Photo courtesy of SweetOnVeg.com
Written by Courtney Battle
Bullying. It’s an issue that you have probably heard more about than you ever thought you might in the past few years. Divorce. It can take its toll on anyone, but especially more on children that are involved. Body Image. Young girls are struggling with it more and more as images they see of how they ‘should’ look are plastered all over pop culture, television, and movies. Abuse. Outside of the classroom, and behind closed doors, it happens way more than we talk about. What do all of these issues have in common? Students are bringing them to school every single day, carrying them on their backs, and in many cases, probably having no one to talk to. But what if they did? What if someone showed them that they cared?
Adam Sherman, a teacher at Spoto High School in Hillsborough County, Fla. inspired this post with his recent post on Education Week. One day in class Sherman noticed that one of his students was looking kind of down, and not really engaged. He wrote him a note reading, ‘Are you ok?’ and simply put it on his desk, so not to distract any of the other students or bring attention to his gesture. The student returned the note with his response of ‘No,’ and Sherman reassured him that he understood and was available if the student needed someone to talk to, and that was that. It turned out the student’s parents were going through a divorce, and he wasn’t receiving the attention he needed at home, but that simple post-it showed the student that Sherman cared- and sometimes, that’s all we really need, right?
If you fast-forward, Sherman spoke to his class and after some brainstorming they came up with an entire program entitled To Be Kind, which ‘seeks to prevent bullying rather than react to it.’ Through social media compliments, positive messages stuffed in lockers, and other gestures, they implemented a ‘culture of kindness,’ at their school and inspired others to do the same. So now, we would like to take it a step further.
What if acts of kindness took off like the #ALSIceBucketChallenge? What if people remembered to be kind as often as they check their cell phone in a day? What about kindness as routine as your daily Starbucks fix? We are inspired by Sherman and his students, and encourage you to get out there and perform a random act of kindness for someone today. Let us know how you’re spreading kindness around the world, too! Take a picture, tag @communityoneinc on Twitter with the hashtag #RAK this week and remember, no matter how small you think it is, it could make a huge difference.
Community ONE knows the power that one person has to impact another, and we strive to do so in the programming and activities we provide to students. We all can do our part in some way, so get in on it today!