Fifth Graders Are Certified Kind! By Danielle Heyde & Dianne Shapp, Fifth Grade Teachers
It’s official! SDJA 5th graders are certified kind! This year, our reading of the novel, Wonder, was taken to a whole new level with our participation in The WONDER CERTIFIED KIND CLASSROOM initiative. Through our collaboration with Lionsgate and Random House Children’s Books, students took part in an initiative focusing on bringing acts of kindness, acceptance and inclusion to our fifth grade students. The initiative embraced themes of empathy as part of a year-long lesson plan through curated challenges, including art projects, group discussions and class unity activities.
This is not the first time students at SDJA have been recognized for their character. Earlier in the year, the fifth graders won a prescreening of the movie Wonder due to their understanding of kindness and how they embodied that kindness throughout their lessons, daily life, and challenges. Students designed t-shirts illustrating their perception of kindness and created precepts, or words to live by, to inspire others to do the same. This initiative allowed our students to rise to the occasion and be noticed for their efforts earning them the WONDER CERTIFIED KIND CLASSROOM certificate.
Ms. Shapp and Mrs. Heyde have been happy to see that our students idea to #choosekind did not begin or end with the studies of Wonder. In fact, these same fifth graders began a Kindness Committee here at school four years ago, seeing a need for the daily practice of random acts of kindness. This year, our fifth graders were so inspired by this practice that they chose to teach the importance of kindness to their preschool buddies!
At SDJA, we’ve practiced these ideals long before our collaboration with Lionsgate as it connects to our school vision of kindness, empathy, and Tikkun Olam. We’re just so happy to see that our students were inspired by this message, embraced the #choosekind initiative, and were recognized for their efforts!