Parish Episcopal School students marked the end of Kindness Week with a special homily in chapel at the Midway campus on Friday, April 8. The students spent the week performing random acts of kindness and gathering donations for the North Texas Food Bank. (The NTFB food drive ends April 15)
“It was inspiring to see their kind acts throughout the week and their response to the food drive,” said Head of Lower School, Jennifer Wilson. “We’re hoping this is something they’ll realize needs to continue.”
Wilson, spoke to students during chapel about the effect choices can have on current and future relationships. Her talk was inspired by personal experience and a video by Project Kindness (PK), a 4th grade group that has spent the 2015-16 school year spreading the virtues of kindness through meetings and special flyers. The PK video presented facts about bullying (160,000 kids stay home from school each day because of bullying) and offered tips on how to be kind to others. (Watch the PK video)
“The only tool for being kind is in your heart,” advised a PK member.
The student video also triggered a childhood memory for Wilson. It’s not one that she’s particularly proud of, but one she thought would teach students an important lesson. During 4th and 5th grade, Wilson enjoyed a tight knit relationship with six friends and they spent a lot of time together in class and at their homes. Although they never said mean things to other kids, they didn’t allow them to join their inner circle.
“We called ourselves “The Group” and we were a little exclusive, not so inclusive,” Wilson admitted. “Do you think that was a good choice?” she asked 3rd and 4th graders.
“No,” they answered.
By 6th grade, Wilson landed in a classroom without her best friends and had to face some of the kids she had excluded from “The Group.”
“I had to learn how to make new friends,” she said. “It was hard.”
Wilson hopes her story will remind students about the consequences of bad choices and the rewards of kindness. She ended the homily by challenging students to be more inclusive; to help their friends, classmates and family, and show kindness to people outside of the Parish community. It is solid advice and one highlighted in the PK video.
“The world won’t get any better if kindness doesn’t spread.”