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Wing Lake Represents the “I” in Kindness

Throughout the months of November and December, the Wing Lake School community celebrates kindness and gratitude in intentional ways. Inspired by World Kindness Day, which was Saturday, November 13, along with Thanksgiving and the holiday season on the horizon, students and staff at Wing Lake participate in a number of kindness-themed activities, inspiring students, staff, and the local community. 

Kids for Peace

Wing Lake School joined the international organization, Kids for Peace, to build a 110+ mile inspirational paper chain to set a Guinness Book of World Records record of the longest chain. Educator Meghan Dallavecchia learned about it through Scholastic News and organized the school to participate.

Another classroom is participating in a Kids for Peace initiative by creating uplifting notes and holiday messages, some of which were attached to a toy for a toy drive or sent to veterans.

“I am Kind”

A couple of classrooms worked together to design a giant “I Am Kind” sign. The word “Kind” is lifesize, and the “I” is missing. Students from multiple classrooms stop by the sign to be the “I” in Kind and take a photo. 

Be Kind

Outside the school, the phrase “Be Kind” is prominently displayed on the fence surrounding the playground for motorists driving on Maple Road. For this whole class project, the students completed outside work like cleaning around the fence to make the sign visible. The project was made out of plastic cups attached to the fence with a heart to complete this uplifting message.

Random Acts of Kindness

Two other classrooms are working on handing out random acts of kindness certificates. They highlight when a student is doing something particularly well, and hand out tokens. At the end of each week, the tokens are counted. And one teacher was working on a lesson on how to give a compliment, with the focus on core words like “good, thank you, and help.”

Culture of Kindness

Chantal DePorre, who has been Wing Lake’s Social Worker since 2003, explains that the Kindness initiative came out of Wing Lake’s recently combined Global Education Team and Social-Emotional Learning team. Kara Deschler, Wing Lake’s School Psychologist, is one of the school’s GET representatives, and DePorre coordinates their SEL initiatives. Deschler and DePorre co-chair the combined GET/SEL meetings, bringing staff together to brainstorm ways to build community. 

Daily activities regularly connect to the theme of kindness: speech therapists read books about kindness, and occupational therapists help students make cards. During leisure time, students listen to music that embodies the theme of kindness. Resources are provided to families, including a recorded video of Superintendent Pat Watson from last school year reading a book called “We Are Grateful.” 

Wing Lake staff are unified in this work; many staff members have “Be Kind to Everyone” shirts, which were designed by Jordyn Moore. DePorre explains, “a couple of years ago, there were Youtube videos about Jordyn. She designed these shirts and she has autism. The T-shirts are affordable and colorful. So a lot of the staff are wearing those shirts, with a ‘Be kind to everyone slogan.”

Finally, DePorre shares that Wing Lake has a group of students involved in Student Council. Students help to brainstorm themes and activities, such as a food drive or a coat drive. DePorre notes, “we’re always trying to make learning fun and have that theme of kindness.” With such dedicated staff members regularly teaching kindness across all school classrooms, Wing Lake School is an inspirational model for how social-emotional learning can be embedded in classroom practices.

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