Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown
On Friday, November 27, 2012, I woke to the NBC Today Show’s clip of the NYPD officer who came to the aid of a homeless man in New York City by buying him a pair of boots with his own money. This random act of kindness happened to be caught on camera and the photo quickly went viral. Could this publicized, heart-warming story be just what we need this holiday season? Will this random act of kindness cause a ripple effect in paying it forward? Just think of the happiness that could spread if we each did one random act of kindness each day?
How can our students become involved?
Look no further than the COMMON CORE! Maureen Connolly addressed Common Core and Service Learning in the September 2012 issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership. She states:
Service learning helps students meet high-level academic standards and provides practical opportunities for students to develop character by working together to apply their learning for the common good of their school, local, and/or global community.
Real world, rigorous tasks can be aligned to the common core. This document from the Peace Corps shows:
Teachers can foster connections between service learning and the academic curriculum by:
- Focusing on relevant global issues. Help students identify issues they could address that relate to the content they are learning.
- Focusing on relevant service activities. Help students design service activities that aid in the development of essential skills and knowledge from curricular objectives.
On November 12, 2012 America’s Promise Alliance held a webinar entitled Connecting Common Core Standards to Service Learning. You can listen to the record session here. This webinar featured Maureen Connolly, author of the ASCD Educational Leadership article mentioned above.
Are you looking for a way to get your students involved? The Global Collaboration Network Wiki has a section for Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Be sure to check out the link to Light ’em Up: 100 Ways to Light Up You Community with Kindness.
Some other links of interest:
- What is your Contribution – a blog post from my archives that focuses on Project Based Learning, Service Learning and Inquiry Based Learning
- The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation – Check out all the ideas, resources, and especially the educators section!
- The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Facebook Page
- Learning to Give – Philanthropy Education Resources that Teach Giving and Civic Engagement. Check out all the lesson and themed unit ideas!
- Generation ON – A global youth service movement igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world. Be A Joy Maker project is taking place Nov. 19 – Dec. 18, 2012.
- The Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar
- Volunteer on Demand – Provides ideas how you can make a difference in 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even on vacation!
- There are several Pinterest Boards devoted to Random Acts of Kindness. Here is a set of pins on the subject.
What can you do to spread Random Acts of Kindness? Here are some “You’ve Been RAK’ed” cards to help get you started. Yet, no card is necessarily needed when doing a Random Act of Kindness!
What will you do today?
Go out and spread some cheer! Let’s keep making the world a better place! Pay it forward!