Cool to be Kind
In the book The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, a young girl is challenged by her teacher to do, draw, and share a random act of kindness with her class. However, she sees so many acts of kindness performed around her every day she’s not sure which one she should choose. Inspired by the reading of this book, Fay’s Primary School students are paying particular attention to kindness this month, creating their own kindness quilt, and challenging themselves to perform 40 acts of kindness. From writing a thank-you note, smiling and saying hello to someone in the hallway, or taking the time to play with a younger student or sibling, Primary students are looking for opportunities to spread kindness in their classrooms, families, and school community this month. “We feel like we’re safe in a community, and we feel like we belong when we’re kind to each other,” says Head of Primary School Katie Knuppel. Students that meet the challenge of 40 acts of kindness will be recognized with an official certificate of kindness signed by Katie and Head of School Rob Gustavson.
After reading The Kindness Quilt to students at the first Morning Meeting in January, Katie organized students into mixed groups of kindergarten, first, and second graders where they each wrote about a kind act they had performed or been the recipient of and glued the square to a brightly patterned square of Japanese origami paper. The squares have been arranged to form two kindness quilts on the walls of the Primary School Commons. Throughout the day students, parents and teachers can be seen stopping to read what each of the students has written. “The kids are so excited to go and find their square and read what others have written. It’s essential to share this in a central area where everyone gathers,” says Katie
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Leading into this week’s marking of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day as a national day of service, Katie also connected kindness to Dr. King’s message of service to others by sharing the quote above at morning meeting and asking student’s to share what they had learned about Dr. King. Primary School students were joined by some Upper School students who shared quotes that have been inspiring to them in their lives and a little bit about some of the great Americans who embody those values or lessons. The Primary School focus on serving others through kindness illustrates the foundation of Fay’s service learning program as students gradually widen their focus from dedicated service to their immediate community in Primary School, to their local community in Lower School, and to a national and global community in Upper School.