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Month of Kindness, Day of Acceptance

 

Every year at my school we like to “GO BIG” for the Day of Acceptance! This year we went even bigger and dedicated the entire month to kindness. The entire school was involved in our events and it was incredible! In January every year after all of our big events take place, I really truly see a difference in the students.

Some of our events include: Staff “Kindness” T-shirts, “Love Life” wristband sales, a Kindness Tree, Kindness Calendar display, a guest speaker for the older grades, interactive “disability awareness” displays, poster contests and so much more in the individual classrooms!

Today’s world is filled with so much negativity and we as teachers and/or role models need to do something about it! It makes me so sad to watch TV and see other social media that is super negative and teaching young kids that it is okay to be mean, sarcastic (in a bad way) and just overall negative. Kids need to learn that it is way cooler to be kind than it is to be mean!

To kick off our Month of Kindness we started with staff t-shirts! I designed these cute shirts for the staff to wear. We had several options to appeal to all personalities and styles 🙂 We ended up selling almost 80 t-shirts! Students really pay attention to their teachers and when they see all of the teachers wearing shirts about kindness they get excited and interested!

Our t-shirt designs included “Be Kind” and “Kind is Cool”. I loved how the shirts turned out! I think the simple black and white design really stood out and caught peoples attention!

Shirts on shirts on shirts! I was so happy with the turn out and total staff participation!!

When we first started our Day of Acceptance wristband sale, I was a little nervous. I had no idea how many students would purchase wristbands and how into them they would be. Well let me tell you, we ended up selling almost 600 wristbands! I was really emotional when all of the order forms started rushing in and some of the families ordered multiple bracelets! It was a really cool feeling!!

I had my students count the wristbands for each class and deliver them! The students in each class got so excited when my students would deliver the wristbands! It really opened the line of communication and many of the kids started saying hello my students in the hallway! (In the beginning of the year many students would just stare when they saw students in wheelchairs, etc….so this was HUGE!!)

So why do the wristbands say “Love Life”? Well, we purchased them from the really awesome company that started the Day of Acceptance, 3 E Love. You can purchase your own bracelet and other really cool gear from their site.

The Day of Acceptance is a day dedicated to social acceptance of disability. More information can be found here. Many people today do not understand the word “disability” in general and have no education on the topic. In my school students (prior to the month of kindness) give funny looks when they see kids in wheelchairs, walkers, etc. They do not understand why some students are non verbal or why some kids wear headphones. Well there is only one way to fix this lack of understanding, EDUCATE them! 3 E Love is all about embracing, educating and empowering! Check out their site, they are truly amazing!

Aren’t these wristbands the coolest? Spread awareness!

Another really cool activity that the health teachers put together was these posters! They had all of the students make posters about the Day of Acceptance and the Month of Kindness! We posted them throughout the hallways of the school! Seeing all of these posters down every hallway made me even more emotional! So cool!

One of my favorite school wide activities was this Kindness Tree! We were very lucky to have one of the teachers daughters who is an art minor come in and make the base of the tree! Everyone loved it! I then made pink hearts for every student in the entire school. Teachers had students write one act of kindness that they preformed and then they were able to post it on the tree! This picture was about half of the hearts, it exploded by the end of the month!

This hallway display was a really great way of promoting Kindness within our school! We made a “Month of Kindness” calendar. The calendar consisted of an act of Kindness for each day of the month. Some of the acts of Kindness included ideas such as “Pick up litter”, “Leave a note in a library book”, “Give someone a high five”, “Make a card for someone” and “Teach someone something new”.

DISABILITY AWARENESS DISPLAY

For part of our “Day of Acceptance” we set up a display of different tools that students use to help them learn. This display included a wide variety of tools that students use. We included tools for students with visual impairments, hearing impairments, physical disabilities, sensory processing difficulties and so much more! We included objects along with their descriptions of how students use them.

This table included some of the different ways students communicate if they are non verbal or have limited language.

On this table we included different positive reinforcement boards for students who need visuals when working. This helps those students to see how many tasks they are required to complete.

We also included some sensory tools including a weighted vest, headphones and and putty.

The students really had a good time at this table. They were given the opportunity to use adapted scissors!

Here we put out some fidget toys and dexterity boards!

This table (above and below) was dedicated to vision and hearing! Our awesome Hearing and Vision specialists gave us items to display including a Sonic Boom Alarm Clock, Braille Machine and Braille books!

Lastly, the P.E. teachers at our school set up some cool stations with adapted P.E. equipment that students with physical disabilities use. Pictured below is a wheelchair and adaptive bowling equipment. Students had the opportunity to perform different activities in a wheelchair to see what it is like.

 

I hoped you enjoyed reading about all of our fun Month of Kindness activities as much as I did setting them up!

THROW KINDNESS LIKE CONFETTI!