Melinda Alford, a school librarian at Unqua Elementary School and board member at Reason2Smile shares her thoughtful initiative and how she has adapted the program during the quarantine
I started the Kindness Club for the fourth and fifth grades this Spring. The idea was to meet four times to create projects in a MakerSpace format that would benefit various groups. The projects were funded by a grant I received from the Long Island School Media Association (LISMA). Our first meeting was in March and the club made gift bags for a homeless shelter, John's Place, in Greenport. Our second meeting was planned to make dog and cat toys to be donated to an animal shelter and our third and fourth meetings were planned to make recycle paper beaded bracelets (the beads are from Kenya) and develop a school-wide fundraiser for Reason2Smile.
Covid-19 halted out plans.
Because this didn't work out, I donated money to Reason2Smile and received premade Kenyan paper beaded bracelets. I mailed two to each club member and asked that they keep one for themselves and give one away. When they wore their bracelet they should do something kind for someone else!
I have received warm, appreciative messages from both club members and their parents about the bracelets. It may not be an ideal plan, but it certainly has given my students a reason to smile and way to play it forward and share their kindness with others.
Neema's Reason to Smile
You can share author Patricia Newman reading Neema's Reason to Smile here
Neema has an ELA and Math curriculum guide available free on our website
Remember you can always purchase Neema for $15.00. Just email me and I will take care of the rest. It makes a wonderful graduation gift. What better way to celebrate this amazing milestone than with the gift of education to others.