Education Funding


October 24, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Kinder, Gentler Schools

A foundation in Denver has one purpose and one alone: to show people how to make the world a kinder place. And schoolchildren are spreading its gospel faster than just about anyone.

Get free resources, including a teacher’s guide (requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader and free registration), from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has enlisted more than 800,000 students and 40,000 teachers in a variety of projects from the simple to the complex. Any teacher or administrator who wants to incorporate kindness into a classroom or school can obtain a thick packet of ideas and materials from the 6-year-old philanthropy, free of charge.

“Kindness is the foundational value on which all the character traits are built, so it can serve as a great unifying approach to a character education curriculum,” said Molly Stuart, the president of the foundation, which is financed entirely by one anonymous benefactor. “It’s also a concept that can easily be integrated into all parts of a school curriculum. We’ve had home economics classes take cookies to firefighters.”

The foundation hopes to spread the idea during its seventh annual Random Acts of Kindness Week, Nov. 11-17. Among the materials it will supply for schools are a teacher’s guide with suggestions about how to incorporate kindness into all subjects and lists of project ideas tailored by age group.

A few years ago, Patrick Gribbin’s 6th grade class at Kelly Elementary School in Wilkinsburg, Pa., undertook an extensive tribute project, in which class members visited, lunched with, and interviewed residents at a local retirement home. The students wrote biographies of the home’s residents, displayed those stories in poster form at the school, and, with the help of a local university student, transformed them into a play performed for the senior citizens, Mr. Gribbin said.

“What you see in these kids is that they start to internalize the acts of kindness they perform,” he said. “As they spent time with these seniors, you’d see a hand on someone’s arm, a door opened.”

Sherry Hatcher, who teaches math at Meridian High School in Meridian, Miss., said her class used geometry to design symmetrical valentines for residents of a nursing home. She said that since she began overseeing the incorporation of kind acts into school studies four years ago, not only has the climate of her school become more peaceful, but she herself has been enriched as a teacher.

“I am blessed every day by the stories of kindness that students bring to me,” Ms. Hatcher said.

—Catherine Gewertz

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Interactive Look Up How Much COVID Relief Aid Your School District is Getting
The federal government gave schools more than $190 billion to help them recover from the pandemic. But the money was not distributed evenly.
2 min read
Education Funding Explainer Everything You Need to Know About Schools and COVID Relief Funds
How much did your district get in pandemic emergency aid? When must the money be spent? Is there more on the way? EdWeek has the answers.
11 min read
090221 Stimulus Masks AP BS
Dezirae Espinoza wears a face mask while holding a tube of cleaning wipes as she waits to enter Garden Place Elementary School in Denver for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic.
David Zalubowski/AP
Education Funding Why Dems' $82 Billion Proposal for School Buildings Still Isn't Enough
Two new reports highlight the severe disrepair the nation's school infrastructure is in and the crushing district debt the lack of federal and state investment has caused.
4 min read
Founded 55 years ago, Foust Elementary received its latest update 12-25 years ago for their HVAC units. If the school receives funds from the Guilford County Schools bond allocation, they will expand classrooms from the back of the building.
Community members in Guilford, N.C. last week protested the lack of new funding to improve the district's crumbling school facilities.
Abby Gibbs/News & Record via AP
Education Funding Can Governors Really Take Money From Schools Over Masks?
State leaders are using the threat of funding cuts as a weapon in the mask debate—but it's not clear if they can or will follow through.
7 min read
Conceptual image of hundred dollar bills with some of the images of Benjamin Franklin masked.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock