A recent article on the Virtual Strategy website tells of how a well-known educational psychologist and the school communication platform ClassDojo have developed a nine week-long series of activities and ideas named the Summer Kindness Series.
Developed by ClassDojo and Dr. Michele Borba, the Summer Kindness Series encourages kids to develop a habit of showing kindness. The series provides kids with kindness-related activity ideas as well as ideas for free and fun family activities.
The ClassDojo app is very popular, with two in three schools in the U.S. already using the communication platform. Teachers, parents and students have the opportunity to communicate with each other throughout the school day, creating community in the process. By creating a positive culture with schools and classrooms, ground-up change in the educational process begins to take place.
With its introduction of the Summer Kindness Series, the ClassDojo platform shifts from the classroom to the home. Once a week for nine weeks, users are introduced to new kindness habits along with tips and activity ideas for parents. Among the essential kindness habits that are offered are mindfulness, collaboration, curiosity and reading emotions.
The Virtual Strategy article mentions how empathy is at the root of kindness, yet empathy is not a big quality with many of today’s young people. There are, however, an increasing number of parent and student groups who are promoting the concept of social and emotional learning.
According to the World Economic Forum, empathy and emotional intelligence are among the most important social-emotional skills that job-seekers can bring to the job market in 2020.
Dr. Borba makes the point in the article that empathy is something that can be learned and practiced, just like a sport or other skill. With a great overall need for empathy education these days, the doctor feels that the Summer Kindness Series is a good way to raise awareness of the benefits that practicing kindness can bring.