To Show Kindness in the Community, Cherry Collected for Heart & Soul Animal Rescue

Collecting with Kindness


  • March 1, 2022 

    “What a few months we have had at Cherry Avenue!” reported Cherry Avenue Social Worker Robin McKinnon.

    Since December, the students at Cherry Avenue Elementary School have been engaged in the Light Up Cherry With Kindness Campaign. The aim of this program was not only to involve the students in acts of kindness but to bring awareness of how they can be kind in a variety of ways. The first step was to help students “think kind;” the second was to have them offer and spread kindness” by establishing specific goals.

    The activity was spearheaded by Mrs. McKinnon to address overall wellness in tandem with Social Emotional Learning initiatives. According to the Journal of Happiness studies, people benefit from a “kindness feedback” loop. When we do something nice for someone, we feel happier. And the happier we feel, the more likely we'll perform another kind act.

    As an incentive to achieve their goals between December 15, 2021 and February 11, 2022, there was a special prize, the letter K for Kindness, for each classroom. This battery-powered letter would be illuminated for all to see in the classroom windows.

    Working with four kindness goals—kindness between peers, kindness within the school, kindness towards the community, and kindness in family—the classes selected which goal best suited them from the categories. Some did all, some did one category. To help the students think kind, examples had been provided. One example for the peer-to-peer level suggested students listen to their classmates when they were talking. Another example at the school-building level suggested garbage pick-up in the playground once a week, while on the community level, blanket donations to the local animal shelter were a consideration.

"Kind" Goals at Cherry Avenue

  • Once the classes decided on their own goals, they posted them on the social worker bulletin board. Some examples were:

    •          Fifth grade, with Ms. Denton leading the way, selected the Heart & Soul Animal Rescue and collected oodles of items to donate, committed to weeding the butterfly garden in the spring, decorated our whole school with beautiful kindness posters and completed individual random acts of kindness daily.

    •          Mrs. Longobucco's class collected many items to donate to the volunteers for wildlife refuge and decided to become animal ambassadors.

    •          Mrs. George's class made a promise to be "Insta-Kind," using hashtags; #friendship, #kindness, #honesty and #friendly.

    •          Kindergarten made valentines for the San Simeon nursing home.

    •          Mrs. Falco's class made beautiful purple hearts for each adult at Cherry to spread the love.

    •          Mrs. Coyle's class has an ongoing collection of soup for the Sayville Food pantry.

    •          First grade; Mrs. Metzler's class made cards for veterans and Ms. Baryk's spread compliments in the "BEE KIND" activity.

    •          Dr. Fulton's class threw "snowballs of kindness."

  • Upon the conclusion of the Light-Up Campaign, Mrs. McKinnon was thrilled that “all eighteen classes earned” an illuminated letter K, the symbol that they were “kind” classrooms.

    While an obvious and tangible reward for reaching this goal was the brightly lit letter K in each class, the other reward for spreading kindness were the feel-good intangibles that lit up the hearts of all the students upon achieving their acts of kindness.

Light Up Cherry with Kindness Ideas

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Be Kind
Kindness is hope
Choose to be Kinda
Light Up Cherry With Kindness