Cultivating a culture of kindness is taking center stage at Southdown Primary School throughout December.
Principal Scott Oshrin said Southdown will “celebrate kindness” during the month, with special opportunities for students. A Friday (December 1) assembly program will introduce “The Great Kindness Challenge” to students. There will be classroom and home activities, pledges affixed to a kindness tree and even a book of the month consistent with the school-wide theme.
Southdown’s PTA purchased copies the book, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes for every classroom. Mr. Oshrin will deliver them throughout the school on Friday.
“Chrysanthemum is a little girl who absolutely loved her name,” Mr. Oshrin said. “Her feelings about her name changed when she went to school and was teased by the other children. This story teaches students to develop and maintain a positive self-esteem no matter what the obstacles may be. Teachers will link the message of the book to our school-wide mission of spreading kindness. Parents are encouraged to ask their child questions about the message of the book.”
A “kindness challenge calendar” has been distributed to students. “Children should keep the calendar at home and complete 1-2 acts of kindness daily,” wrote Mr. Oshrin in a letter to parents. “Please have your child color in completed acts on a daily basis. The colored calendar should be sent back to school on Friday, December 22. Teachers will have discussions in their classroom regarding these acts of kindness.”
Many activities are planned to emphasize the importance and value of being kind to each other. Southdown student council members will be visiting classrooms to discuss the concept of buddy benches. “Kindness pledges” will be written on paper leafs, colored and cut out and eventually hung from a “kindness tree” that will be displayed near the gymnasium.
Southdown PTA Co-Vice President Devon Perotti and teachers Meghan Kenny and Theresa Duffy helped organize the kindness initiative.
While the community outreach piece of the kindness campaign is still being finalized, it is expected to involve submitting a school-wide project to Huntington Hospital’s pediatric wing.