Virginia Kindness Week

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Kindness Week logo

When is Virginia Kindness Week?

Schools can promote and foster kindness all school year. However, each year here in Virginia we have celebrated kindness week during the second week in February.

What is Virginia Kindness Week?

The purpose of Kindness Week is to recognize that simple day-to-day acts of kindness enable our schools, communities, and state to be a kinder, safer, healthier and more inclusive place to live, work, learn and play.

Why Kindness?

  • Kindness has proven that kindness helps us to form meaningful connections with others, which are reported to be a strong factor in increasing happiness. Kindness has been proven to boost serotonin, reduce stress, increase positive affect, release endorphins and the hormone oxytocin in numerous scientific studies.
  • Teaching and recognizing kindness in schools and communities fosters empathy, builds community, reduces bullying and nurtures a safe and welcoming environment (Currie, 2015).
  • By promoting kindness, we are promoting inclusivity by extending an opportunity for grace, empathy, dignity and acceptance across Virginia (Layous , Nelson,Oberle, Schonert-Reichl, Lyubomirsky, 2012).
  • Want to learn more? Making the Case for Kindness explains how kindness can help address some challenges schools are currently facing.

How can we participate?

Build Awareness

As a school or division, you can create a plan for school wide recognition and celebration of VA Kindness week through classroom meetings, visual displays, social media, lessons, or assemblies. Consider using this Kindness Week Flyer (both an English and Spanish Version available) with families and community leaders to extend this important work outside the school building!

Promote Kindness

Use the “I can show kindness by…” and “kindness matters because…” posters to promote discussion around kindness and recognize ways we can be kind. Encourage participation in this discussion by sharing responses via visual displays, slide shows, social media (#VAKindnessWeek), etc. (Black and White Versions of Kindness Prompts are available on #GoOpenVA).

I can show kindness poster kindness matters because poster

Example Responses:

  • Student: “I can show kindness by listening to your friend when they are sad.”
  • Teacher: “Kindness matters because it encourages my students to be their authentic selves while in my students to be their authentic selves while in my classroom.”

I am an ambassador of kindness

Recognize an Ambassador of Kindness

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their kindness? Take the time to recognize them publicly as Virginia Ambassador of Kindness. Print this Kindness Ambassador image (PDF), present it to the student or educator you wish to recognize. Then take their photo holding the poster for a bulletin board, your school’s website, and/or a social media posting (#VAKindnessAmbassador).

Virginia kindness-challenge-accepted #VAisforKindness

Join the Virginia Kindness Challenge

Students and staff are encouraged to participate in VA Kindness Challenge. Select from the kindness idea banks or come up with your own kind acts to fill up your Challenge Board. Use the "Challenge Accepted" image to create a bulletin board or spread the word through social media (#VAKindnessWeek).

Kindness Challenge

Have students use a Kindness Bank to create their own Kindness Challenge Board.

Challenge Boards and Idea Banks:

How can I learn more?

Are you looking for more ideas for how to promote kindness in your school community? Our Virginia Kindness Fair features educational leaders from across the state as they share the kindness initiatives they have done in their schools. In a format modeled after a traditional science fair, you are invited to explore the Kindness Fair Poster Presentations, which include brief videos and resources that break down what you need to know to bring the featured initiative to your school. Additionally, the Classroom Resources and Spirit Day Idea documents have even more ways to promote kindness across your school!

Outside Resources for Promoting Kindness in Schools

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: This nonprofit organization provides ideas and resources to foster a culture of kindness; including an evidence-based curriculum for social and emotional classroom lessons that promote kindness.

Great Kindness Challenge (GKC): GKC offers resources for creating a culture of kindness; including a turn-key, free curriculum featuring over 50 kindness lessons to uplift and inspire your students, as well as a Kindness Checklist that challenges students to perform acts of kindness through a checklist that allows them to track their progress.

Kindness Certified Seal State Department of Education

Kindness Certified

The Virginia Department of Education is proud to be recognized by the Great Kindness Challenge as a Kindness Certified State Department of Education.