TROY — From Monday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Feb. 1, Kyle Elementary is celebrating empathy and generosity during “Kindness Week.”
“Because the community is so great to us, this week gives our kids the opportunity to give back to the community,” said school counselor Dana Davis. “We try each year to have a week where we’re focused on doing nice things for people and see how that makes us feel. It teaches us to be good people, have good character, and be proud of what we do.”
As part of “Kindness Week,” each grade level at Kyle focuses on a different organization in the community to make a special donation or contribution.
“It’s up to each grade level what they want to do to show their appreciation,” Davis said.
While this year’s organizations of focus are being kept under wraps for surprise contributions next week, some of last year’s contributions included cupcakes donated to the fire department by kindergartners, multi-paragraph thank-you letters to the police department by third graders, as well as school-wide donations to soup kitchens and senior centers throughout the area.
This year, Davis has also added the “Kindness Week” challenge, in which students can perform five acts of kindness and detail them on a special form that can be returned for a special prize drawing.
“They can do something kind for the family, their class, their school, or their community,” Davis said. “It doesn’t have to be anything big, but it teaches kids how it feels to give back and have empathy for others, especially those in need.”
Reprising a trend that began last year, Kyle Elementary is coordinating Kindness Week to coincide with its annual Pennies for Patients drive, a week-long fundraising event that collects donations to combat childhood cancers.
To celebrate the drive, each day of the week at Kyle has been designated with a special “Spirit Day” theme, including “Wear your class color” on Monday, “wear a shirt with a kind saying on it” on Tuesday, “mismatched clothing and shoes” on Wednesday, “dress like your hero” on Thursday, and “favorite team jersey” on Friday.
Each day also has a special coin theme for the drive, including “Proud Penny” Monday, “Inspiring Nickel” Tuesday, “Daring Dime” Wednesday, “Courageous Quarter” Thursday, and “Team up for Leukemia” on Friday, in which students can wear a hat to school if they donate $1.
“Students and their parents can donate online if they want to, but most kids bring their donations into the school,” said Kyle student council advisor Paul Miller. “We have collection boxes, and there’s a little competition between the grade levels. The winning homeroom gets a pizza party, which tends to motivate the kids.”
According to Miller, last year’s Pennies for Patients drive brought just over $1,200. The school record is over $1,500.
“We’ve been doing it for at least 10 years,” Miller said. “It’s a great cause — everybody probably knows at least one person that’s been effected by cancer. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society focuses on childhood cancers, so that’s the main thrust of the campaign.”
“We really strive to not only teach academics here, but teach kids about having good character and being good people,” Davis said. “This is something we can use to supplement character education, and teach kids about having empathy and being good citizens.”
To make donations, find Kyle Elementary at www.penniesforpatients.org/find-your-school.