13 Free Ways to Create a School Culture of Kindness

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Don't expect kindness in schools... teach it. Here are 13 fun and free ways to focus on the good this year:


  1. Start a staff meeting or your first 10 minutes of class with an inspiring video. Check out our YouTube channel which has videos like this one of ALS patient, Chris Rosati. He is a father, husband, friend and founder of Inspire Media. In 2010, he was diagnosed with ALS and has slowly lost his ability to walk and speak. Still, he is devoting the rest of his life to spreading kindness. After watching the video, have a brief discussion about how kindness transformed Chris and those around him (ex: he turned his challenge into an opportunity to do something meaningful and serve others) and pick one way your school or class can focus on kindness this year.

  2. Teach a K-12 Kindness in the Classroom lesson plan. Fun, easy-to-teach and rooted in social emotional learning. Download for free right now.

  3. Post positive sticky notes around the school. A fun act of kindness that both staff and students can do!

  4. Schedule a Custodian Appreciation Day on your calendar. Imagine what school would be like without custodians. Yikes! On the other hand, let's not imagine that. Instead, let's appreciate all that they do with a celebration! Custodian Appreciation Day could involve thank you notes, decorations, or even students helping to sweep up the cafeteria.

  5. Start a Third Party Compliments box like Carroll High School. Unique, effective and totally doable (be sure to watch the video until the end).

  6. Incorporate kindness into your writing prompts: Start a discussion with these K-8 appropriate writing prompts.

  7. Create a Caught Being Kind bulletin board: Where do you see kindness in your school? Create bulletin boards that provide students with an opportunity to recognize and share kindness with others.

  8. Track Acts of Kindness by Grade. This is a great way to emphasize that kindness is important to your school. Every week, try highlighting an act of kindness from each grade.

  9. RAK Calendar: Share this Kindness Calendar Sheet from primarilypeace.tumblr.com with your students. How many students can check off all 30 kindness activities?

  10. Set up a thank you note station in the school. Studies show that practicing gratitude increases positive emotions and happiness. Create a thank you note station by gathering construction paper, markers, and fun materials in one spot. This could be set up in a hallway or even in the principal's office for students who get in trouble in class.

  11. Start a Kindness Club: Choose a handful of student leaders and one teacher leader. Check out these videos for inspiration and then download our kindness club guide.

    Watch how teacher, Peggy Filer, started a Kindness Club at her high school.

    See how Starr Elementary School is spreading kindness with the Kind Kids Club.

    Get inspired by Sabrina Ma, a high school student leading Kindness Clubs across the country.

  12. Create a kindness-based out-of-school program: do you have kiddos or stay late after school? Check out our free RAK4Kids after school program.

  13. Email or write a former teacher who made a difference in your life. We love using this 5 minute thank you note template.

For even more ideas, check out our education resources page.

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