Random Acts of Kindness

In the end, only kindness matters

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!

Why Kids Should Play Sports

Jackie Robinson West baseball team, photo courtesy of sungazette.com

Jackie Robinson West baseball team, photo courtesy of sungazette.com

Written by Courtney Battle

With this summer’s success of Jackie Robinson West and Mo’ne Davis, kids in sports have been in the spotlight.  Both the team and Davis remind us why it’s important for all kids to be involved in sports and/or some sort of physical activity.  

#1 Teamwork

The ability to work on a team is a skill that will literally follow a child throughout their entire life- from grade school all the way through their adult career.  Fostering this at an early age is crucial.  Families.com tells us that kids who play sports ‘quickly learn that they have to work together as a team to win the game.’  Getting your child on a sports team is getting a head start on this important life lesson.

#2  Discipline

Team sports and activities allow children to also learn about setting goals and achieving them.  It may be a goal to try out and make the team at first, and then eventually it could be to ‘start’ in the game, or to improve upon a certain skill.  Setting and achieving goals not only instills a sense of discipline in a child, but also the value of hard work.  Once those goals become realities, children are also able to feel a sense of fulfillment.

#3  Angled Citizens

These days, it’s not just enough to be a student.  College admissions offices are looking for several components in their applicants, according to this article, one of which is an ‘angled’ student, or someone that has a few specific passions, rather than the traditionally ‘well-rounded’ student that dabbles in several different activities.  Once a child can hone in on those interests, it will be easier for him or her to devote attention to, and excel in the corresponding sports or activities.

#4  Keeps Kids Active/In Shape

‘…today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese.’

-Let’s Move!

Obesity can lead to several serious health issues if it’s not addressed.  Kids that are involved in sports are getting regular exercise, and paired with a healthy diet, that makes for a person who will most likely maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their adulthood.

#5 Leadership Skills

Another benefit of sports is leadership skills.  Serving as a captain is great experience, and serves as invaluable practice for leading a group of your peers.  As a team leader, a child learns how to communicate with, listen to, and motivate others, which later in life may translate into duties as a CEO of an organization.  In fact, this survey of Executive Vice President-level professionals at 75 Fortune 500 companies found that 95% of them played sports in high school.

There are tons of other reasons why kids should play sports, but we hope these are enough to inspire you.  Make sure your child is involved on a team, and they will thank you later!