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Focus on Kindness

Why is there so much focus on kindness at our schools? The answer is simple. The science behind an act of kindness involves increased serotonin levels that can make anyone feel good about themselves! Teaching and promoting kindness has great benefits to students’ physical and emotional states, which help them flourish as happy, healthy and well-rounded individuals.

Romoland School District (RSD) knows how powerful kindness can be, and through the addition of school counselors at each school site, as well as mental health therapists at the middle and elementary school level, the district has put extra focus on social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

Boulder Ridge Elementary School Counselor, Berenice Toledano, makes it her daily mission to cultivate a culture of kindness, compassion, and empathy with a genuine regard for all students and their individual needs. RSD counselors, like Mrs. Toledano, know that when students demonstrate kindness, they are also showing important attributes such as empathy, respect, and compassion for others, that will help them succeed in life. Classroom lessons focused on learning skills for empathy, emotional management, and problem solving using Second Step curriculum along with group and individual counseling sessions aim to educate all students and teachers on the importance of SEL. 

With the addition of full time counselors at each campus, RSD schools have developed several schoolwide opportunities to share the value of kindness and SEL with students. 

In September of this year, “Start with Hello” Week at had students embrace different languages to say hello, understanding that a simple “hello” can make someone’s day. Students learned how even small acts of kindness can prevent instances of social isolation, increase acceptance and had the opportunity to practice inclusive acts of kindness to make meaningful connections with peers. 

The kindness didn’t stop in September! During Attendance Challenges Days throughout the year, students thank one another for coming to school and are able to see the importance of relying on each other to work as a team. Welcoming their peers to school allows students to set the tone for a positive and productive school day with the added benefit of increasing their serotonin levels. Simply put, when students experience being kind to each other they become happier and are motivated to spread kindness all around! 

As an increase in social-emotional learning is becoming more popular worldwide, the Romoland School District Counseling Department is eager to assist all students and families to help process and apply their attitudes, skills, and knowledge to understand feelings, manage emotions, and show empathy for others. 

 

Students decorating for kindness activities.  Student showing handmade kindness bracelet, "Bee the Eye in Kind" Boulder Ridge Elementary staff holding kindness posters. Choose Kindness. Student kindness bracelets   

Berenice Toledano