What happens when an entire school district intentionally focuses on kindness for a year? Bainbridge Island School District is on a mission to find out.
“To say the last two-plus years have been challenging is an understatement. The pandemic impacted almost every facet of our lives, which led to increased stress,” said BISD Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen. “And, when people are maxed out with stress, it’s difficult to find the bandwidth to extend kindness to others.”
BISD hopes that having a year-long focus on kindness will strengthen relationships, provide a framework for interactions and help promote a positive environment. To kick off the theme, students and staff completed a Back-to-School sign responding to the question: How will you spread kindness? Responses included “accepting others without judgment,” “including people,” “listening to others,” and “using kind words.”
Other activities surrounding the theme include:
● An optional all-district read of the book Deep Kindness by Houston Kraft
● District-wide spirit weeks
● Kindness is in Our Veins (blood drive, TBD)
● Kindness challenges, information in newsletters, etc.
As part of BISD’s District Improvement Plan, schools already focus on students’ Health, Well-Being & Safety, and this year-long focus on kindness is in addition to the work happening in BISD schools. This is a way that other organizations and community members can join in the effort of creating an environment with strong connections and a sense of belonging.
“During the early weeks and months of COVID, I witnessed how our schools and community united to face the challenges,” said Bang-Knudsen. “When we work towards a common goal, incredible things are accomplished. I can only imagine what great things will happen when we join together surrounding kindness.”
To learn more, visit: www.bisd303.org