GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTING PAY IT FORWARD DAY IN SCHOOLS

Let me share a story with you from Jill of Buckner, Kentucky, USA. She was a therapist in an alternative high school and she started to build up a more positive atmosphere in what was a very difficult school with difficult students. Every time a teacher observed a student doing some act of kindness, whether it just be a kind word or a courtesy, he would write a certificate for that person and display it on a board. A huge envelope was placed on Jill’s door for students to report any RAKs [random acts of kindness], with the name of the doer. In two months the number of reports had doubled to 237 and the certificates were all displayed. The students have responded well to being recognised for RAKs and the ‘experiment’ is a huge success.

Let’s make a difference in all schools and thereby in all communities.

The activities around good deeds and kindness help children learn a most important lifelong interpersonal skill and raises the self esteem of those children who may go unnoticed and unloved far too often.

INTRODUCING PAY IT FORWARD DAY TO STUDENTS

Advertise!! – Have the older students make PAY IT FORWARD DAY posters to be placed outside classrooms, at the school front gate and in the foyer. Use the PIFD letter to parents and send out in the weekly newsletter. Notify your local newspaper about the school’s efforts for PIFD.

Print out the School PIFD cards and explain how they work to staff and later to the children.

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NB – the following activities have been grouped in age groups. However many of the activities can be adapted for different ages.
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With the younger children, it is suggested that the teacher engage them in discussion about kindness and how they feel when someone says something complimentary to them or when someone does a thoughtful deed for them. Role play would be really helpful and lots of fun. Brainstorming: ideas of how they could help others; kind words and compliments.

With older children, discussion would be more specific and philosophical. What is a random act of kindness? Is it a good deed to give your little sister lollies you have been given if in fact you don’t really like those lollies?

  • Have the children write a short essay about the best thing that ever happened to them. First brainstorm ‘feeling’ words and emphasise the need to describe how they felt.
  • List five to ten thoughtful deeds they can do for other people.
  • Role play.
  • Senior students could view the film “Pay it Forward Day”. [Note, it is a very sad ending]. There is a plethora of material there for assignments and discussion, suitable for English studies, Drama, Ethics class, Philosophy class etc. This would culminate in the students organising their own Pay It Forward Day activities by looking up suitable websites or reading the Pay It Forward website:

See below for more suitable activities.

Quote from a high school student:
“ When a person experiences that brief shining moment where they go beyond what is expected of them and do something for another person for no reason other than love, then that is the best emotion a person can feel. One unique thing about these deeds is that they are unconditional. This means that regardless of what someone might have done to you or might not have done for you, the kind act will still exist.”

4 TO 8 YEARS

This is an age group which will benefit greatly from a reward system but these children will definitely understand the concept of “paying it forward” as well.

Set up a reward system for the whole school that involves a ‘pay it forward’ benefit.

Examples:

PAY IT FORWARD TREE
A huge leafless tree is drawn and painted by the Year 6 students and displayed in the school foyer. These students also design the leaves which are photocopied on various shades of green card and printed out, along with a fewer number of spectacular flowers.
[refer to the Giving Tree in Shel Silverstein’s book]
Whenever a child is seen to be doing a good deed or tells a teacher that he/she has done a good deed [the little ones in particular can’t wait to tell the teacher about their good deeds], he/she is given a leaf with his/her name on it. This is then placed on the tree. For
every five [ten ?] leaves placed on the tree, a flower is then added.
This is a visual representation of kindnesses shown within the school community.
Children could also be asked to give out leaves to teachers they see being particularly kind.
To ‘pay it forward’, the school or the P & C could plant a garden [The Kindness Garden], representing all the flowers on the foyer mural, the Pay It Forward Tree.
OR …. a local business might offer to donate groceries, clothing, goods to a local refuge when the tree has 100 flowers…..

RAINBOW
Instead of the tree design, it could be a rainbow made up with rainbow colours of leaves, or hearts, 3D tissue flowers, cards with names in fancy print, coloured stars………….
When the rainbow is completed the P&C purchases new art equipment or …….

BRICK WALL / BOOMERANG WALL
Another visual idea would be a brick wall effect, with each added brick / boomerang having a child’s name.

POSTERS WITH STARS OR SMILEYS
This is a simpler model. When a child sees a classmate engage in an act of kindness, he/she reports it to a teacher who then places a smiley sticker with the perpetrator’s name onto the poster.

PHOTOS – WANTED POSTERS
In a school in New Jersey, teachers take photos of the students who have been observed doing a good deed. The photo is attached to a WANTED poster
……..WANTED……CAUGHT BEING KIND! These posters are displayed around the school.

ACTIVITIES

HELPING HANDS
The children tell you about good deeds they have done and you write or help them record the deed onto a cardboard hand which they then cut out and add to a collage of brightly coloured hands.

THE GOOD DEEDS JAR
The following is an ongoing activity which was submitted to a PIFD site by Jacki of California.
As a teacher of four-year-old preschoolers, I wanted to bring the concept of kindness to a level they could understand. I saw an article in a magazine about a Kindness Jar and instituted it.
We start with a clear plastic peanut butter jar. The first month of school I write down acts of kindness on sticky notes and read them at circle time, and the children put them in the jar. As the jar gets fuller, I challenge them, “Can we fill it up? Can you find someone doing a kind thing? Did you do something kind today?”
The jar fills, and I bring in a gallon jar and we dump in our notes. After Christmas we start focusing on specific acts of kindness: kindness to animals, our friends at school, our family, our neighbors, ourselves, the earth.
Before long they are running up to me outside and in the classroom, asking me to write down things they have observed or done. I then start encouraging them to write them down. They scribble a few letters and then explain it.
The joy on their faces as they do kind acts and get “caught” saying kind things is worth a million dollars.

COOKIE KINDNESS
Students make cookies, pikelets or decorate biscuits and visit the local police station or fire station [having booked a tour previously to learn about these careers]. The children thank the staff for the work they do protecting the community while endangering their own lives. They then give out the cookies, asking that the police officers or firies in turn ‘pay it forward’. [idea from Hatcher Elementary School, Kentucky]

LIGHTHOUSE
Create a felt lighthouse with good character traits angled out as light beams (e.g., kindness, respect, honesty, generosity, caring, responsibility). Discuss how we can best shine our light, and talk about these various traits.

KINDNESS CLOWN
Create a clown for a felt board or pin board. The clown holds the strings of lots of balloons. At discussion time, encourage the children to contribute ideas for kindness and doing good deeds (e.g., lend a crayon, hug a friend, pick up toys). Place the ideas on the balloons.

FREEZE TAG
Play freeze-tag and “unfreeze” the person by saying something kind about them.

SPECIAL PEOPLE
In a discussion group have the children nominate a special friend or family member and say why that person is so special. Everyone can offer ideas of ways to let the person know how special he/she is.

GIFTS OF ART
Each child paints a picture of their choice [connected to family, pets, helping someone or to the current curriculum]. A senior pupil is then allocated to each child and makes a frame for a picture. These framed works of art are then hung in the library or hall with a card beneath which takes the offers in the Silent Auction. Proceeds go to a children’s charity group, e.g. research into child cancer, children’s hospital, respite care for needy families etc.

WHO HELPS US IN THE COMMUNITY
Children discuss the people who are helpful in the community, people who are always thinking of others. e.g. police, fire brigade, ambulance officers, nurses, doctors, vets, garbage collectors, postmen, delivery drivers, florists, etc.
Children can choose which career they might like to follow and write about what it would be like.

IDEAS FOR HELPING AT HOME:
** help carry the shopping
** help wash and clean the car
** tidy up the toys
** tidy up your room
** water the garden
** read to a young sibling
** setting the table
** thanking someone
** ringing a sick friend or sending a card
** walk the dog, feed the cat, talk to the bird, clean the fishtank

Children will come up with a much longer list than this!

Ideas for Celebrating PIFD visually:
“Walk the Path of Kindness” – children write their ideas or kind deeds on footprints which make a track along the walls of the school – aim to reach the library / front gate……
“Paws for Kindness” - similar idea but using paw prints instead.

A twelve year old boy , Paul Bathgate of Scotland, proudly shared
the story of his father’s kindness over many years. His dad has
donated his plasma and white cells with a total of 330 pints of blood
helping really sick people.

8 to 12 YEARS

PAY IT FORWARD TREE
A huge leafless tree is drawn and painted by the Year 6 students and displayed in the school foyer. These students also design the leaves which are photocopied on various shades of green card and printed out, along with a fewer number of spectacular flowers.
[refer to the Giving Tree in Shel Silverstein’s book]
Whenever a child is seen to be doing a good deed or tells a teacher that he/she has done a good deed [the little ones in particular can’t wait to tell the teacher about their good deeds], he/she is given a leaf with his/her name on it. This is then placed on the tree. For
every five [ten ?] leaves placed on the tree, a flower is then added.
This is a visual representation of kindnesses shown within the school community.
Children could also be asked to give out leaves to teachers they see being particularly kind.
To ‘pay it forward’, the school or the P & C could plant a garden [The Kindness Garden], representing all the flowers on the foyer mural, the Pay It Forward Tree.
OR …. a local business might offer to donate groceries, clothing, goods to a local refuge when the tree has 100 flowers…..

REFLECTION
A one term or one year program:
Children are asked to do a random act of kindness each day if possible. Choose one of those acts of kindness and write about it specifically giving details on: what the act of kindness was,; to whom it was rendered; describe the recipient’s reaction; describe the feeling you felt yourself. These named papers are handed in on a Friday and just a few read out anonymously. At the end of term or year, the papers are handed back to the students so that they can reflect on their random acts of kindness. Happy discussion should follow.

GROUPS FOR CHARITY

The Senior students are placed in groups of about 8 or 10 students. Each group researches a charity that they might be interested in helping. They are encouraged to write letters to the charity to ask how they could best help. e.g. a local nursing home, a family refuge, a foster home, local children’s hospital, cancer research unit, scout movement, nearby preschool. [The teacher could have a master list from which the children choose. Once a group has affixed their name to a charity, other groups must choose differently].

**Baby Clothes:
For instance the first group who have named themselves The Shakers, have chosen the maternity ward of the local hospital. They have been told that often there are new mothers who do not have enough clothes for their newborns or for their other children. The group should then brainstorm ideas for helping out. They might decide on ways to raise money or they might instigate a ‘baby clothes drive’ , accepting new clothes or immaculate pre loved babywear. They would then be responsible for washing, folding, wrapping and labelling the clothes to give to the hospital.
Each parcel is accompanied by a card full of good wishes and a Pay It Forward Day card.

**Backpacks for the Homeless:
The group, calling themselves The Backpackers, organise a fundraiser to purchase simple backpacks which they then fill with bought or donated items suitable for the homeless. These items could be books [in good condition], sunglasses, toothpaste and toothbrush, soap, deodorant, shampoo, vest, socks, perfume, magazines, gloves, sunhats, beanies. scarves…….. Many families have discarded backpacks – a backpack drive could be quite productive.
Each bag is accompanied by a card full of good wishes and a Pay It Forward Day card.

**Backpacks for Foster Children or in Refuge:
Like the above, try getting reasonable discarded backpacks first. The children will have wonderful ideas to fill these bags for children who find themselves separated from their families. Explain that these children sometimes have to leave home without being able to take any of their personal belongings. Also emphasise that any second hand items should be in excellent, clean condition. Each backpack could be labelled for a certain age group and/or boy/girl. Ideas for contents are: toys, textas, pencils, exercise books, reading books, comics, socks, pants, t.shirts, toiletries, towel, teddies, cds, sticker books.
Each bag is accompanied by a card full of good wishes and a Pay It Forward Day card.

**Flowers for the Frail:
The children ask parents and community members as well as local florists, for donations of foliage and flowers and local newsagencies for wrapping paper. Plastic containers are also collected and the children are taught how to cut and soak the ‘oasis’ to fit the plastic containers. A volunteer from the local florist or a creative parent could demonstrate and help the children make pretty bowls of flowers. They could accompany the school choir or dance company on a visit to the nursing home and delight the residents there with their creations.

BOOKMARKS OR TABLE MATS OF THANKS
The children make suitable bookmarks, placemats or cards to thank the parents and staff who work in the school, perhaps in the canteen, the library, reading groups etc.

LIBRARY SEARCH
In small groups, the children take on the challenge to see how many books they can find that contain stories about kindness, friendship, generosity, respect for others, respect for the environment etc. List the books with a short paragraph to summarise each.

FAVORITES’ BOOK
Have each child create a book for a special person in their lives. They first have to interview that person and ask them what their favourite things are, e.g. book, singer, song, t.v. show, dessert, food, time of day, holiday etc. Then they make a booklet with artwork or decorations to be given as a wonderful gift.
This helps children find out about others’ likes and dislikes and can be tied into caring for one another by respecting their preferences.

COMPETITIONS
Kindness essay about the benefits of helping others.
Poem or song about Kindness
Artwork depicting some act of kindness
Poster of kind words and compliments
Create a Kindness slogan

PLAYGROUND BUDDIES
Organise games with the Kindi to Yr 2 students for lunch time so they can practise their ball skills, skipping, running, reading stories etc……

KINDNESS STORIES
1. In small groups or pairs, write a story which encapsulates the idea of Pay It Forward Day. Write, illustrate and publish for presentation to the junior library.
2. Collect newspaper stories of good deeds and make a scrapbook.

VALIDATION CHAIN
At the conclusion of each day, students gather in a circle. One student begins by complimenting another. This is then passed on until all students have received and been given a compliment. It is a very positive way to conclude the day and the students leave for home happy and feeling good about themselves and their classmates.

FREEZE TAG
Play freeze-tag and “unfreeze” the person by saying something kind about them.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up”
Mark Twain

12 to 18 YEARS

Activities for the more senior classes of primary school can be easily adapted for high school. See above.

GROUPS FOR CHARITY

The Senior students are placed in groups of about 8 or 10 students. Each group researches a charity that they might be interested in helping. They are encouraged to write letters to the charity to ask how they could best help. e.g. a local nursing home, a family refuge, a foster home, local children’s hospital, cancer research unit, scout movement, nearby preschool. [The teacher could have a master list from which the children choose. Once a group has affixed their name to a charity, other groups must choose differently].

**Baby Clothes:
For instance the first group who have named themselves The Shakers, have chosen the maternity ward of the local hospital. They have been told that often there are new mothers who do not have enough clothes for their newborns or for their other children. The group should then brainstorm ideas for helping out. They might decide on ways to raise money or they might instigate a ‘baby clothes drive’ , accepting new clothes or immaculate pre loved babywear. They would then be responsible for washing, folding, wrapping and labelling the clothes to give to the hospital.
Each parcel is accompanied by a card full of good wishes and a Pay It Forward Day card.

**Backpacks for the Homeless:
The group, calling themselves The Backpackers, organise a fundraiser to purchase simple backpacks which they then fill with bought or donated items suitable for the homeless. These items could be books [in good condition], sunglasses, toothpaste and toothbrush, soap, deodorant, shampoo, vest, socks, perfume, magazines, gloves, sunhats, beanies. scarves…….. Many families have discarded backpacks – a backpack drive could be quite productive.
Each bag is accompanied by a card full of good wishes and a Pay It Forward Day card.

**Backpacks for Foster Children or in Refuge:
Like the above, try getting reasonable discarded backpacks first. The children will have wonderful ideas to fill these bags for children who find themselves separated from their families. Explain that these children sometimes have to leave home without being able to take any of their personal belongings. Also emphasise that any second hand items should be in excellent, clean condition. Each backpack could be labelled for a certain age group and/or boy/girl. Ideas for contents are: toys, textas, pencils, exercise books, reading books, comics, socks, pants, t.shirts, toiletries, towel, teddies, cds, sticker books.
Each bag is accompanied by a card full of good wishes and a Pay It Forward Day card.

**Flowers for the Frail:
The children ask parents and community members as well as local florists, for donations of foliage and flowers and local newsagencies for wrapping paper. Plastic containers are also collected and the children are taught how to cut and soak the ‘oasis’ to fit the plastic containers. A volunteer from the local florist or a creative parent could demonstrate and help the children make pretty bowls of flowers. They could accompany the school choir or dance company on a visit to the nursing home and delight the residents there with their creations.

LITERACY WITH A PURPOSE
Senior students could chat with elderly residents of a retirement home and make notes on the stories they impart. The students could be armed with interview type questions to break the ice. Back at school they would then publish these stories into a booklet which is then given to the resident with a thoughtful card and of course the Pay It Forward Day card attached. A lovely photo of the resident could be scanned onto the front of the book.

MORE RETIREMENT HOME IDEAS;
Painting the ladies’ nails
Playing Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly with guests
Organising a Bingo morning
Organising a Trivia competition with questions suitable to senior citizens
Organising a gentle ball game competition or aerobic class

HISTORY OF KINDNESS
Students research an historical identity who selflessly made a difference in the world.
Give a verbal report on the chosen identity
Make up a Who is it? on that identity – classmates have to guess who it is by asking clever questions.

NEWSPAPER REPORTS OF KINDNESS
Scan local newspapers and find reports of kindness. Summarise and attach to the article for handing in.
Write newspaper article about an act of kindness you observe. Pretend it is for the front page of a major newspaper and give a dramatic headline. Publish in school paper.

DON’T FORGET THE TEACHERS

In Tucson Arizona, two anonymous teachers decided to boost staff morale and reward ‘overlooked’ staff by stealthily depositing little gifts into their pigeon holes with a personal note acknowledging the person’s contribution. Each typed note was signed “Someone Who Cares”. There was a noticeable, positive difference in the atmosphere of the staffroom and the sneaky givers got an absolute thrill out of making a difference.

BOOKS FOR STUDENTS
Aesop. Androcles and the Lion, and other Aesop’s Fables. Paxton, Tom (ed.). New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1991.
Aesop. The Lion and the Mouse. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979.
Aliki. The Twelve Months. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1978. [The poor widow who finds good in every month of the year is rewarded while her complaining rich neighbor receives a jar of snakes.]
Bang, Molly. The Paper Crane. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1985. [An honest and hard-working father and son own a restaurant that has fallen on hard times. One day a stranger comes to the restaurant, and though he cannot pay for his meal, he is fed like a king.]
Bunting, Eve. Magic and the Night River. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. [A Japanese boy and his grandfather fish successfully with their cormorants because they have treated the birds with kindness.]
Bunting, Eve. Smoky Night. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1994. [When the Los Angeles riots break out in the streets of their neighborhood, a young boy and his mother learn the value of getting
along with others no matter what their background or nationality.]
Canfield, Jack L., Mark Victor Hansen, et. al. Chicken Soup series. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc. [Personal accounts that touch the heart and lift the spirits.]
Carlson, Nancy L. Arnie and the New Kid. New York: Viking, 1990. [Top cat Arnie teases Philip because he is confined to a wheelchair. Yet when Arnie falls down the school steps and breaks a leg, twists a wrist, and sprains a tail, he begins to see life from a different perspective.]
Colf, Mary K., and Len Oszustowicz. 301 Random Acts of Kindness: A User’s Guide to a Giving Life. Arlington, TX: Summit Publishing Group, 1994. [Challenges readers to tackle the list and actually commit themselves to take concrete steps toward the creation of a better world.]
Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1985. [As a child, Great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful — and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.]
Cosby, Bill. The Meanest Thing to Say. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1997. [When a new boy in his second grade class tries to get the other students to play a game that involves saying the meanest things possible to one another, Little Bill shows him a better way to make friends.]
Daugherty, James Henry. Andy and the Lion. New York: The Viking Press, 1938. [In this retelling of Androcles and the Lion, Andy meets a lion on the way to school and wins his friendship for life by removing a thorn from his paw.]

DeArmond, Dale. The Seal Oil Lamp. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1988. [Because of a blind boy’s kindness to Mouse Woman’s kin, she teaches him a magical chant that will call the animals to his spear.]
DeSpain, Pleasant. “Toads and Diamonds.” Twenty-two Splendid Tales to Tell from Around the World. Little Rock, AR: August House Publishers, 1994.
Fleischman, Sid. The Scarebird. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1988. [A lonely farmer begins a friendship with a scarecrow, but finds a real companion in his new hired hand.]
Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon. New York: Holiday House, 1989. [A short and funny fantasy about a reluctant dragon who is engaged to fight with St. George himself.]
Grimm, Wilhelm, and Jacob Grimm. Snow White and Rose Red. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1984. [A bear, befriended by two sisters during the winter, returns one day to reward them royally for their kindness.]
Hall, Lynn. Barry: The Bravest Saint Bernard. New York: Random House, Inc., 1992. [This is the true story of a Saint Bernard who rescued over forty people, and whose courage and kindness became legendary.]
Hart, George. “The Lion and the Mouse.” Tales from Ancient Egypt. Cairo: Hoopoe Books, 1994. Hoff, Syd. Little Chief. New York: Harper, 1961. [An Indian boy’s kindness encourages a group of frontiersmen to settle in the
same green valley as the Indians.]
Hughes, Shirley. Dogger. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1988. [Dave and Dogger go everywhere together, but when Dave discovers Dogger is missing, big sister Bella’s help is needed.]
Hurwitz, Johanna. Aldo Ice Cream. New York: Morrow, 1981. [Aldo is working through the summer, trying to earn enough money to pay for the ice cream machine his sister wants for her birthday.]
Hyde, Katherine Ryan. Pay It Forward. New York: Pocket Books, 2000. [Trevor chooses three people for whom he will do a kind act and tells them that instead of paying him back they should each pay it forward with acts of kindness to three more people.]
Jaffe, Nina. Older Brother, Younger Brother: A Korean Folktale. New York: Viking, 1995. [After being turned out by his greedy older brother, Hungbu and his family manage to prosper when his kindness to an injured sparrow is richly rewarded.]
Kornbluth, Jesse, and Jessica Papin (eds.). Because We Are Americans: What We Discovered on September 11, 2001. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 2001. [In memory of the events of September 11, 2001, a scrapbook of America in tragedy and triumph. All profits from the sale of this book are distributed equally to The American Red Cross and the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund.]
Kroll, Steven. Happy Father’s Day. New York: Holiday House, 1988. [Each of the children and Mom have a special surprise for Dad on his special day.]
Kroll, Steven. Happy Mother’s Day. New York: Holiday House, 1985. [One day when Mom returns home, she is greeted by surprise after surprise from each of her six children and her husband.]
La Fontaine, Jean de. The Lion and the Rat. Oxfordshire, England: Oxford University Press, 1984. [A small rat is the only animal capable of saving the life of the king of the beasts.]
Lorbiecki, Marybeth. Sister Anne’s Hands. New York: Puffin, 2000. [Seven-year-old Anna has her first encounter with racism in the 1960s when an African-American nun comes to teach at her parochial school.]
Mayer, Marianna. Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1994. [Vasilisa, sent by her evil stepmother on a dangerous journey to the ancient and terrible witch Baba Yaga, is helped by her secret companion, a little live doll, who acts as mentor and friend.]
McGraw, Eloise Jarvis. The Moorchild. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. [Feeling that she is neither fully human nor fully fairy, a changeling learns her true identity and attempts to find the human child whose place she had been given.]
Morris, Ann. Loving. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1990. [Little ones will enjoy this enlightening encounter with people from many cultures showing their love for each other.]
Murphy, Mary. How Kind. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2002. [A hen’s single act of kindness becomes infectious as the animals pass it on; kindness affects every animal in the barnyard and eventually finds its way back to her.]
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh Season. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1996. [When mean and angry Judd, who has never known kindness, takes to drinking and mistreats his dogs, Marty discovers how deep a hurt can go and how long it takes to heal.]
Paterson, Katherine. Celia and the Sweet, Sweet Water. New York: Clarion Books, 1998. [While journeying to find a remedy for her mother’s illness, Celia and her grumpy dog Brumble encounter strange and threatening characters who have never known kindness.]
Pearson, Emily. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2002. [A young girl’s good deed is multiplied as it is passed on by those who have been touched by the kindess of others.]
Peet, Bill. Kermit the Hermit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965. [After a mean, selfish crab is rescued by a boy, the crab searches for a way to repay the kindness.]
Polacco, Patricia. Mrs. Katz and Tush. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. [Larnel Moore, a young African-American boy, and Mrs. Katz, an elderly Jewish woman, develop an unusual friendship through their mutual concern for an abandoned cat named Tush.]
Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books, 1994. [The true story of a remarkable wartime friendship between a young white Union soldier and a young black Union soldier who are captured by Confederate soldiers and sent to Andersonville Prison.]
Rappaport, Doreen. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2001. [By using simple, direct language — much of it King’s — the text offers young readers an accessible yet profound introduction to King’s legacy.]
Reynolds, Diana. The Elephant’s Pillow. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2003. [Set in Peking, this story teaches children about empathy and kindness.]
Rice, David L. Because Brian Hugged His Mother. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1999. [When Brian hugs and kisses his mother one morning, the act starts a chain reaction of kindness and consideration that spreads throughout the town and eventually comes back to him.]
San Souci, Robert D. The Talking Eggs. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1989. [A Southern folktale in which kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches, while her greedy sister makes fun of the old woman and is duly rewarded.]
Schotter, Roni. Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane. New York: Orchard Books, 1989. [In this tender twist on a familiar theme, a neighborhood curmudgeon — “thin and mean and bent and bitter”— is changed by youngsters’ kindness.]
Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. New York: HarperCollins, 1986. [A moving parable about the gift of giving and the capacity to love, told throughout the life of a boy who grows to manhood and a tree that selflessly gives him her bounty through the years.]
Small, Ernest. Baba Yaga. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966. [An adaptation of a Russian folktale about a nasty witch who supposedly eats bad little children.]
Spinelli, Eileen. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. New York: Bradbury Press, 1991. [An anonymous Valentine changes the life of the unsociable Mr. Hatch, turning him into a laughing friend who helps and appreciates all his neighbors.]
Steptoe, John. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1987. [Mufaro’s two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.]
Wilde, Oscar. The Selfish Giant. Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio USA, 1984. [A once selfish giant welcomes the children to his previously forbidden garden and is eventually rewarded by an unusual little child.]
Zolotow, Charlotte. I Know a Lady. New York: Greenwillow, 1984. [Sally describes a loving and lovable old lady in her neighborhood who grows flowers, waves to children when they pass her house, and bakes cookies for them at Christmas.]

TEACHER RESOURCES
Baldrige, Letitia. Letitia Baldrige’s More than Manners! — Raising Today’s Kids to Have Kind Manners & Good Hearts. New York: Rawson Associates, 1997.
Bennett, William J. (ed.). The Book of Virtues for Young People: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, 1995.
The Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness: An Anthology of Writings by and about the Dalai Lama. Piburn, Sidney (ed.) Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 1990.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Little Brown & Co., 2000. Kilpatrick, William. Books that Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values through Stories. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1994. Lamme, Linda Leonard. Literature-based Moral Education: Children’s Books and Activities for Teaching Values,
Responsibility & Good Judgment in the Elementary School. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1992. Lickona, Thomas. Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility. New York: Bantam
Books, Inc., 1992. Paley, Vivian Gussin. The Kindness of Children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. Paley, Vivian Gussin. You Can’t Say You Can’t Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993. Rice, Judith. The Kindness Curriculum: Introducing Young Children to Loving Values. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 1995.

Acknowledgements:

We are grateful for the assistance of Bonnie Calzolaio, Teacher Center Director, and Cheryl Contento, Teacher, both of New York, in developing this bibliography.

Many of the ideas for the above activities are based on activities from the Random Acts of Kindness website.
www.actsofkindness.org