4th Grade Kindness Project
Joan Baez said, “Action is the antidote to despair” and as schools shut down in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, the fourth graders at Bancroft School in Worcester, MA took action. In addition to keeping up with their usual academics via Zoom, the students saw an opportunity amidst the new challenge. As a class, they brainstormed ways they could help others in very simple, yet important ways.
The list of ideas quickly became weekly action items, or “Kindness Projects” as they were dubbed. The children emailed the residents of local senior facilities, who were no longer able to receive visitors. They created posters to thank essential workers in their neighborhoods. They wrote letters of encouragement for coronavirus patients and copied their favorite quotes for the recipients of care packages at WHEAT food pantry. They created videos for the hospital staff at UMASS Memorial Hospital.
Sometimes, the projects were closer to home; for example, one week, the nine and ten year olds simply cleaned their rooms. For mother’s day, they found ways to spoil their moms and grandmas, from serving breakfast in bed to washing cars. On Earth Day, they painted kindness rocks to spread positivity and picked up trash outside their homes.
For the final project of the year, the students learned the importance of being kind to themselves. They experimented with self care strategies such as music, movement, and mindfulness. Hopefully, their self compassion will continue to fill them with love and joy, their Kindness Projects a ray of light amidst despair.
- Worcester, Massachusetts