December 4, 2019
A primary school in County Cork, Ireland, has decided to do away with all homework for the entire month of December, replacing it instead with acts of kindness.
For the third year in a row, students at Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin will not have any homework for the month of December.
Instead, they are being asked to perform acts of kindness for friends, family and the community – and to record these in a special “Kindness Diary” which each student will fill in daily.
Last year the school replaced homework in December with gratitude. The children and their families recorded all the things they were grateful for in a “Gratitude Diary”.
“Building on the overwhelming success and positivity of last year’s ‘Dialann Buíochais’ (Gratitude Diaries), when children and their families documented the small things they were grateful for in their lives, this year they are asked to take a proactive approach and undertake little acts of kindness that could make a big difference in somebody’s life,” Vice Principal Íde Ní Mhuirí said.
The school suggests doing something nice for an elderly neighbor, or performing an act of kindness for a relative or friend who may be feeling lonely, but the act can be anything as long as it brightens someone’s day.
As if the initiative couldn’t get any lovelier, the school have also installed a kindness bucket, where children can write kind notes about each other.
“Alongside this Kindness Diary initiative, there will be a ‘Buicéad Cineáltais’ (kindness bucket) in school, where the children can place kind ‘observations’ about their peers which we hope will boost the self-esteem of those around them. Each Friday morning at the ‘am tionóil’ (assembly) a random selection of these observations will be shared to emphasise how small acts and kind words can make huge differences in somebody’s life,” Íde Ní Mhuirí said.
And finally, each class will put their heads together and come up with a class-wide project which can help the community.
“In this world, consumed by social media, where our young people are constantly experiencing pressure, there is no better way to show them the way forward in the world than by practicing kindness,” Íde Ní Mhuirí said.
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