Virginia Kindness Week
When is Virginia Kindness Week?
Schools can promote and foster kindness all school year. However, Virginia has recognized VA Kindness Week as February 14th - 20th, 2021.
What is Virginia Kindness Week?
The purpose of Kindness Week is to recognize that simple day-to-day acts of kindness enable our schools, communities, and state to be a kinder, safer, healthier and more inclusive place to live, work, learn and play.
- Research has proven that kindness helps us to form meaningful connections with others, which are reported to be a strong factor in increasing happiness. Kindness has been proven to boost serotonin, reduce stress, increase positive affect, release endorphins and the hormone oxytocin in numerous scientific studies.
- Teaching and recognizing kindness in schools and communities fosters empathy, builds community, reduces bullying and nurtures a safe and welcoming environment (Currie, 2015).
- By promoting kindness, we are promoting inclusivity by extending an opportunity for grace, empathy, dignity and acceptance across Virginia (Layous , Nelson,Oberle, Schonert-Reichl, Lyubomirsky, 2012).
How can we participate?
As a school or division, you can create a plan for school wide recognition and celebration of VA Kindness week through classroom meetings, visual displays, social media, lessons, or assemblies. Sharing information about Kindness Week with families and community leaders will extend this important work outside the school building and into the community. We suggest utilizing the Kindness Week Flyer for such promotion purposes.
Use the “I can care for Kindness by” and “I care for Kindness because…” posters to promote discussion around kindness and recognize ways we can be kind. Encourage participation in this discussion by sharing responses via visual displays, slide shows, social media (#VirginiaisforKindness), etc.
- Student: “I can care for kindness by listening to your friend when they are sad.”
- Teacher: “I can care for kindness because it encourages my students to be their authentic selves while in my students to be their authentic selves while in my classroom.”
Recognize an Ambassador of Kindness
Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their kindness? Take the time to recognize them publicly as Virginia Ambassador of Kindness. Print this poster, present it to the student or educator you wish to recognize. Then take their photo holding the poster for a bulletin board, your school’s website, and/or a social media posting (#VAKindnessAmbassador).
Join the Virginia Kindness Challenge
Students and staff are encouraged to participate in VA Kindness Challenge. Select from the kindness idea banks or come up with your own kind acts to fill up your Challenge Board. Use the “Challenge Accepted” poster to create a bulletin board or spread the word through social media (#VirginiaisforKindness).
Virginia Kindness Fair
Outside Resources for Promoting Kindness in Schools
- Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: This nonprofit organization provides ideas and resources to foster a culture of kindness; including an evidence-based curriculum for social and emotional classroom lessons that promote kindness.
- Start with Hello, by the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation: Offers both an elementary and secondary, age-appropriate program that teaches empathy to empower students to end social isolation. The elementary program includes an interactive storybook, videos, activities and projects. The secondary program includes a video training for students, an Educators’ Guide, and a handbook to help schools build and reinforce a culture of inclusion. Both programs can be done remotely, virtual-live, or in-person.
- Born This Way Foundation: This foundation is co-founded and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. Ideas and resources are available to support the mental health of young people and to create a kinder and braver world. Additionally, their Channel Kindness digital platform allows young people and organizations to highlight their stories of kindness, resilience, and community.
- Spreading Kindness Campaign: This is a campaign to foster a culture of kindness by giving greater visibility to and encouraging more acts of kindness. Resources for schools include example projects and programs in schools as well as information for evidence-based kindness curriculum.
- Class Act: This is an award program available from Random Acts that encourages schools to spread kindness around the world. The award winner will receive $8,000 and an opportunity to be featured on social media.
- Doing Good Together: provide tools to both families and organizations to help them raise compassionate, engaged children. Their innovative activities, resources, and support help make empathy and "giving back" a natural part of life's early lessons.
- Kindness-Focused Organizations: Organizations are working all over the U.S. to inspire and increase acts of kindness. Learn about even more initiatives for finding and spreading kindness from this comprehensive list!
- Edutopia Articles with Kindness Strategies and Inspiration
How can I learn more?
Are you looking for more ideas for how to promote kindness in your school community? Our Virginia Kindness Fair features educational leaders from across the state as they share the kindness initiatives they have done in their schools. In a format modeled after a traditional science fair, you are invited to explore the Kindness Fair Poster Presentations, which include brief videos and resources that break down what you need to know to bring the featured initiative to your school.