September 28, 2018
How Our Youngest Learners are Changing Lives With Kindness
"We can no great things, only small things with great love," Mother Teresa instructed. This is certainly true of the Pre-Primary students of Penrhos College in Perth, Australia. But they recently put this wisdom into practice when they used Solution Fluency for changing lives with kindness. We profiled their accomplishments in a case study that will move and inspire you.
As we've said before, all learning begins with a question. The question the young learners of Penrhos were asked by teachers Jocelyn Field and Amber Chrystal was “who needs kindness in the world?” They took a closer look at their own community and everyone in it and investigated how to spread kindness starting closer to home. Using the Solution Fluency model, the Pre-Primary students began with defining a problem they wanted to address in their community through acts of empathy and kindness.
Amber describes it this way: “We began with a project on kindness, and from that the students investigated who in our community might need kindness.” Jocelyn adds, “We asked the girls to look into the community and think about where there might be people who were needing help, maybe those a little less fortunate than themselves.”
The students immediately identified that those in the elderly community may be suffering from loneliness or from being sad, and vowed to do something about it.
Changing Lives With Kindness: An Example for Us All
The students then chose to visit Rowethorpe Aged Care Village in Bentley, a suburb south of Perth. Their idea was to spread happiness, love, and kindness to those living there. So the students set about designing ways they could do this using all sorts of creative channels. Some of what the kids did for their new friends at Rowethorpe included:
- Writing an original book of jokes
- A “Happy Jar” full of inspiring messages
- Poetry recitals, singing, and dancing
- Performing magic tricks
- Presenting hand-made gifts
Afterward as the girls left Rowethorpe, the seniors agreed that the students had done their job well. “I hope it’s not the last time we see them,” said one resident. “I hope they’ll be back again.”
Amber and Jocelyn’s girls are changing lives with kindness regularly now with the residents of Rowethorpe Aged Care Village. “They really do want to help people and spread lots of happiness and joy,” says Jocelyn. Amber agrees, and was amazed at the level of commitment the girls showed in their kindness project. “It’s really surprised me, the level of engagement they’ve shown,” she marvels.
"They’re tiny people and they’re making tiny changes to the Earth. What is more wonderful than that?”
Creating Your Own Change
Changing lives with kindness is easier than you think. Our view is that if the young Pre-Primary learners of Penrhos can do it, we can all do it. Transformation happens one small step at a time, and the results are worth the wait.