Mixing It Up With Kindness
Mixing it Up with Kindness at Matthew Paterson Elementary
Sariah picked a question from a pack of conversation starter cards and could not believe her good luck. It was about sports, her favorite subject.
“Who is your favorite sports player?” Sariah, a third grader in Michele Love’s class, asked the children at her lunch table.
“Mine is Brianna Stewart of the New York Liberty,” she said, starting off the conversation with a group of children she did not usually sit with at lunch. “She is a superstar. I love basketball.”
The activity was part of Mix It Up Day at Matthew Paterson Elementary School, one of the events in the school’s Kindness Week.
“Our PBIS study group developed and implemented a Kindness Week, starting with World Kindness Day and culminating in a Schoolwide Kindness Bingo, said Karen Wrobel, the school psychologist and chair for PBIS, or positive behavioral interventions and support. “Every morning during announcements, a few kindness behaviors would be shared, and students could color in their bingo board all week if they engaged in the kind behavior. Home kindness bingo boards went home, too, so that students could extend their kind behaviors at home and in the community.”
Mix it Up Day was led by a team of third and fourth grade Kindness Ambassadors. As students came to the cafeteria for lunch, the volunteer ambassadors gave them each a color-coded dot and directed them to the correct color-coded table. The school’s PTO decorated the cafeteria in advance.
Some children asked to change colors so they could sit with their friends, but the ambassadors explained that making new friends was the point. As the children ate their lunches, the ambassadors walked around, gave out the conversation cards and friendships began to take shape.
“What’s your favorite book?” one boy asked.
“Would you rather have a mansion you never leave or no home but travel the world?” another asked.
“Would you rather eat chocolate all day or marshmallow fluff?” Aven, who is in Gina Boalt’s third grade class, asked the children at her red dot table.
They all agreed they would rather eat fluff.