American Academy celebrated Kindness Week
During recess, students made bracelets and gave them to other students they didn’t know very well as a gesture of kindness.
By Lynne Marsala Basche; photos courtesy of American Academy
American Academy (AA) was overflowing with kindness ambassadors the week of February 8. The AA Kindness Week was based on the National Great Kindness Challenge, which asks schools to devote one week to performing as many acts of kindness as possible from a 50-item checklist.
Kindness Week was created to foster and emphasize a culture of kindness and respect for others throughout the school, including students, teachers and staff. The challenge aligned with one of AA’s goals of having a culture of respect and responsibility, and both of the AA campuses were excited for the mission, which students eagerly accepted.
Ashley Harding, the Castle Pines campus school counselor, worked with her Parker campus counselor Jamie Shull to plan and deliver the program to AA this year for the first time. Each day focused on a theme. Kindness acts included writing “thank you” cards for teachers and staff, decorating the principals’ door with notes and compliments, creating a Kindness Week poster where kids could write positive things about other students, and making and exchanging kindness bracelets to give to someone they did not know very well. Students also wore kindness spirit wear throughout the week to remind them to keep kindness in mind.
Castle Pines AA elementary principal Tami Bostick admired her office door, which was covered with cards from students.
The AA students completed more than 20,000 acts of kindness with the Castle Pines campus accomplishing more than 10,000 kindness acts throughout the week.
“Our first Kindness Week was a huge success,” said Harding. “It was a great opportunity to teach our students that kindness matters because people matter.”
Harding was excited to see how the students responded to the week’s activities and themes. Executive Director of Schools Erin Kane agreed and loved seeing students reach out, in some cases to people they did not know particularly well. Kane said, “It was a great exercise in empathy and respect for the students and the staff, and I am really looking forward to making this an annual event.”
Even though Kindness Week was just five days, AA students are sure to continue their kindness acts every day. After all, the kindness ambassadors learned that kindness matters.