A kind gesture can go a long way; that’s what students at Andrew Muller Primary School (AMPS) in Miller Place are learning as they continue spreading kindness throughout the building. Students and staff recently celebrated “Kindness Day,” a busy day filled with team building activities to promote unity and kindness.
“The goal is to instill good character among our students,” said Dr. Marianne Cartisano, Superintendent of Miller Place School District. “Kindness Day is a great teaching moment for our students. They learn the value of being kind to one another within the context of working together towards a common goal, following directions and working hard as a team. It’s a great opportunity for our students to bond with their peers and develop new friendships.”
To kick off the day, each student had a unique grand entrance—they entered the classroom doors either performing a high five, twirl, dance move, hug, or big smile. Teachers facilitated a morning meeting to discuss kindness and the legacy and message of Dr. Martin Luther King—how he wanted everyone to have equal rights and to be treated based on the kind of person they were, not what they looked like. Kindergarteners began the day with Mem Fox’s Whoever You Are, a book that urges readers to accept individual differences, to recognize similarities and most importantly to rejoice in both. First graders read The Crayon Box That Talked, a story that discusses cooperation and the beauty of working together. Margery Cuyler’s and Sachiko Yoshikawa’s Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler was read with second grade classes to teach students a lesson on support and the golden rule: kindness is cool!
In each classroom, teachers facilitated several ice breaker activities to better familiarize students in different classes with one another. They discussed their favorite colors and foods, pets and siblings they have, and afterschool activities they participate in. Before lunch, the students created ‘snowballs’ out of paper with their names written at the center. The snowballs were placed in a bucket for students to randomly select from and then share something nice about that student with the class. After reading Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches, each student cut out a hand on construction paper to write gestures they can do to make the world a better place. Responses included smile, hug, tell a joke, and give a compliment. To conclude Kindness Day, AMPS’s students and staff gathered in three concentric circles for a building wide sing along of “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars.
For more information about the Miller Place School District, please visit the District’s website atwww.millerplace.k12.ny.us.