It seems natural that in order to cultivate kindness in young children we really need to involve children in acts of kindness. There are the small moments every day that can often be overlooked but are so valuable in developing empathy. And sometimes, just sometimes a big moment arises as well.
A few weeks ago, two friends in class created a pot of toy soup. Then the topic of Japan spontaneously came up and the thought that the two girls could give their toy soup to Japan...since they lost all of their toys.
This was a jumping point for us to begin thinking about japan, if it would be possible for us to help, and ultimately starting a fundraiser.
We thought about how we could raise money, it took a couple of weeks before inspiration took over. it was mentioned that we could make paper art, like paper flowers. This immediately made me think of origami and after showing boys and girls what origami was, we were all hooked. Ms. Susan, a nearby origami expert, came to our classroom and taught us how to make origami rabbits.
After a week of origami making, our whole school received letters about the fundraiser.
We are only on day two of the fundraiser and we already have $76.31. Thank you families and teachers for all of the support. we have estimates ranging from $8 to $8,000 as to how much we will collect by Friday. How ever much we raise, the children are already thinking about how the money will be spent - on bricks and wood for homes, food and forks for lunch, and beds with blankets. It's that they are thinking about others, developing empathy with every penny we raise.