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How to Make Your Students and School Happy

Guest Post: Chantal Trudeau Elementary School Principal / 365give Chair

Is it our job to make students and schools happy? We all know that school days are filled with endless activities and even our youngest learners can get a little frazzled with the hectic pace of daily living. Children are busy from morning to night with school, homework, sports and other after school activities as parents and educators want them to be successful and productive.

It can, however, be stressful for children at all ages with so few moments to re-energize, reduce stress and just be happy! What can we do as teachers to reduce our students stress, make them happy, empower them in their learning and bring them together for a project based learning activity to add a little fun to the day?

Teach kids the habit of daily giving! It’s a lesson that will change their lives and the way they learn.  As a principal, I have watched it change our school.

How Do You Teach Daily Giving? You Start Small!

I first introduced The 365give Challenge to my students 4 years ago. Students at our school discussed the many ways they can give to the world: people, animals, planet. With 28 classrooms in our French immersion school – over 400 students – we needed to find a way to include everyone from Kindergarten (age 5) to grade 7 (age 12). We started 1 class at a time.

The students got to choose how they wanted to give every day for 1 week. Each class took a turn and we rotated The 36give Challenge from classroom to classroom. There are so many ideas that come from the kids. (Teachers can find ample resources on the 365give website once your school signs up)!

All our students got very excited when they realize that no matter how young they are, they are able to make a difference in the world, be change makers. It’s empowering and energizing.

Having students work together on a common goal creates a positive class and school climate. I have seen a real shift in students’ mindsets. The school is a happier place when students collaborate and contribute to their community. They see the impact of their actions, and the more they give, the more they want to give! We learned it’s all based on scientific research – The Science of Giving. Giving makes us happy!

A Few of Our School’s Favourite Ways to Give

1) Picking up litter from the school playground.
2) Helping younger students with class projects.
3) Making and bringing cookies to the firemen.
4) Making bird feeders.
5) Working with our local seniors.

The 365give Challenge extends the learning of students to all areas of the curriculum. It’s easy to implement, students can track each daily give and watch their impact grow each and every day.

Take action now, sign your school up to take The 365Challenge. Help our youth to develop a habit of daily giving to make your school and students happy!

Want to learn more? Watch our TED Talk “How to Be Happy Happy Every Day: It Will Change the World” or 365giveTV to hear more from educators and students.

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)