Students in the Capital School District must follow a student code of conduct. But it did not hurt to bring in the nonprofit Be Kind People Project in for reinforcements.
Central Middle School seventh graders Danyell Allen and Joscelyn Morgan said their exposure this week to the Be Kind People Project reinforced the notion of compassion in their everyday lives as students.
"If everybody was kind, there wouldn't be as much problems in the world," Morgan said.
"When you do things, don't expect things back," Allen said. "Just do it because you know it's the right thing to do."
Morgan and Allen were among the students learning this week from the Classroom Kindness Kits sent to four schools in the Capital School District as part of World Kindness Week, which began Nov. 12. The nonprofit Be Kind People Project collaborated with Teach for America to distribute the free kits as well as personalized gifts of appreciation to teachers.
The Be Kind People Project, created by Marcia Meyer in Phoenix, Ariz., has aimed to improve the nation's educational environment by recognizing teachers' hard work and convincing students that it was "cool to be kind."
MORE ABOUT THE BE KIND PEOPLE PROJECT
The Be Kind People Project is a nonprofit organization that is building a national movement to cultivate a culture of kindness by helping students experience the joy, fun and fulfillment that comes with being kind to others while celebrating teachers and their contributions to society.
During the 2012-13 school year, BKPP will:Deliver Classroom Kindness Kits to 1,200 schools serving 1.2 million students across the U.S.Recognize more than 40,000 teachers during the school year.Hold 114 It's Cool 2B Kind school assemblies with The Be Kind Crew performances.
To learn more about The Be Kind People Project and its programs, visit TheBeKindPeopleProject.org, find it on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheBeKindPeopleProject and on YouTube, youtube.com/user/BeKindPeopleProject.
Central Middle, William Henry Middle School, Kent County Alternative Program and Dover High School received the gifts.
In recognition of this educational initiative, Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr. issued a formal proclamation at Tuesday night's Dover City Council meeting declaring the week of Nov. 12 as "Classroom Kindness Week in Dover." Gov. Jack Markell had also issued a formal proclamation recognizing The Be Kind People Project's aim to help Delaware schools.
At Central Middle School, social studies teacher Terry Sharpe said the Be Kind package helped open conversations about why students should each other the way they wanted to be treated.
"If we can instill in them the value of compassion and courtesy as seventh graders and remind them every year, maybe we can change a little bit the way our country is going," Sharpe said. "I think we're going to be better off in the long run."
Allen and Morgan, the seventh graders, said Be Kind People Week fit in with Central's student code of conduct.
"Here, there's a strict system; there's no bullying," Allen said. "We have certain conduct rules that we have to maintain to be successful. This is what our teachers are teaching – to do what's right and get it done. If you don't, where are you going to end up in life?"
Added Morgan: "It's a good atmosphere here. You don't have to worry about
coming to school and getting hurt."
Central Middle Principal Dr. Darren Guido said his school welcomed any supplement to the student code of conduct.
"Being kind is not a gimmick," Guido said. "It can be given to us in any kind of package. We want to set the environment, as Joscelyn said, where the kids do feel safe when they come to school.
"We have a mix of kids that come from a wide pool," he said. "I may be in a class with someone I've never met before in my life. He may listen to different music, may look differently than I do and sound different. But, I need to figure out a way to get along with the student in my class. Just putting a little emphasis on being kind to that person is going to help."