Students at this Irish school were expected to perform various acts of kindness all through December and document it in their diary.
Going to school wasn't all that bad if you removed the early morning timings and the overload of homework. We get to interact with others our age and have a lot of fun whilst setting a good platform for our education. Traditionally, schools and similar institutions were a whole lot stricter, and failing to live up to certain mandatory requirements could result in expulsion or worse. However, over time, schools have certainly adapted and modified their curriculum to suit the current generation.
The world needs kindness more than anything and what better lesson than that to inculcate in young minds!? A school in Ireland called Gaelscoil Mhichil Ui Choileain has started doing something really amazing, the Irish Post reports. Students from here are not given homework for an entire month and are instead asked to carry out acts of kindness. It's no surprise that they chose December as that is generally noted as the season of giving. So children here are expected to display the virtue of kindness to the community, their families, and even strangers. All their actions are recorded in their "Dialann Cinealtais" or "Kindness Diary" and their parents will sign in them each day.
Due to this unique and gratifying experience, the school ensured that the children will not be burdened by any homework for this month. They have been doing this practice for three years now, and there is a different theme each time. In 2018, for instance, the students were asked to practice gratitude and asked to document everything they were grateful for in life in their "Dialann Buiochais" or "Gratitude Diaries". The next year, they chose to take the proactive approach of making the kids undertake acts of kindness.
On one of their social media posts, the school suggested that the kids can prepare a weekly schedule for their acts of kindness. Several of the suggestions that they stated included visiting, phoning, or sending Christmas cards to elderly people or relatives on one day. Then they would help out their parents with household chores another day. With more tasks like these, an entire week could be made special by helping others out. The children are also encouraged to do things that they love and that which makes them feel really good about themselves. This is also important as raising their self-esteem is vital at this early age.
Vice Principal Íde Ní Mhuirí said on the Facebook post, "We are encouraging our pupils to think of the real spirit of Christmas, the spirit of kindness and giving. With such an emphasis on the materialistic and commercial aspect of Christmas, we often tend to overlook what it’s really all about... Goodwill! Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to be able to enjoy Christmas, some are lonely, some are sad, some might yearn for what they do not have and some might simply not enjoy the festivities. But there is nobody in this world who wouldn’t benefit from an act of kindness, and the joy of kindness is that it costs nothing."
The diary is one part of the school's program. They also set up a "Buicead Cinealtais" or "Kindness bucket" where the students drop observations about their peers which will be read during an assembly once a week. Through this process, the school hopes that they will boost the children's interactivity, and set them on their way to maturity. They also have a collective project as a class, where they must come up with a unique idea that will benefit the community as a whole. This child-led initiative is called "Gníomh Cineáltais Ranga" or "Class Kindness Act."