The Be Kind People Project encourages student character development
March 29, 2018
The Be Kind People Project has made its way into several elementary schools, teaching students about character development and how to be better people.
The project began when teachers were trying to find a way to change their students’ attitudes and behaviors in a way for them to be more kind, responsible and respectful. Their efforts created a ten point map of character values developed by teachers, kids and parents. Rather than teaching the students what not to do, it points out what they should do.
“It’s kind of rewiring them a little bit,” Be Kind People Project crew member Ivory Myers says. “It’s not so much trying to change their behavior or telling them they need to change the way they’re behaving, rather it makes them rethink their values and the things that are important to them.”
Professional dancers in the program will come to the school to teach the values through dance and song. Myers says by making it fun and entertaining for the kids, they’re more likely to understand the message.
“I like how they had a huge voice,” Abiel Gomez, sixth grader at Tavan Elementary School, says. “They weren’t nervous and they danced a lot. You want to be nice to people and be a good role model for them.”
The project doesn’t stop once the dancers leave. The character values are practiced at every opportunity in the classrooms.
“We talk about it through the stories we’re reading,” Emily James, teacher at Tavan, says. “If we notice a certain character is showing one of the traits, like the character is being so responsible, we talk about it. We use the language throughout the entire day.”
Every month the students learn a new dance move, as well. After learning some moves, the kids have the chance to stand up and dance every day in class. James says it helps wake up their brains, and they’re more ready to learn.
For more information, visit thebekindpeopleproject.org.