Oct 6, 2008

Two Thumbs Up For The Kindness Game !

Spreading The Word about The Kindness Game
In The Mail - Sunday's edition- Susan Meehan wrote about a project at a DC public elementary school in Washington, DC that facilitates positive social behavior. Here's to the kindness game that is played by first graders once a week. I am spreading the word because I believe it is a game that is worth adopting in many citywide schools. Two thumbs up for The Kindness Game !

Ms. Meehan writes ...“The Kindness Game " is played by first graders. Once a week, the first graders are asked to write a postcard. The idea is for them to improve their writing, vocabulary, and grammatical skills. Their teacher helps by putting words up on the blackboard that she thinks the children might want to incorporate into their postcard — “kindness,” “helpful,” and “generous.” They are asked to address their postcards to another member of the class. The subject of the card thanks the recipient for a kind act the recipient had performed during the week. The cards are read out loud and the children are thanked. The children love doing this, and of course, they love being the recipient of cards! They are being trained to become kind, decent persons and this early-age training will, I believe, stick. One interesting aspect of the Kindness Game is that at the beginning, the popular children received the greatest number of postcards, but this has gradually changed, and the spread of postcards is quite even! That shows that the children have thought through what it takes to become worthy of receiving a kindness acknowledgment, and then they respond with positive actions that elicit postcards. They have learned how to help others and to be rewarded. Eventually, they will not even need any acknowledgment by others to be kind; it will have become internalized.

I think this should go citywide, and should be adapted to meet the academic and social needs of kids throughout the DC public school system. It costs nothing, and makes such a difference. Who could ask for anything better ? It can only improve the atmosphere of the schools and the character of our school children. In fact, why don’t we call it the District Kindness Game and spread the word nationwide, both in academic and public service media? It would bring the DC public school system a good name. Posted by The Washington Teacher.

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