Kindness.  No one could have too much of it. Whether it’s a large thing, like a generous donation to charity or just a smile in passing in the halls, selfless gestures have a way of brightening people’s days, no matter the size. For those who wrongly think kindness is a luxury only adults can offer, the Providence Academy lower school recently turned this belief on its head during annual kindness week January 13-17.

Lower school students spread kindness through the halls of PA with small acts of kindness from reading stories to giving out cards to middle and upper schoolers and slipping them under teachers’ doors. With earnest smiles and a joy that exceeds their size, lower schoolers used their time and gifts to make the world a better place and cheer up the student body post Christmas break blues.

Kindness cards aren’t the only way for lower school students to recognize goodness in others. The virtue board in front of the lower school office offers a place for teachers and staff members to recognize virtuous actions in the lower school

Lower school director, Mrs. Nancy Galgano, was more than happy to elaborate on the beginnings of this now beloved week in the lives of PA students. “It started as an idea from some of the current eighth graders,” she remembered, “they would have been in third grade at the time. They wanted to do something kind for their friends and classmates, and ever since, it has grown into an entire week of stories, poems, and projects all reflecting kindness.

It doesn’t take long to see the  positive impact. When walking through the hallways of the lower school, one is greeted with a plethora of drawings from each grade reflecting a different aspect of kindness. Younger students made kindness themed collages while older students wrote poems on the topic, both seeking to capture the one thing in life people can’t get enough of: kindness.

One lower school student reflected on the week of doing good deeds and focusing on kindness. “I think that it’s a good reminder to everyone, especially in the middle of the year.”

Lower School students enjoyed complimentary compliments during kindness week; either sharing a kind phrase with others, or taking the words to heart themselves.

Amidst end of semester projects, college meetings, and the general mid-winter slump many experience in late January, a little kindness goes a long way. A particularly stressed upper school student was able to spare a smile after receiving a Kindness Card. 

Such acts may not  seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but they have the capacity to lead to more kindness. One upper school teacher who found a Kindness Card under their door was so moved that they wanted to spread the good feeling, proceeding to stick it on a student’s desk before class. Several cards have changed hands several times, leading to a good feeling all around the upper and lower schools.  

Whether they are upper, middle, or lower schoolers, the students of PA really know how to promote and promulgate kindness through the school. It radiates in the hallways, and shines through the small things that happen each and every day, whether people see it or not. As St. Theresa of Calcutta once said, “There are no great things; just small things with great love.” 

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