Kindness is Contagious
National Random Acts of Kindness week is taking over our classrooms and offices thanks to dedicated and creative staff members.
National Random Acts of Kindness Week (also called RAKWeek) is taking over COMPASS, with creative kindness ideas adding something sweet to our days. This national celebration encourages people to commit “acts of kindness” just for the sake of making someone’s day.
National Random Acts of Kindness Week is celebrated during the second week in February by individuals, groups, and organizations nationwide. It has grown in popularity since it turned from a phrase into a movement in 1995 with the birth of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. The foundation has embarked on a mission to make kindness effortless and have selfless acts be the norm, a goal that, if achieved, would truly make the world a better place.
RAKWeek may seem like another irrelevant national celebration to some, but those who have accepted it and follow its suggestion to be kind have been able to reap the benefits of kindness. Kindness increases energy, happiness, lifespan, pleasure, and oxytocin, the hormone associated with love – all while decreasing pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. If everyone were even just a little bit kinder, we would all live better and happier lives.
At COMPASS, we value helping our students and staff live happier and healthier lives, and RAKWeek is the perfect way to continue achieving this mission. Our staff members have taken it upon themselves to brighten up our days this week by committing random acts of kindness for each other and for students and clients.
In one of our classes, lower-school teacher Megan worked with her class to send virtual Valentine’s Day cards to the children at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, working with the hospital’s online platform that encourages children to send messages to patients. Featuring messages like “you’re an all star” and “you make my heart smile,” accompanied by entertaining and creative graphics, the students helped improve the spirits of the patients, all while increasing their own happiness as well.
Another lower-school class, led by teachers Jenn and Jane, has incorporated kindness at the beginning of every day by having students read through a checklist of ways to be kind within the classroom. They have also implemented a points system where students can earn “kind points” for performing random acts of kindness. After a student earns 5 points, they can pick a prize from the classroom prize bin. On top of this fun activity, the classroom also participated in making cards to thank staff members who have been helpful to them. According to Jenn and Jane, “The students are becoming more aware of their actions in the classroom community and around the school – they will often catch each other in an act of kindness and excitedly share it with us.”
The random acts of kindness continued when a Community Services Family Specialist, Jennifer Negron, let her teen client borrow the shoes off of her feet to look presentable for a job interview, which she received on the spot! “I didn’t even think twice about it,” said Jennifer, reflecting on the moment.
Additionally, two other School staff members took part in the random acts of kindness. One of them purchased snacks to help motivate positive behavior in an elementary classroom – 4 out of the 5 students reached Step 5 (the highest they can reach in the BEAMS system) that day! Teacher Kristen Higgins also was spotted in the halls handing out affirmation notes to all that came her way!
One small act of kindness has positive effects on all who witness it, meaning that one good deed in a crowded area creates a domino effect and impacts dozens of people. The contagious nature of kindness makes it even more tempting to take part in RAKWeek – it will not only improve your own day to be kind, but it will bring happiness to others on a larger scale than you could imagine.
Random Acts of Kindness Week has been a huge success at COMPASS, and we hope to continue seeing kindness initiatives after the national celebration is over.