Virginia Kindness Week
When is Virginia Kindness Week?
Schools can promote and foster kindness all school year. However, each year here in Virginia we have celebrated kindness week during the second week in February.
What is Virginia Kindness Week?
The purpose of Kindness Week is to recognize that simple day-to-day acts of kindness enable our schools, communities, and state to be a kinder, safer, healthier and more inclusive place to live, work, learn and play.
Kindness Week Flyer has proven that kindness helps us to form meaningful connections with others, which are reported to be a strong factor in increasing happiness. Kindness has been proven to boost serotonin, reduce stress, increase positive affect, release endorphins and the hormone oxytocin in numerous scientific studies.
Teaching and recognizing kindness in schools and communities fosters empathy, builds community, reduces bullying and nurtures a safe and welcoming environment (Currie, 2015).
By promoting kindness, we are promoting inclusivity by extending an opportunity for grace, empathy, dignity and acceptance across Virginia (Layous , Nelson,Oberle, Schonert-Reichl, Lyubomirsky, 2012).
How can we participate?
As a school or division, you can create a plan for school wide recognition and celebration of VA Kindness week through classroom meetings, visual displays, social media, lessons, or assemblies. Sharing information about Kindness Week with families and community leaders will extend this important work outside the school building and into the community.
Use the “I can show kindness by…” and “kindness matters because…” posters to promote discussion around kindness and recognize ways we can be kind. Encourage participation in this discussion by sharing responses via visual displays, slide shows, social media (#VAKindnessWeek), etc.
Student: “I can show kindness by listening to your friend when they are sad.”
Teacher: “Kindness matters because it encourages my students to be their authentic selves while in my students to be their authentic selves while in my classroom.”
Recognize an Ambassador of Kindness
Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their kindness? Take the time to recognize them publicly as Virginia Ambassador of Kindness. Print this Kindness Ambassador image (PDF), present it to the student or educator you wish to recognize. Then take their photo holding the poster for a bulletin board, your school’s website, and/or a social media posting (#VAKindnessAmbassador).
Join the Virginia Kindness Challenge
Students and staff are encouraged to participate in VA Kindness Challenge. Select from the kindness idea banks or come up with your own kind acts to fill up your Challenge Board. Use the "Challenge Accepted" image to create a bulletin board or spread the word through social media (#VirginiaisforKindness).
Have students use a Kindness Bank to create their own Kindness Challenge Board!
Kindness Challenge Board (PDF)
How can I learn more?
Are you looking for more ideas for how to promote kindness in your school community? Our Virginia Kindness Fair features educational leaders from across the state as they share the kindness initiatives they have done in their schools. In a format modeled after a traditional science fair, you are invited to explore the Kindness Fair Poster Presentations, which include brief videos and resources that break down what you need to know to bring the featured initiative to your school. Additionally, the Classroom Resources and Spirit Day Idea documents have even more ways to promote kindness across your school!
Outside Resources for Promoting Kindness in Schools
Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: This nonprofit organization provides ideas and resources to foster a culture of kindness; including an evidence-based curriculum for social and emotional classroom lessons that promote kindness.