community and fair play. Read our December 2 CSD Spotlight feature to learn more about the work being done on this important front.
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