Random Acts of Kindness
Do we really need to educate our children on how to do social good?
Isn’t it more important they learn the basics like reading, math and science?
The research has been clear. Teaching your children to give will have lasting benefits including:
- Improved health
- Reduced stress
- Depression is reduce
- Increase in social well-being
- Increase in grade point averages
- Reduces Bullying
What if altruism could in fact be woven into the fabric of a students education without sacrificing other subjects that are vitally important? What if giving could be part of a teachers regular daily lesson plan?
Lindsay Story, teacher of a grade 2 class at Pauline Johnson School did just that by incorporating The 365give Challenge into her class this past week. Pauline Johnson has embrace the 365give Challenge over the past 5 weeks creating an environment of kindness and altruism at the school. Lindsay’s weekly journal of her classes daily giving will answer the question “How Do You Educate Students to Do Social Good?”
Our chance to participate in our first week of giving as part of the 365Give Challenge was fast approaching. We had been waiting in anticipation and cheering on other classes as they got the project up and running. The week of February 10th -14th was designated as our first week of giving. The students have been submitting ideas to the “Giving Jar” we created for weeks and we started to discuss which ideas might be the most feasible. Today we voted as a class to decide which “Gives” we’re going to do for our first of 2 weeks of giving. We tried to choose “Gives” that will benefit people, animals, and the environment, or a combination of all three!
Day 1: Personal Give
Monday was our Family Day holiday, the students were responsible for choosing a“Give” on their own, or with their family, to fulfil on that day. Some of the ideas students came up with were:
- walking a neighbour’s dog, or going to the SPCA to see if they could volunteer to walk one of the dogs.
- helping with household chores, cooking, grocery shopping, etc…without being asked!
- helping an elderly person in the family, or on the street, carry grocery bags or assist walking across the street etc.
The students were responsible for recording this “Give” with a photo to be sent in for The 365give Challenge book.
Day 2: Hay Park Clean-Up
The students were keen to pick up garbage in the school playground. Since the school playground has been cleaned up in previous 365give Challenge weeks, we thought we would try somewhere different. We walked from the school to Hay Park to pick up any garbage in our 2nd “Give” of the week. We chose this “Give” in order to benefit the local environment, animals, and community. We were pleased to find very little garbage in the park, but we had to stop quite a bit en route to and from the school in order to clean up the side walks and the streets.
World Cancer Day was on February 4th, and we have been touched by cancer in our class, so the students wanted to do something to help those fighting cancer. Kids with cancer spend a considerable amount of time in pajamas while undergoing treatment. PJs with a Purpose is a fun and educational event that allows students to help those kids. Today was another big success as we arrived at school wearing our pajamas for our 3rd “Give” of the week. The students did a great job of explaining to others in the hallways and on the playground why we were all dressed in our pajamas that day. We even had students make an announcement to the whole school over the PA system so the word spread quickly! PJs with a Purpose aims to build awareness around paediatric cancer, as well as funds and we did exactly that! At the end of the day we counted together all the money we raised and the students were pleased that we raised $112.50 for Team Finn. Our goal was to make it over $100 and we accomplished our goal!
Day 4: Healthy Biscuits for Animals in Need
Today was the 100th Day at school. We wanted to plan a “Give” that would incorporate our theme of 100! The students decided that together we could make 100 dog biscuits to be donated to a rescue centre in North Vancouver. It was the highlight of the day making our dog treats for the “Cross Our Paws Rescue Centre”. Once the kids started, they couldn’t stop, and in the end we counted 200 treats in all! We have made a few different flavours that we hope the dogs will enjoy – Terrific Turkey Stew, Scrumptious Sweet Potato, and Peanut Butter Pumpkin! We used our math skills as we measured the ingredients, and we were all involved in stirring and making the dough. Once the dough was ready, each student received a ball of dough to work with and the task of creating 5 biscuits. The students were very excited and they each made as many treats as possible. We have some hearts, stars, dog bones and some special surprises too. We’re pretty sure the rescued dogs will appreciate our hard work, but I think the students will also remember how much fun we had!
Day 5: Valentine’s Cards for Seniors
We all know that Friday February 14th is Valentine’s Day so it only makes sense that we plan our “Give” around this special day. I got the sense that the students were most thrilled about our trip to the West Vancouver Senior Centre to hand out our handmade Valentine’s Day cards and some chocolates as our final “Give” for this first week of The 365Give Challenge. The kids sang on the way down to the centre and I could tell that we were all full of happiness as we embarked upon our last “Give” of the week. The students entered the centre respectfully and walked around looking for a senior to present a card or chocolate to. I have never seen a group of people so thrilled to receive us, their faces lit up with big smiles, and many wanted to pass on a hug in return. The students had expressed a strong desire to do something that would benefit the seniors in our community, and I have no doubt that we hit the jackpot! We met friends who were playing card games, and others who were watching the Olympics. We met a group of men who were playing pool, and a group of women who were creating beautiful quilts. The students passed out their cards and their chocolates to different strangers and wished them a “Joyeux Saint Valentin” and a “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Many students were keen to continue introducing themselves even after their cards and chocolates were given away, and some asked to have their picture taken. The whole experience truly warmed my heart and many of the students expressed that this was their favourite “Give” of the week. One little one expressed that we had saved the best for last, and I can’t help but agree!
I hope that you all have enjoyed hearing about our 365give journey as much as we have enjoyed planning, preparing, and carrying out our “Gives”. I have felt a tremendous sense of community in the class as we have all worked together to accomplish our goals. It has also been a pleasure to witness students thinking about people, animals, and the environment, with more compassion and empathy. I hope that you have also seen this in your child at home! I think it’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to our next special week of giving with The 365Give Challenge!
A very special thank you to Lindsey and her class for making such a
positive impact on the world. You week of giving was truly inspiring.
The 365give Challenge launched 4 weeks ago at Pauline Johnson School in West Vancouver. The success continues as the students embrace their daily giving and create new ways to raise money for charity, complete acts of kindness, make donations to help the environment and so much more.
Does education and altruism work together to change the world?
Every day – with an impact that will help make students global change makers for a lifetime.
Sylvie Sturgess, teacher of one of the schools grade 4 class participating in the 365give Challange started their week of daily giving by brainstormed ideas for their daily giving. Their plans were big!
1) Day 1 started in class as they made jewellery, origami and other small items to sell at school to other students to raise funds for a charity of their choice. The decision has been a difficult one with so many great organizations to choose from. Would it be The World Wildlife Fund, The BC-SPCA, a local homeless shelter or Food Bank? All were at the top of the list of the students suffestions .
2) The environment was on the top of their list for their daily giving. They collected dead batteries for recycling, clothing and household items for donation to the Salvation Army and toys for BC Children’s Hospital. Not only were they giving back to the environment but doing so much good for local organizations that help so many people. One special give was to a plant after a lesson from Earth Bites on a companion plants for gardens. The students wanted to protect a vulnerable plant that they found in the school’s forested area. It was a great opportunity to follow up on the companion class lesson of the morning and understand how they could help it grow, in addition to seeking resources to protect it from the cold.
3) What better way to give than to help at your own school? The school is in the midst of a construction project and the library was still packed in boxes so volunteers helped the librarian reorganize the library so the entire student body could enjoy the fruits of their volunteer work.
4) With Valentines’s Day just around the corner the children worked hard creating Valentine’s Day cards to distribute to seniors they met during a recent Christmas Carol event to make sure they new how much they were appreciated and remember on Valentine’s Day.
5) In British Columbia we celebrate Family Day in February. The ideas were flowing from the children on ways they could complete a give to embrace the Family Day spirit even though it wasn’t a school day. Students were intending to help at home with chores (without being asked!), some students said they would have a lemonade stand to raise additional funds to add to their fundraising for the week, others would help in their neighbourhoods by cleaning up or doing chores for neighbours in need. That’s what we call Family Day at 365give!
Throughout the week, students made announcements on the school PA system every morning to share their daily gives. They promoted their handmade crafts and asked for all the students to bring in donations for The Salvation Army and The BC Children’s Hospital. The entire school participated in the 365give Challenge this week!
Teaching children how to give at school rubs off on everyone. Not only is it having a positive effect on the class doing the 365give Challenge but the entire school can participate in unique and creative ways to give back to the world every day. As quoted by the students teacher:
“ Students definitely relished the idea of helping others and the environment, which was nice to see.”
A very special thank you to Sylvie and her class for making such a
positive impact on the world.
The 365give Challenge launched in two public schools in West Vancouver this past week. We couldn’t wait to see how the students would chose to give every day, what their impact on the world would be and what they learned along the way. The results were astounding. Sarah Fee, teacher of grade 6 students at Ecole Pauline Johnson was the first class to complete a week of daily giving. She tells a clear story of each give and how the students embraced The 365give Challenge. The weekly recap has been completed in both English and French as Pauline Johnson is a French immersion school and we are thrilled The 365give Challenge is being taught in both English and French. Bonne Chance to the other classes working on The 365give Challenge in the coming weeks and we look forward to hearing your stories.
Day # 1
We began the week by watching ‘The Trash Vortex” video on YouTube and a large discussion surrounding the carbon foot print that we are leaving on the planet. We then decided to do our first “give” to the ‘environment’ and people which was to take over Mlle Fisher’s class’ garbage clean up. The students have never been so passionate about picking up garbage before because they knew they were doing it to help out the school and do a job for their “senior” peers. All accept one student said “they felt great doing this for others”. Mlle Fisher’s class gave them a huge “Merci” and even made our class a card to show their appreciation.
Day # 2
Our “give” today was to ‘people’, where students had to give a special note or letter to someone in the class or school and tell them why they appreciated them. They all, of course loved this one as they got a ‘free pass’ to give a note for the day. All of them said “this is fun and said they all felt happy after both receiving and giving the notes”. Many of them asked at our weekly class meeting if we could “do this every day”
Our class’ “give” today was to ‘animals’ and ‘people’, where during our computer block, I gave students animal websites (suggested by the 365 give team) as well as one to help combat famine in the world called Free Rice suggested by some of the students. We all had a great time learning how to help and giving various “gives”. On free rice you are able to see how many grains of rice you have helped to earn for a community that is in need. We even had one student who earned 3000 in 30 minutes! At the end of the lesson he said to me, “Madame, I gave a lot today and I feel really good”. The following day, many students had followed up with the websites at home and told me that they had brought their scores up to 10 000 grains of rice that they had donated. Another student took a particular interest in an animal cruelty story and wanted students in the class to sign a petition to put the people responsible for the cruelty in prison. He was very passionate about this and had many students in the class sign his petition and wanted the story brought forth to Mme Trudeau and Mr. Parslow so they could make other students and teachers aware of these issues.
Today was our last day of our trial week of 365, though I definitely think that after all we’ve learned, that it won’t be our last. Today we “gave” to ‘animals’, ‘people’ and ‘the environment’. Firstly, we did a “meat free Thursday” where most students brought a meatless lunch (unless pre ordered hot lunch). We also held a bake sale with all proceeds going to those victims of the typhoon in the Philippines in which all students participated and raised $292.60 cents and then after all items were sold, many students donated some of their own money to bring the total up to $302.60. We also did our weekly recycling for the school that is part of our everyday week but helping out our school and environment nonetheless.
Professional Development Day everyone had the day off school.
We had an action packed week and loved every minute of it! Good luck to all of you.
Nous avons commencé la semaine en regardant «Trash Vortex» vidéo sur YouTube qui était suive par une grande discussion sur l’empreinte de carbone que nous laissons sur la planète. Nous avons alors décidé de faire notre premier «donner» à ‘l’environnement’ et avait pris la responsabilité de la classe de Mlle Fisher à faire leurs nettoyage du terrain. Les étudiants n’ont jamais été aussi passionnés de ramassage des déchets avant parce qu’ils savaient qu’ils faisaient pour aider l’école et faire un travail pour leurs amis «seniors». Tout accepter un élève ont dit “ils me sentaient très bien le faire pour les autres ». La classe de Mlle Fisher leur a donné un énorme” Merci “et a même fait une carte pour notre classe pour montrer leur appréciation.
Notre “donner” pour aujourd’hui a été pour les «personnes», où les étudiants devaient donner une note particulière ou une lettre à quelqu’un dans la classe ou à l’école et leur dire pourquoi ils les appréciaient. Ils ont tous, bien sûr adoré celui-ci comme ils ont obtenu un «free pass» pour donner les notes pour la journée. Tous ont dit “c’est amusant et ont dit qu’ils se sentaient tous heureux après tant recevoir et de donner les notes”. Beaucoup d’entre eux ont demandé pendant notre réunion de classe, si nous pouvions “faire chaque jour”.
Notre ” donner ” pour aujourd’hui était pour les «animaux » et les «personnes», où lors de notre bloc de l’ordinateur, j’ai donné aux étudiants les sites-web d’animaux (proposées par l’équipe de donner 365) ainsi que l’un pour aider à combattre la famine dans le monde appelé www.freerice.com suggéré par certains élèves. Nous avons tous bien aime apprendre comment aider et donner de divers “donne”. Au site-web www.freerice.com, vous êtes capable de voir combien de grains de riz que vous avez aidé à gagner pour une communauté qui est dans le besoin. Nous avons même eu un étudiant qui a obtenu 3000 en 30 minutes! A la fin de la leçon, il m’a dit : «Madame, j’ai donné beaucoup de choses aujourd’hui et je me sens vraiment bien “. Le lendemain, de nombreux étudiants ont suivi avec les sites Web chez eux et m’ont dit qu’ils avaient apporté leurs scores jusqu’à 10 000 grains de riz.
Un autre étudiant a pris un intérêt particulier, dans une histoire de cruauté envers les animaux et voulait les élèves de la classe de signer une pétition pour mettre les personnes responsables de la cruauté en prison. Il était très passionné à ce sujet et a eu de nombreux élèves de la classe de signer sa pétition et voulait passe l’histoire à Mme Trudeau et M. Parslow afin qu’ils puissent faire d’autres élèves et les enseignants au courant de ces concernes.
Journee # 4
Aujourd’hui, c’était notre dernier jour de notre semaine pilot de 365, mais je pense vraiment que, après tout ce que nous avons appris, que ce ne sera pas notre dernière. Aujourd’hui notre “donné” c’était pour les «animaux», les «personnes» et «l’environnement». Tout d’abord, nous avons fait un «jeudi sans de la viande” où la plupart des étudiants ont apporté un diner sans viande (sauf pré commandé diner-chaud). Nous avons également organisé une vente de pâtisseries/buiscuits et toutes les fondes rammasse c’était pour les victimes du typhon aux Philippines dans lequel tous les élèves ont participé et ont soulevé 292,60$ et puis après tous les patisseries ont été vendus, de nombreux étudiants ont donné une partie de leur propre argent pour porter le total à 302,60$! Que j’était fiere! Nous avons aussi fait notre recyclage pour l’école qui fait partie de notre semaine tous les jours mais pour aider notre école et de l’environnement de même.
Nous avons eu une semaine remplie d’action et nous avons adoré chaque minute! Bonne chance à vous tous.
A special thank you to Sarah and her class for starting the 365give Challenge off with such a large impact to so many. Congratulations on being a new generation of change makers!
YOU CHANGED THE WORLD TODAY!