DISCOVER KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOCUSES ON STUDENTS’ SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING SKILLS 

Story courtesy of Discovery Education

the hispanic outlook on education magazine discover

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Kindness starts with one. One person holds open a door. One person writes a thank you letter to a teacher. One person sparks kindness when another really needs it. 

Now, more than ever, it’s time to be kinder. 

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK), an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others, and Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, have teamed up to launch an all-new education initiative, Discover Kindness in the Classroom.

Available at no cost to classrooms nationwide, the program offers standards-aligned resources for grades K-8 that teach important social and emotional learning skills, and stimulate thoughtful conversations between educators and students about the importance of kindness in their daily lives. 

Social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, a productive citizen and a successful worker. Many risky behaviors such as drug use, violence and bullying can be prevented or reduced when social and emotional skills are taught. Moreover, social and emotional learning can improve academic scores. One study shows that students who have been in a directed SEL (social and emotional learning) program can increase their scores on standardized tests by up to 11 percent. (American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology). 

Discover Kindness in the Classroom provides elementary and middle school educators and counselors cross-curricular lesson plans and hands-on activities that encourage students to spread kindness and share their experiences with others. The program features two specially curated Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Kindness Collections that explore kindness concepts including respect, compassion, empathy, integrity, fairness, helpfulness and gratitude. The second Kindness Collection launched in February 2017, coinciding with Random Acts of Kindness Week, which took place February 12-18, 2017. Units in each Kindness Collection are designed to inspire and empower students to be kind and compassionate, act on what they have learned and share their positive actions and how they felt. 

Educators can also utilize the “How-To Guide” to create their own Kindness Collections by selecting and organizing resources that meet their students’ needs, in addition to the educator guides that accompany each Collection and provide best practices for easily integrating these resources in classroom instruction. 

“Social and emotional learning skills are incredibly important to my students’ futures and impact so many aspects of their lives both inside and outside of our classroom,” said Kristen Davis, a first grade teacher in Santa Rosa County, Florida. “I look forward to incorporating resources from Discover Kindness in the Classroom into my instruction to show my students how small acts of kindness can make a big difference and impact everyone around them.” 

In addition to the Fall and Spring Kindness Collections, Discover Kindness in the Classroom also offers monthly Kindness Spotlights that are designed to quickly and easily highlight various Kindness Concepts. Each Kindness Spotlight offers two short elementary and middle school activities focused around specific Kindness Concepts of the month. 

“The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation curriculum has been quietly implemented in thousands of schools worldwide, but we believe teaming up with Discovery Education will inspire and empower thousands more teachers across the nation to see and feel the impact of teaching kindness in their own classrooms. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” said Brooke Jones, vice president of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

“Discovery Education shares The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s belief that the world is a better place when we encourage kindness,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president of Discovery Education.  “We are proud to collaborate with them to present classrooms nationwide engaging digital resources that help teach important social and emotional learning skills and promote thoughtful conversations between educators and students about the importance of kindness in their daily lives.”

To learn more and access to program’s free resources, visit www.discoverkindnessintheclassroom.com