Year 5s Sprinkling Kindness All Around
Our Year 5 students have been spreading kindness everywhere they go. The girls have been taking part in a pilot program titled The Kindness Challenge by Soul Gestures and Santa Maria College past student Catherine Kolomyjec (Burgess, Class of 1986).
Run over four weeks, the program encourages students to take on acts of kindness towards family and the wider community. The program was split into the following weekly challenges:
Week 1: Daily appreciation at home
Week 2: Compassion towards friends
Week 3: Thanks to your support circle
Week 4: Kindness to the wider community
How does kindness make you feel?
Students were asked to consider how kindness made them feel in their bodies. The girls noticed how doing something kind for others also made them feel good. Soul Gestures presenter Catherine, spoke to the girls about what kindness is, how our brains and hormones react to acts of kindness and the mental health benefits of showing kindness.
We reported on the Weeks 1 and 2 aspects of the project last term. In the Week 3 session, students thanked those who have supported them since starting at the College. The girls gave care packages and cards to College staff including nurses, teachers, support staff and cleaners.
Going out into the community
In Week 4, the girls travelled out into the wider community. Students in 5.4 travelled to Wichmann Road to deliver a gift box to Julie, the lollypop lady who has been at this crossing for at least 14 years. The girls in 5.5 invited Year 7 boarders to an afternoon tea and presented the girls with gift bags, which included photos from home. Class 5.2 walked to local shops and presented cards to local residents, and gave a special present to Princess who is missing her family back in the Philippines.
At the conclusion of the program, Catherine said, “These young students made so many people smile over the last four weeks as well as making kindness a habit in their daily lives. Some described their own moods lifting, the happy hormones running through their bodies, and one student even told me that it changed her life! We couldn’t have imagined a better outcome with the challenge, and we can’t wait to see how the girls go keeping these habits in the years to come.”
Keeping it Going
Elena Anastasakis (5.2) was so inspired by this project that she has continued it in her own life, creating 100 cards to give out to strangers that say, “Have a lovely day”, “Never forget you are loved” and “Believe in yourself”.
“When we did the Kindness challenge, I had so much fun giving my card to someone and seeing their reaction. I wanted to do this some more and spread kindness to more people. I think that sometimes people have a bad day and I just wanted to make their day better. I printed out 100 cards and I’ve given out about 70. Tonight we are going to the beach and I will give out the rest of my cards.” Elena said.