What does it take to inspiremeaningful change?
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” said Aesop. Ask the residents of Rowethorpe Aged Care Village near Perth, Australia, and they’d probably agree with you. In fact, sometimes a simple act of kindness can completely transform your life.
That’s what happens when you get a surprise visit from the Pre-Primary students of Penrhos College and get a dose of kindness, laughter, and love from young learners who want to make a difference to somebody’s otherwise ordinary day.
To understand how this all happened, we need to begin as all learning and transformation begins—with a question. In this case, the question the young learners of Penrhos were asked by teachers Jocelyn Field and Amber Chrystal was “who needs kindness in the world?” This led them to take a closer look at their own community and everyone in it, and what they could do to spread kindness by starting closer to home.
Where do we begin to transform?
Penrhos College believes that to help their young ladies become global citizens and change makers, one thing they must develop is empathy. Amber and Jocelyn looked to the Essential Fluencies to guide them. “We have been using the 6 Fluencies for nearly two years now,” they claim. “It allows for the students to use a problem-solving process in their learning.”
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.
How do we plot apath to success?
The students then chose to give their attention to the elderly residents of Rowethorpe Aged Care Village in Bentley, a suburb south of Perth. Their mission was to do whatever they could 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 including writing, drawing, crafting, and more.
Jocelyn and Amber were just as excited on the big day as their students were to see what kind of joy they could spread. “I’m looking forward to watching some kindness bloom,” Amber said.
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.”