Kindness Ambassador Program

KINDNESS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

 

kindness in the classroom

The mirAcle cure for violence

For every child advance kindness

 

 

"30 minutes of KINDNESS will make a
lifetime of difference."
   

 

FORWARD AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

            When Teresa Leach and her team of Kindness Ambassadors completed their work in several elementary and middle schools, I prepared an outline of critical issues to be described for those interested in creating their own Kindness Ambassador Program (KAP). The next step was to convince Janet Skibinski, a dynamic writer, to take the outline and, after several interviews with Teresa and me, create what you see below. (In addition to excellent writing skills, Janet is a trained Kindness Ambassador who also knows American Sign Language and worked with the hearing-impaired children.) It was my intention to make our transportable model of the KAP short enough so everyone would read the entire document. Janet was able to keep our very extensive work limited to 10 pages. 

            Thanks to everyone who worked on this project for their outstanding volunteer efforts to bring kindness to classrooms. Many dedicated teachers, administrators, and school staff were instrumental in making our kindness program such a success. Of course, none of our efforts would have been possible without the financial and moral support of the employees of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union located in Bakersfield, California. Patti Reed, Sales Manager, Shonna Shearson, Training Manager, Laura Weiner, Media Consultant and owner of Spectrum Communications, Penny Fulton, Senior Vice President, and numerous Kern Schools staff members who became trained Ambassadors made this project come to life. Children all over the world thank you for your dedicated commitment to respect, dignity, compassion, and humility - the definition of kindness.

 

Chuck Wall, Ph. D.

President, Kindness, Inc.

August, 2007 

 

THE KINDNESS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A History of Kindness, Inc.

 

You are about to take the first step in making a difference in your life and in the world. Spreading kindness by starting with our youngest citizens has the potential to impact the future as much as global warming except that it generates only the positive results of warming your heart. Here is how the Kindness Movement came to pass. 

            Chuck Wall, Ph.D., retired professor of Communication and Human Relations at Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, California, was enjoying a cup of coffee one early September morning in 1993. While listening to the morning news as he prepared for the first class of the day, the newscaster dramatically announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have another random act of senseless violence to report." Angered and disgusted, Dr. Wall shook his head and began thinking how tragic the daily news had become. Engaging in word association, he replaced "violence" with "kindness" and the assignment for his 9 a.m. Human Relations and Motivation class began to take shape. 

            "Take out paper and pen, here's your assignment. Today, I will go out into the community and commit one random act of senseless kindness," announced Dr. Wall. At first, the class asked the usual questions. "Is this going to count toward our grades?" "Does the paper have to be typed?" Then the confusion set in. "What do you mean, commit an act of senseless kindness?" "What's a kindness and what do I do?"  "Whatever you think," was Chuck's answer. They had two weeks to complete the task and report the results. And the results were as varied as those in the class were. 

            From this classroom assignment, an article appeared on the front page of the Saturday edition of the local newspaper, The Bakersfield Californian. That was the spark that ignited the Kindness Movement worldwide as The Associated Press picked it up and ran it on the wire. The story appeared in about 1,000 newspapers, on television news shows, and on radio programs. A lasting result was the creation by Dr. Wall of the internationally known phrase, "Today I will commit one random act of senseless KINDNESS ... ­Will You?" 

            Chuck Wall appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The Crusaders, the Osgood File, and on the Hour of Power. His message spread worldwide leading to the most memorable reaction, a reporter for People magazine, Doris Bacon, spending a day with Chuck's class and concluding with an article published in the December 13, 1993, issue. 

            Congressman Walter Tucker (D-California), introduced a congressional resolution to the House of Representatives, declaring one week each year as "Kindness Awareness Week." Dr. Wall suggested the week of February 14, it was accepted, presented to Congress, and received a unanimous "YES" vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. (Go to Home Page, click on Preparing the Proclamation.)

 

How the Kindness Ambassador Program
Came About

 

            As the Kindness Movement spread, so did the desire of others to promote the positive message of kindness for kindness sake. Dr. Wall saw the need for creating something that others could use to disseminate the Kindness message. Therefore, the Kindness Ambassador Program (KAP) was developed by Chuck for first use by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield class. Not only was teaching material produced but it included coins that could be continuously passed on from one person committing an act of kindness to another doing the same. 

            In one of Dr. Wall's Human Relations classes, an enthusiastic student, Teresa Leach, was excited about the difference that a little kindness can make in a person's life. (Email Teresa at [email protected]) She asked Chuck for permission to use the KAP during an upcoming educational tour of China. At first, Chuck was reluctant as he felt that it had the potential of becoming an overwhelming and expensive project. However, Teresa would not be dissuaded. 

            Mrs. Leach was dedicated to the concept of youngsters becoming involved in learning the lifelong message of kindness. Teresa printed cards saying she was an "Ambassador of Kindness" and bought Kindness Coins from Kindness, Inc. to pass out to those she met on the trip. Needless to say, the coins were a tremendous hit; everyone wanted one. The Kindness Ambassador Program was taking off. 

            Upon her return home, Teresa decided to make her granddaughter's pre-school class at Olive Knolls Christian School in Bakersfield her first attempt at spreading the Kindness Movement in schools. She broke the four virtues of Kindness as defined by Dr. Wall  - compassion, respect, humility, and dignity - down to the level that preschoolers could understand. The reception she received was so encouraging that Mrs. Leach then began contacting other schools with the offer to bring the Kindness Lesson to their classrooms.

             Some readily welcomed her; others were not interested at all. The negative reactions did not deter Teresa as she forged ahead. Interest peeked from others who wanted to help and the first training sessions for the general public were established with the financial backing of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

 

WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING CONCEPTS
OF KAP?

 

The Kindness Formula

 

           Chuck Wall wasn?t interested in using the staid dictionary definition of kindness, so he began thinking about what were the core principles of ?KINDNESS.? Respect and dignity quickly came to mind and fell together nicely. But what did ?KINDNESS? really mean to him? Compassion and humility were certainly the other important factors. 

          A mathematical formula was created to explain the components (K= ?/? CH(R+D)/i=1). Kindness means that compassion, humility, dignity, and respect equal the sum of everything together set in motion by just one person for all time. The four virtues are explained in the following manner. Compassion is empathy and caring about the feelings of others. Humility is to be humble, not boastful or arrogant. Respect is to treat others with courtesy and honor. Dignity is being worthy to be honored or esteemed. 

          Other concepts that will fit in with the KAP will become apparent through classroom discussions. Ask the question, ?What does Kindness mean to you?? You will find almost as many explanations as people present. The ?Golden Rule? is one concept that is readily applied. Other words that certainly relate are love, concern, caring, happiness, honesty, and integrity. These are just a few examples; many more words and ideas will arise as you start your presentations. We are not in any way attempting to profess any religious or political views. Our goal is to teach children to think and behave in a naturally humane manner.

            

 

WHO IS AN AMBASSADOR OF KINDNESS?

 

Eligibility Requirements

 

            The first requirement is the most obvious - a desire to make a difference in the lives of others and, therefore, the world. Next is the ability to speak in front of others. Understanding that public speaking is probably the most uncomfortable thing for most people, you must be willing to put yourself in that zone. (That uneasy feeling will begin to dissipate once you experience the positive reactions in the classroom.) 

            Attending Kindness Ambassador Training is the next step. Training is best conducted in two phases, the first being an overview of the Kindness Ambassador Program. In this session, the kindness formula is explained as well as the four virtues of kindness, suggestions of games to play with the children, and other important components. The second phase is a brief presentation by each of the candidates demonstrating how each individual will conduct a lesson in kindness. Therefore, keep in mind that two sessions are necessary to complete KAP training and scheduling them about a week apart is suggested.

                  Making contacts may be necessary to becoming an ambassador, especially if you are the person initiating the program in your area. Having at least one contact in an elementary school is ideal. However, if that is not the case, making a ?cold? call to your neighborhood school is a great place to start. Don?t be discouraged if you don?t receive a positive response. Keep at it and you will find many administrations welcoming and open to including Lessons in Kindness (Go to Home page, click on E-Commerce Store) in their classrooms. 

            Lastly, as the Nike ad states, ?Just do it.?

 

What does an Ambassador of Kindness do?

 

            An Ambassador of Kindness primarily introduces the concept of kindness to a class. You will solicit the participants' responses to "What is Kindness?"  Elaborate or ask them to elaborate on the replies. You will show, as well as learn, how kindness can make a difference in another's life. Using the tools contained in the Lessons in Kindness curriculum, you will demonstrate how the students can practice acts of kindness in every aspect of their lives - at school, at home, with family and friends, and in public situations.

 

What grade levels are appropriate for a KAP?

 

Are there grade levels that seem to work better
than others?

 

            Past experience has shown that there is not one particular grade level that works better than another. The education level really is not relevant. Although, the most enthusiastic and receptive group of children appears to be those in the early years of school. The earlier the concept of being kind is introduced, the more it is likely to be an on-going practice. 

            Younger children are less inhibited and generally more accepting of others and, therefore, more willing to start applying the kindness lessons into their daily lives. If the virtues are reinforced throughout their early childhood education, they will perform kind deeds naturally.

 

Can the KAP be modified to fit differing situations?

 

            Most definitely, you can adjust the lessons to fit the audience. The explanation of the four virtues will need to be broken down to concepts that pre-K through grade 3 can understand. Dignity, Respect, Compassion, and Humility will mean little to the younger children. However, the idea of behaving in front of the principal, looking up to their parents, caring about the feelings of someone else, and not bragging about what they have will translate easily. Of course, with upper grade levels with more developed vocabularies, a more mature conversation can take place.

 

Special Education Classes

 

            Just as the lessons can be modified to meet the grade level, so can they be changed to fit special education classes. How that happens may require some research on your part. For example, one group of Ambassadors took the Kindness Lesson to a Deaf Education Program. (All of the students participating in that program were present; this included grades K-6.) Two of the Ambassadors were deaf, one was an American Sign Language Interpreter, and the fourth majored in American Sign Language in college. Because vocabulary development usually occurs more slowly for children with hearing loss, it was necessary to act out the concepts of dignity, respect, compassion, and humility. 

            For children with other disabilities, make arrangements to meet with the teacher in advance to determine the best way to explain kindness and the curriculum. If you have experience in special education or with a disability, you would be a great candidate to take the Kindness Lessons into the classroom. Talking with doctors, therapists, and aides who specialize in individual disabilities are good resources as well.

 

Private vs. Public Schools: Which is best?

 

            Like the grade level, whether a school is public or private will make little difference IF there is complete buy-in by the school. Meaning, if the principal and the teacher(s) really want to bring the Lessons in Kindness into the classroom and throughout the school, the greater is the chance of presenting and continuing a successful program. Mrs. Leach has experienced both total acceptance and little interest by school principals. When the students realize that everyone in authority is making a commitment to practicing random acts of kindness, then they will also realize the value and importance of doing so.

 

THE KINDNESS CURRICULUM

 

A General Overview

 

            Lessons in Kindness (Go to Home page, click on E-Commerce Store), the official Kindness Curriculum, was developed to easily integrate into most classroom subjects. Written by members of Phi Theta Kappa of Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, California, in cooperation with Dr. Chuck Wall, it is the result of a community outreach project. Contained on its pages are projects that teachers can assign to their students to work on individually, and some that they can work on as a class.

 

A Mathematical Component

 

            The mathematical component explained under ?What are the underlying concepts of KAP,? is more thoroughly interpreted in Lessons in Kindness. One way that kindness may be included during math lessons is through word problems involving acts of kindness and the amount that they increase by one person passing it onto others. For example, ?If four students commit one act of kindness each to two other students, how many acts of kindness will occur??

 

A Writing Opportunity

 

            Perhaps, the subject most adaptable is English, in particular, creative writing. Students may be given the assignment to commit an act of kindness and then write about their experiences. You can organize a writing contest with prizes given to the top essays.

      

A Socialization Component

 

            Individual classrooms can perform community-oriented projects. Canned food drives, visiting nursing homes, campus clean-ups, and helping younger children with reading and math are just a few of the activities used to teach students about acts of kindness. Friendly competition between classrooms may create more interest and fun for the children. Have the participants suggest other ways that they can share kindness as a group.

 

Learning About Leadership

 

            What better way to learn about leadership than to experience it firsthand. A student who may not be academically gifted may shine when it comes to reaching out to others. Through the encouragement of the positive reinforcement serving others brings, leaders may emerge that were never expected. For example, during the aforementioned Special Education section, one of the teachers stated that many of the students who shared their own acts of kindness had never before spoken in front of the class. One child speaking inspired others present to do the same.

 

Other Curriculum Benefits

 

            Not only will incorporating Lessons in Kindness into the curriculum provide the teacher with something new to present, but, hopefully, it will help to create a more cohesive, empathic class. Students who are emerged in acts of kindness cannot help but practice what they are learning on a day-to-day basis. One word or simple act of kindness can change a person¡¯s life forever.

           

WHAT DOES THE AMBASSADOR DO IN THE CLASSROOM?

 

Role of an Ambassador who is not credentialed

 

            You may want to spread the Kindness Movement in schools but do not have a teaching credential. Can you go into a classroom and "teach" a lesson in kindness? The answer is "yes" - with the principal's permission. However, a credentialed teacher MUST be present during your presentation. Your role as an Ambassador is to introduce the basic principles of kindness, show examples and solicit other examples from the students, and leave the students with the challenge to "commit random acts of senseless kindness." Always present yourself in a professional manner, showing respect to the teacher and students. It is best to schedule a meeting with the teacher(s) whose classroom(s) you will be visiting before your first presentation. At that time, discuss any particular areas needing to be addressed. Give the teacher(s) a copy of the "Contract with Teachers" and "I Am a Teacher"  and discuss the contract as well.

 

Limits to the Ambassador?s Authority in the Classroom

 

            Because you are a guest in the classroom, you have no real authority. The children will view you as an authority figure but be careful not to present personal views that may be contrary to the school?s standard. You certainly have the right to expect the students? attention and respect, but keep in mind, this may not occur in all circumstances.

 

            One Ambassador who presented in an inner-city school faced a classroom of young people who were more ?worldly? than children should be. Becoming frustrated because she was having trouble reaching them, she spotted one girl who wore a sullen expression for most of the Ambassador?s presentation. Suddenly the young woman smiled. Even though the smile was surely about something the Ambassador said or did, the Ambassador turned the occasion into a lesson in kindness by telling the girl what a lovely smile she had and how it made her face so beautiful. When the session was over, that young lady told her teacher that she enjoyed the presentation and hoped the Ambassador would be back again. One act of kindness can make a difference for a lifetime.

.

Length of a Kindness presentation

 

            The length of your presentation is determined by the school's standards. It is best to plan for about a 30-minute session. The number of times that you are permitted to come to the classroom throughout the school year is also up to the school. Investigate what is allotted and plan your lessons accordingly. Consult with the teacher to determine what types of things would be most beneficial for the students. In fact, it would be best to do this during the initial meeting with the teacher.

 

Expanding the time allotted for the presentation

 

            If more than 30 minutes is allowed, then define what else can be incorporated. Maybe you will want to do a "hands-on" lesson related to your presentation. Perhaps exploring more ways that acts of kindness can be performed by the students will fit better. Discussing a contest involving the students and other classes can be developed. It's up to you and the teacher to determine what will work best.

 

THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER DURING THE KINDNESS PRESENTATION

 

The teacher's authority during the Kindness presentation

 

            As stated previously, you are a guest in the classroom - the teacher is the authoritarian. It is the teacher's responsibility to keep order and to instruct the students to pay attention to the presentation and not to be disruptive.

 

Should the teacher stay during the presentation?

 

            Most definitely, the teacher must be present at all times. The teacher's role is not only to maintain order in the classroom but also to assure that you are not making any statements that are contrary to school standards. It is important for the teacher's sake as well to know what you are imparting to the students and the students' reaction to the information. The presentation may give the instructor ideas for continuing the kindness lessons. If the students want to participate in an inter-classroom challenge or contest, the teacher must have firsthand knowledge of it so that it will be a "doable" project.

 

Who is responsible for discipline?

 

            The teacher is the responsible party for maintaining order and handling any necessary discipline. The Ambassador has no authority. However, you are not expected to remain in an abusive situation. That will be the exception, but it has occurred.

 

The Contract with the Teacher

 

            The Contract with the Teacher is located at the end of this booklet. It is intended to be used as an instrument of assurance for the teacher of your role in the classroom and in presenting the idea of committing random acts of kindness.

 

THE ROLE OF THE STUDENT DURING THE KINDNESS LESSON

 

Introductions and Handshakes

 

            The basic role of the student is to pay attention and to participate in the exercises presented. To begin the kindness lesson, introduce yourself, thank the teacher for allowing you to come into the classroom, then tell the students what you do for a living, and briefly explain why kindness is important to you and others. Sometimes, the teacher may wish to introduce you and then allow you to continue with the line of work in which you are involved and the importance of kindness. 

            After the initial introduction, you may want to shake hands with the students explaining the importance of shaking hands and proper introductions. (This is especially important to use with older students - grades 7 and 8 - because it may not be long before these students will be looking for their first jobs.) Extend your hand to a student making sure that the handshake is web to web. Look the student in the eye, maintain eye contact, and say, "Hello, my name is." Ask the student to introduce her/himself in the same manner. 

            It may be that instead of beginning with a handshake, ending the session with a handshake would be more appropriate. In that case, you will demonstrate the proper way of shaking hands and then ask each student her/his name, thank her/him (using the name) for coming and listening to your presentation. This is the time to give each student a Kindness sticker, too.

 

Note taking and oral responses

 

            In the very early days of Kindness in the Classroom, a teacher who was extremely enthusiastic about the program, Barbara Palla of Walter Stiern Middle School, Bakersfield, California, created a note-taking sheet. Use this with students in grades 6 - 8. When students are asked to define the four virtues for themselves, it aids in reinforcing the lesson. 

            Also, having the students explain in their own words what kindness and the four virtues mean to them is a learning lesson for both them and you. When a student is willing to share a description, have them come to the front of the class, make eye contact with fellow students and speak clearly. This will begin to build self-confidence in the student as well. Be sure to thank the student for being brave enough to address the class and comment on the student's example. Especially make a fuss over the first student to come forward. That student will inspire others to share their thoughts.

 

Follow-up activities for students

 

            In order to make a lasting impression on the class, decide on one or more activities they can participate in until your next visit. As mentioned previously, a writing or drawing contest is one way for students to share their experiences with kindness acts, both on the giving and on the receiving end of it. An intra-class food, coat, clothing, school supplies, etc. drive challenge is another before mentioned exercise. Performing at a nursing home or setting up a tutoring program for younger grades are other examples. Let the students brainstorm. They are only limited by their imaginations. 

            After the class has made its choice, make arrangements with the teacher to return to the classroom to see the results. Perhaps, you will be asked to be a judge for a contest. If at all possible, bring a small treat for the class. (Hopefully, you will be able to secure funding for the Kindness Ambassador Program and can give each student a Kindness Coin (Go to Home page, click on E-Commerce Store), a Kindness Tee shirt (Go to Home page, click on E-Commerce Store) as a "grand prize," or some other little gift from a discount store. Check with teacher before bringing a food treat of any kind.)

 

THE ROLE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR

 

The importance of Administration ?buy-in?

 

            The success of a Kindness Program may well be determined by the response of the school or district administration. If an administrator has knowledge of the Random Acts of Kindness movement started by Dr. Wall, s/he will most likely be open to introducing the program in the classrooms and, perhaps, into the curriculum. 

            If this is not the case, then it may be necessary for you to meet with the school or district administrator to explain the Kindness Program and the type of information you will be presenting to the classes. It is hoped that, in most cases, the administration will be accepting and will make acts of kindness part of the school?s goals. However, don?t be discouraged if you are met with a less than enthusiastic ?embrace.? If you cannot find a way around it, move on to the next location.

 

How the Administration can help the Ambassador, teacher, and the students

 

            When the administration is excited about Lessons in Kindness, you may be amazed at what that means to everyone involved ¨C teachers, students, and you. There is nothing more important to an employee than to have the approval of the ¡°boss.¡± Often times, a teacher will hear of Lessons in Kindness first and let the administration know about it. When the principal agrees that it is a valuable program, the teacher is validated. When students understand that the principal supports acts of kindness and the activities in which they can become involved, its importance is enhanced. And when you receive a surprise visit by the principal or superintendent or another administrator during your presentation, not only will students give more credence to your message, but it means a great deal to them to see the principal or superintendent taking a personal interest in them.

 

How far up the Administration chain should you go?

 

            This will be dependent upon the school and/or school district. Some school districts may need to approve anything that is "taught" in the classroom; others may give autonomy to the individual schools. Some principals may insist on making the decision of what is allowed for presentation in the classroom; others may pass that decision on to a vice principal or school counselor. You will probably learn in your first contact with the school what level of administration you should be addressing. 

            Some school districts may not be willing to meet with you initially but may require a proposal instead. Be prepared to put one together, explaining the purpose of the Lessons in Kindness, the role of the Ambassador, and the amount of commitment of the school district. Remember to include that you are a volunteer and the program is presented at no cost to the school district except for the time to present it in the classroom.

 

Should you include the school secretary and
staff assistant?

 

            Most definitely, the school secretary and staff assistant should be included in your interactions with the school. It is likely that someone in the clerical department will be your first contact, especially if you are doing "cold calls." Many times, administrators will ask the clerical staff for their impressions of the Ambassador. How you come across to the secretary can make a difference in getting your foot in the door or receiving a polite "no, thank you." It is also important to point out to the students how important the secretaries and staff assistants are to the school and to them. Remind the students to thank them for their help. The secretary or staff assistant may wish to sit in on your presentation as well. One Ambassador handed each clerical person a Kindness coin (Go to Home page, click on E-Commerce Store), thus reinforcing the importance of the program with each one.

 

WHO SHOULD BE THE AMBASSADOR TRAINER?

 

            The Ambassador Trainer should be the person who has done the ground work in getting the program started and has shown the greatest enthusiasm for it. That person may be an administrator, a teacher, a school counselor, a parent, or an ordinary citizen who is committed to spreading the kindness message and beginning at the school-age level. The Ambassador Trainer should also be knowledgeable in presenting to adults. It is also helpful to have the support of a business or organization that can provide a meeting room in which to hold the trainings. Talking with your local schools federal credit union is an excellent place to start your search if you do not have a connection to such a facility. Remember to have each potential Ambassador complete an Ambassador Profile (see fourth attachment) and to collect them before the end of the first training session.

 

Training teachers

 

            This can become a delicate proposition if the Kindness Program is perceived by the teachers as one more thing that they have to do. This could be the case if an administrator is the person responsible for including Lessons in Kindness in the classroom or curriculum. When it is demonstrated how easily the kindness program can be incorporated into the daily lessons, it should remove some of the sting. For the most part, teachers will recognize the value of their students practicing kind acts, and the difference it can and will make in their classrooms.

 

Training non-teachers

 

            The main point to stress with non-teachers is the importance of not presenting any materials, thoughts, or opinions that are contrary to the school's and/or district's standards. Remember, no religious or political views may be expressed. This program was developed to help counteract the negative impact of overexposure to violence and basic unkindness.

 

MATERIALS RECOMMENDED DURING THE KINDNESS PRESENTATION

 

Overhead displays

 

            Although overhead displays are not necessary for presenting the Kindness Program, they are helpful especially in grade 4 and higher. They can be done as a PowerPoint presentation or on overheads. Certainly, the Kindness Formula and the four virtues along with their descriptions are important to include. Other information to display may be pictures of acts of kindness being performed, blank overheads for brain storming ideas, or spelling words such as "kindness" and having students go through it letter by letter, coming up with a word related to "kindness" for each letter. Your imagination is your only limitation.

 

Booklets or note taking and writing materials

 

            If you have received funding (or money is no object!), you may want to put together booklets for the students. Included in the booklet would be the Kindness Lesson Notes (see second attachment), Kindness Grams (see third attachment), and blank paper. If there is no funding for the project, check with several businesses in your area for writing material and pencils or pens that they may be willing to donate. If all else fails and you are willing to invest a few dollars, pay a visit to your local dollar or less store and pick up a few supplies there. They have some great values.

 

Other recommended supplies

 

            As you will find in the Ambassador Training Booklet, one of the interactive exercises involves a ball of yarn or string to make a "kindness web." You may want to start a "kindness chain" for the class by cutting several strips of colored construction paper with either one of the four kindness virtues written on them or an act of kindness. For second graders on up, you may want to include a supply of Kindness Grams for them to write a thank you note or note of encouragement to someone in the military, at home, at school, or in the community.

 

            For your classroom presentation, request a chalk or white board and writing utensils for it. A flip chart would work well, too, as the students could take the information they developed throughout the presentation and post in the classroom as a daily reminder.

 

            Some Ambassadors include music and short books whose messages reflect on kindness in some manner. Again, your creativity will make the presentation come alive.

 

HOW TO FINANCE

 

            This is probably the most difficult part of being an Ambassador. Finding financial backing for an idealistic project is not easy, especially in this business atmosphere of "what's in it for me." Knowing your community and the businesses in your community will be key. As mentioned previously, consider approaching financial institutions that deal directly with schools and school employees, i.e. schools federal credit unions. There may be local banks that are also supportive of the community's schools. 

            Contact the service clubs in your town. Many of them focus on causes that benefit children such as Optimists, Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Quota International. Ask if you can speak at a meeting and present the Lessons in Kindness program to them. It will be helpful to have a dollar amount in mind when approaching any organization. Scouting organizations may be willing to help with your fund raising effort, too. Put on your thinking cap and don?t discount any possibility. The worst anyone can say is "no."

            Lastly, ask for private support. Family and friends may be willing to donate a few dollars to help you purchase necessary materials to get your program started. 

            Remember, the most important part of being an Ambassador of Kindness is sharing the message with our young ones. Your belief in the message will start the ball of change rolling. What better act of kindness can you commit than to begin a Kindness Ambassador Program in your community?

Simon and Lauren Elizabeth

Proud to be KIND!

                                                                                     

Contract with Teachers

 

 Kindness, Inc.

Contract with Teachers

 

As a KINDNESS Ambassador, I want to be of assistance to classroom teachers rather than a replacement for the teacher. Therefore, I want to be a guest in your room with you in complete charge while I and my colleagues aid your students in an understanding of kindness and manners. We are not certificated teachers so need your help. Here is what we hope you will expect of us and we of you.

 

1.  Please remain in the classroom with us as we are not certificated teachers and under the State of California Education Code, we cannot be responsible for your students without you present.

 

2.  We want you to remain in complete control of the classroom including any and all discipline issues that might arise during our presentation.

 

3.  Your participation during our presentation will be greatly appreciated as the students know you and your classroom rules.

 

4.  We want your analysis of our presentation methods as we are eager to improve our methods of instruction so our program can be shared with other teachers across the country.

 

5.  As an Ambassador of Kindness, I will attempt to engage your students in a lively discussion of kindness and manners. I will not knowingly violate any of your classroom rules or regulations.

 

6.  My kindness presentation will be limited to 30 minutes to avoid interfering with your normal instructional program.

 

7.  I want your input regarding any issues that are going on in your classroom that I should be aware of and incorporate into my presentation.

 

And, finally, I want to thank you for allowing me and my colleagues to share our kindness program with you and your students. We are all trying to make a difference in our world with positive concepts that can be used in your educational program, on the school grounds, and at home and in the community. I hope what we are doing will benefit all of us in our quest for quality of life.

 

 

 

Signed by __________________________________________________ Kindness Ambassador

 

 

 

You can reach Kindness, Inc. on the web at www.kindnessusa.org or email [email protected].

I Am A Teacher

 

Chuck Wall, Ph. D., President, Kindnessusa.org

 

            Yes, I am a teacher and have been until I recently retired. I taught at the post secondary level for over 20 years and enjoyed every minute I spent with students in the classroom and when they came to my office. Did I make a difference? I hope so because that was my purpose for teaching.

 

            You are a teacher at the elementary, junior high or high school level and should be extremely proud of what you do. We often hear teachers criticized because our children are not turning out the way we want them to. But, what are parents, administrators, community leaders, legislators, churches and everyone else in our world doing to help educate our children? Here are a few things I have found that describe what you do every day without much fanfare. Think about each of these points and be proud of what you do.

 

§         I can make my students achieve at a level they thought was beyond their ability

§         I can make a “C” grade seem like an Olympic Gold Medal

§         I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 minutes without an electronic game or cell phone to distract them

§         I can make kids wonder and explore new ideas

§         I can teach them to think critically and question where they heard information they believe to be true

§         I can help my students build their spoken communication skills

§         I can teach my students to apologize and mean it

§         I can teach them to have respect for others and take responsibility for their own behavior

§         I can present a topic and make it so interesting they want to write about it

§         I can encourage them to read and enjoy sharing what they read with others

§         I encourage my students from other countries to be proud of their cultural heritage and learn all they can about English so they can be a success in the United States

§         I make my classroom a place where all students can feel safe

§         I make my students realize that if they merely use the skills they were born with and work hard they can be the success they dream about

 

In the final analysis, I make a difference in the lives of my students.

 

Some of the above points I have found on the internet and others are from my own experience as a teacher. I’m proud of what you do and you should be, too.

 

Thank you!

 

Kindness Lesson Notes

 

  

K=∑∞(C+H+R+D) = i

 

Define Kindness:

_____________________________

 

Define Compassion: __________________________________________________________

 

Define Humility: ____________________________________________________________________

 

Define Respect:: ____________________________________________________________________

 

Define Dignity: ____________________________________________________________________

 

Kindness Formula: K= kindness öh = the sum of all things ö = infinity, things that go on forever (C = compassion+ H = humility+ R= respect + D= dignity) = I , you and me.

Kindness Gram

 

Name:___________________________

 

Date:____________________________

 

School:___________________________

 

 

Message:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Kindness Gram: ____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

 

 

Kindness Gram: ____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

 

KINDNESS AMBASSADORS

 

 

KINDNESS Ambassadors work within a given classroom with a small number of children such as found in elementary, middle and high schools.  Within such an environment, Ambassadors can engage students in one-on-one discussions regarding how respect, dignity, compassion and humility impact their lives at school and away from the classroom.  These discussions are direct, personal and designed to make a lasting impact on the individual children in the group.  Issues such as dealing with anger at school, what to do about someone who is bullying you, finding opportunities to help another student with school work or offering help when they are in need, learning the values of saying "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome" as simple acts of KINDNESS.

Ambassadors will be trained by our Training KINDNESS Ambassador and her assistants to ensure consistency in our presentations as well as thorough understanding of our purpose.  We do not advocate for a religious or political viewpoint nor do we represent any particular group of people.  To be effective, Ambassadors understand the message we wish to convey and deliver that message with kindness and humility.  Ambassadors work in single classrooms although schools arranged in pods may wish to combine classes depending on the wishes of the school in question.

It is our hope that specific activities will develop from the classroom interaction that will go far beyond the classroom setting.  We want children to be aware that they have a choice between KINDNESS and anger and/or violence and the responsibility is theirs to realize.  Through writing assignments, observation assignments and discussion opportunities outside of class, we hope to encourage children to look for the positive in their lives rather than focusing on the negative.  There are health benefits for teachers and students. When the components of KINDNESS are integrated into classrooms the tone will change into a more empathic atmosphere. Interactive conversations with students show that the simple act of listening and hearing each other produces calmness.  Each act of KINDNESS acts as a lifeline to teacher and student.  We promote action, as knowledge is the key for a kinder society.

For example, as we are all interconnected, one of the classroom exercises involves a ball of string that starts with one student holding the end of the string and saying something kind to another student. As the ball is passed to each student (each holding on to part of the string), a web is formed.  The class is shown that we are all connected as human beings.  The act of sharing kind thoughts verbally forms a beautiful web.

The KINDNESS Formula (see poster) is a mathematical formula that explains the theory of Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility.  It only takes one person to set KINDNESS in motion.

In the long run, we anticipate students who have experienced our sessions will become mentors for other students and assist them in bringing greater quality to their lives.  The more opportunities children have to hear our non-judgmental approach to quality of life, the greater will be the chance that these students will resist the hostility that frequently surrounds our lives every day.  In the short run, we anticipate students will learn specific ways to cope with violence, anger and hostility as school and at home.  We believe even if children have received excellent values training at home, reinforcement in a classroom environment merely encourages them to take seriously what parents have been emphasizing at home.  The message of Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility cannot be heard too many times and is designed to reinforce parental values rather than distract from them.

 

AMBASSADORS GUIDE TO KINDNESS IN
THE CLASSROOM"

Mission Statement

It is the purpose of Kindness Inc. to encourage and develop programs designed to increase Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility for all people through the medium of kindness. It is the intent of this organization to advocate without reference to religious, political or any specific group of people but to emphasize human dignity as the central focus. Development of educational programs for preschool, elementary, middle, high school and college levels is a continuing effort of Kindness Inc. Using "Random Acts of Kindness" as a theme, schools are encouraged to create curriculum that stimulate discussion as well as written presentations that draw students into the realization that Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility are a basic desire of all people.

Kindness Inc. is an International information center for all those interested in kindness as a way of life.  Our active web site has examples of kindness, methods of getting involved with kindness activities, the history of kindness, a place to describe an act of kindness and the various kindness products we have available to finance our continued existence.  Visit us at www.kindnessusa.org.

The Mission Statement is your guide for the tone of the classroom.  Your entrance into the class should be with an anticipation of fun for you and the students.

Starting Your Kindness Lesson

    • Thank the teacher for the opportunity to teach the Lessons of Kindness to her class.  A formal introduction of yourself with a handshake will prep the students for your first lesson.
    • Wear the clothes you normally would wear to work (no jeans, please!). And of course, wear your "Kindness Rocks" button to identify you as an ambassador.
    • For kindergarten through 4th grade, starting the class with music is helpful while you organize your buttons and give teachers the gift of a mug with coins, Teachers Guide and book, Selling Lemonade for Free. This kit will be given to you with your schedule.  School, classroom and teacher¡¯s name along with lesson times.
    • For all grades we suggest you first formally greet each student with a "Good Morning" and a handshake.  You will not remember each student¡¯s name but they will have the opportunity to learn a proper greeting.  Take the time to adjust their grip during the handshake as this may be new to the student.
    • Take the time to introduce yourself and what you do for a living, a little about your family and why Kindness is important to you.

Lesson with Kindness Formula:

Use the Kindness Formula for a visual and explain what it is about. Being nice to others through COMPASSION, which is sympathy and caring about the feelings of others.  HUMILITY is to be humble, not boastful or arrogant. DIGNITY is being worthy to be honored or esteemed. RESPECT is to treat others with courtesy and honor.  


         ∞    = means that this is an infinite concept. 
         ∑-  = the sum of everything together or an equal sign.
        The "I" tells us that it only takes one person to set
          kindness in motion.

Explain that the Kindness Formula means that
Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility equal the sum of everything together set in motion by just one person for all time.

Take time now to ask if the students can tell a story of compassion.  Give them an example of your own.  The students should be encouraged to tell their stories.  Continue with each of the rest of the concepts; Humility, Dignity and Respect.  Take some time with Respect, reminding them to respect their teacher, fellow students, parents, family and pets.  If the class is slow to respond, ask direct questions.

  • How are you kind to your animals?
  • What special things do you say to your parents and family members?
  • Do you remember to say thank you to the server at the restaurant or at home to your mother?
  • What could you do to make the classroom a better place?  Do you listen while your teacher is talking? 
  • Did you remember to say good morning today? Did you smile when you greeted your bus driver?  A smile is free and one of your greatest gifts.
  • Did you remember to be grateful for your wonderful school and the opportunity to go to school?
  • What do you say to someone who is angry with you? You could answer, "I'm sorry you are mad. What can I do to help you?"
  • Do you tell a teacher if a fellow student is hurt, being bullied, or ignored?  Did you know you could be the one to ask a student to join your game? 
  • Remember that telling your teacher things that are threatening or dangerous is important - and just as important is telling when something good or kind happens. 

Ask the students to stand or come to the front of the class to tell their stories of kindness.

Offer opportunities to the teacher as well.

Ask the students what their favorite time of the day is or what activity is the best.

The key to learning to be kind is to internalize the kindness lesson. By both giving and receiving kindness. the students will personalize the lesson and express it to others in their own way.  When a person is allowed the freedom of ownership of a concept, they will amaze themselves and those around them. 

Suggested Interactive Games for the Classroom

For grades that find it difficult to follow the Kindness Formula or classes that cannot settle down, try interactive games.

·        The string game.  With a ball of twine or yarn, ask one student to say something kind about another student.  The first student will hold the end of the string and pass the ball extending the string to the second student and so on, with each student holding a piece of the string. When all participating students have finished, explain how kindness forms a web like a spiderweb that connects everyone and makes the class stronger and more supportive.

·        The telephone game.  Select a small group to repeat by whispering into each others' ear a phrase that you have written on a piece of paper. When all participants have finished, ask the last student to tell the class the phrase. This game is a reminder that the story always changes from person to person and that is how gossip is dangerous.  It is always better to talk directly to a person, not talk about a person.

 

Ending the Kindness Lesson

 

Express your thanks to the class with a reminder that an act of kindness is like a drop of water in a lake.  When the drop of water hits the lake. the ripple effect continues on and on, so they must pass kindness on.  Remember to tell the students that a smile is free and will always be their greatest gift.  

Give the students an assignment before you leave.

·        Young students may want to thank their bus driver for taking them home safely, their parents for dinner and the soft bed they sleep in every night, to grandparents, aunts and uncles for special moments. Challenge these students to tell someone special in their lives what they mean to them or compliment them on good cooking or kind eyes. 

·        Students grade 2 and up that write comfortably should write letters of kindness to someone in their lives who has been kind to them.

·        On 3 x 5 cards (which we can supply), students could write a short note of kindness to another student for exchange next week or perhaps every Monday a student could be selected to write a kind thought on the blackboard for all to think about.

·        Suggest an essay contest for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms. The class can turn the essays in to their teacher. The teacher can grade for grammar, punctuation and content.  The top 5 essays could be read aloud in class and the class votes via secret ballot for the winning essay. We will provide the winner with a "Kindness Rocks" T-shirt. 

 

Thank the teacher for this opportunity to present our kindness lesson.  Thank the students for being a great and KIND class, then give the students the button with the handshake. 

Thirty minutes go by very quickly.  It is always a good idea to have the teacher assist you by calling out a 5-minute warning. 

AMBASSADOR HANDBOOK FOR THE CLASSROOM

Kindness Clubs

 

KINDNESS Clubs are the natural progression from KINDNESS Ambassadors in the classroom.  A campus "Club" is designed to provide information regarding Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility to a much larger population.  A KINDNESS Club becomes a permanent part of the schools evolving culture.  With the guidance of a teacher who becomes the club advisor, students create a structure that encourages group and individual KINDNESS activities.  During this phase of KINDNESS, students are given the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills, working in teams, developing creative activities at school and activities that are realized outside of school.  Through KINDNESS Clubs, students, parents, teachers, administrators and the community at large work together to encourage KINDNESS as a way of life rather than a single event activity.  The club provides an opportunity for school and community relations to develop into a strong partnership to bring Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility into the mainstream of the education process.  It is quite possible that a given school will want both an Ambassador to visit specific classrooms as well as to develop a campus-wide KINDNESS Club.  Each school will have its own needs and expectations. It is the role of KINDNESS Inc. to meet those needs and expectations.

In brief, here are our objectives for KINDNESS Clubs:

  • To develop the same outcomes regarding Respect, Dignity, Compassion and Humility as are found for KINDNESS Ambassadors.
  • Students will develop skills in working with others as member of a team.
  • Create an environment within which leadership skills can be practiced.
  • Encourage school and community relations to flourish as KINDNESS   becomes an essential cultural ingredient.
  • Students will learn how to creatively develop school wide activities    encouraging KINDNESS.
  • Students will explore ways to create projects that extend beyond the school campus.
  • Parents, teachers, administrators and community representatives will work together to create a safe environment for students to learn.
  • Continually work together to look for ways to encourage acts of KINDNESS on and off campus.
KINDNESS GENERAL OBJECTIVES:

§          To encourage children to be aware of how to Respect others

§         How to offer each person the right to Dignity in their lives

§         To show Compassion for other who need our help

§         To learn how to show Humility as a sign of strength not    
    weakness

§         To look for opportunities to offer assistance to others who
    have not asked for assistance

§         Help others by offering compliments rather than complaints

§         Develop skills in dealing with rudeness and anger in others
    as well as ourselves

§         Look for opportunities to commit acts of KINDNESS 

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