Wacky and fun-themed clothing took over the halls at Oakside Scholars Charter Academy as students and staff recently participated in their second annual Kindness Week, which took place the final week in January. The week included exciting special activities such as a Kindness Match dodgeball tournament and a special writing contest.
A quote by a famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, inspired Oakside’s principal to create the week-long celebration of kindness: “Education of the mind without education of the heart is no education at all,” said Aristotle. In reflecting on the famous quote, Oakside Principal Amy Tansel shared that “this quote resonates in what we do every day at Oakside.”
To celebrate, students engaged in a variety of activities throughout the week, including Shine Bright With Kindness Day, which encouraged students to dress in bright clothing, Team Kindness Day that allowed students to wear their favorite sports team or class color apparel, and Crazy for Kindness Day, donning crazy hair, clothes, or socks.
To kick-off the week at an introductory assembly, every student received five Smile Cards to hand out to people across the community. The cards represented a way for students to share a smile with those they see in the community.
Midway through the week celebrations continued as students enjoyed participating in Peace, Love, And Kindness Day, which incorporated peace sign clothing, hearts, and kind words. The week concluded by celebrating Dreaming of Kindness Day in which students dressed in their pajamas.
During lunch, students participated in a Big Hands helping Little Hands activity. Middle school students were paired with Oakside’s younger students to trace and cut out handprints, which were then proudly displayed on the school’s kindness wall.
Another key activity throughout the week focused on a nation-wide challenge, known as the Kindness Challenge, which encouraged students to check actions off a kindness list. Those who completed their checklist received a Kindness Certificate. Additionally, at the beginning of the week, all staff members were given “Caught Being Kind Cards” to distribute to students who were caught performing acts of kindness such as assisting a teacher or helping another student. Once students received five cards, they had their picture taken in front of Oakside’s KIND Wall and posted on their Wall of Kindness.
The school also incorporated National Heritage Academies’ (NHA) Moral Focus Writing Contest into the week’s activities. Students from each grade wrote a Moral Focus piece focusing on a written narrative, opinion or argument essay, or a poem that clearly and accurately exemplifies one of NHA’s Moral Focus virtues. School leaders then judged the school’s finalists ahead of their Moral Focus assembly during Kindness Week.
“I am very passionate about our Moral Focus virtues and how emphasizing kindness contributes to the development of the character of our students,” said Tansel. “It was a great week!”