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.
PKG: WANT TO GET KIDS TO LISTEN?
ADD A LITTLE NOISE
THROW IN SOME COOL MOVES, AND SLIP THE MESSAGE INTO MAYHEM.
AT THE BE KIND PEOPLE PROJECT THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS ISN'T ALL THAT REVOLUTIONARY.
DELIEVER THE MESSAGE IN A LANGUAGE THE KIDS HEAR.
>>"WE INCORPORATE A LOT OF DANCE
AND A LOT OF POP CULTURE THINGS
THAT THE STUDENTS ARE FAMILIAR
WITH, THERE' S SPOKEN WORD
THERE'S RAP THERE’S THIS MUSIC THAT THEY ARE FAMILIAR WITH."
"I BELIEVE THEY CAN HEAR THE
MESSAGE AND THEY CAN RELATE TO IT A LOT MORE
WHEN YOU HAVE GUYS SPINNING ON
THEIR HEAD OR DOING BACK FLIPS
AND IT'S FUN FOR THEM."
PKG: THIS "PERFORMANCE" STARTED
WITH A GROUP OF VALLEY PARENTS
WHO JUST WANTED TO GIVE BACK TO
THEY STARTED WITH SMALL GIFT
BAGS OF SUPPLIES, BUT WHAT
TEACHERS REALLY NEEDED WAS HELP
CHANGING KIDS ATTITUDES AND
BEHAVIORS IN ORDER TO MAKE IT
EASIER TO TEACH, QUEUE THE MUSIC
AND BRING IN THE BE KIND PLEDGE
"SAY BE KIND PLEDGE"
A 10 POINT MAP OF CHARACTER
VALUES DEVELOPED BY TEACHERS,
KIDS AND PARENTS TO HELP KIDS
UNDERSTAND WHAT TO DO RATHER
THAN WHAT NOT TO DO TO BE
SUCCESSFUL AND HAPPY.
>>"IT'S KIND OF REWIRING THEM A
LITTLE, BUT NOT SO MUCH TRYING
TO CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR OR TELL THEM HEY YOU NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU ARE BEHAVING
BUT MORE SO HAVE THEM RE-THINK THEIR
VALUES AND THE THINGS THAT ARE
IMPORTANT TO THEM."
PKG: ON THIS DAY THE KIDS AT
PIONEER PREPARATORY ACADEMY ARE
STARTING THE REWIRING PROCESS.
"I LIKED HOW THEY HAD A HUGE
VOICE THEY WEREN’T NERVOUS AND THEY
THEY DANCED A LOT.
PKG: 6TH GRADER ABIEL GOMEZ HEARD
THE NOISE ABOVE THE DIN.
"YOU WANT TO BE NICE TO PEOPLE
AND YOU WANT TO BE A GOOD ROLE
MODEL TO THEM."
PKG: BUT THIS PROGRAM ISN'T JUST A
ONE DAY SHOT OF AMPLIFIED PRO
AFTER THE MUSIC FADES, THE
MESSAGE CARRIES OVER TO
"SO ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR
FRIEND SMILE TODAY?
PKG: WHERE TEACHERS LIKE EMILY
JAMES ENCORPORATE THE PLEDGE
INTO EVERYDAY LESSONS
"WE TALK ABOUT THROUGH THE
STORIES WE ARE READING. IF WE
NOTICE THAT A CERTAIN CHARACTER IS SHOWING ONE OF
THE TENETS THAT WE TALK ABOUT WE SAY OH THAT
CHARACTER IS BEING SO
RESPONSIBLE THEY REMEMBERED TO BRING THEIR HOMEWORK TO SCHOOL WE USE JUST THE
LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY.
WE SAY OH YOU ARE BEING SUCH A
KIND FRIEND YOU ARE FOLLOWING
DIRECTIONS YOU ARE BEING
PKG: IT'S HARD TO ESCAPE THE BEKIND
PLEDGE AT TAVAN ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL, WHERE TEACHERS ARE
ENCOURAGED TO ACCESS
THE FREE LESSONS ONLINE AND EVEN
TAKE A BE KIND DANCE BREAKS.
"SO EVERY MONTH THERE IS A
DANCE MOVE WHICH THE KIDS GO
THEY THINK IT'S SO
FUN TO BE TAUGHT BY A
"BEING ABLE TO STAND UP AND MOVE
WAKES UP YOUR BRAIN A LOT MORE SO YOU ARE
READY TO LEARN SO BEING ABLE TO
DO IT IN A FUN WAY WHERE YOU ARE
LEARNING HOW TO BE KIND YOUR
GETTING YOUR BODYMOVIE ITS GETTING ALL READY FOR AN ENTIRE DAY.
THE KIDS LOVE THAT. IT’S JUST A GREAT TIME TO BE SILLY ..."
PKG: THE LESSONS ARE
STANDARDS-BASED AND LARGELY
CRAFTED BY TEACHERS LIKE
THERE ARE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
"JUST ONE OR TWO CREW MEMBERS COME BACK TO THE SCHOOL THAT SMALLER GROUP AND FACILITATE A SMALLER GROUP A MORE INTIMATE GROUP IN A SMALLER SETTING SOMETIMES A CLASSROOM OR LIBRARY AND REALLY DIVE DEEPER INTO WHAT THE PLEDGE LOOKS LIKE. WHAT DO THE THINGS ON THE PLEDGE SOUND LIKE AND FEEL LIKE.."
PKG: THOSE PROGRAMS ARE GUIDED BY
CREW MEMBERS, MANY WHOM
ARE PROFESSIONAL DANCERS WHO
BECOME MINI CELEBRITIES TO
"I ALSO HAVE A PASSION FOR THE
YOUTH SO I THINK THAT WHERE
INCORPORATE, BEING ABLE TO SPEAK IN
TO THE FUTURE GENERATION AND
BEING ABLE TO GROOVE ON IT'S JUST A
PKG: IT'S LOUD AND BOMBASTIC…BUT IT
GETS TO THE CORE OF WHAT SO MANY
TEACHERS HOPE TO DO IN THEIR
"I HOPE THAT AT THE END OF THE
SCHOOL YEAR ALL OF MY KIDS CAN
READ AND THEY CAN ALL COUNT TO
120 BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY TO ME I
HOPE THAT THEY CAN BE KIND AND
THAT THAT'S SOMETHING THEY
LEARNED FROM ME."
PKG: AND MAYBE PICK UP A FEW DANCE
MOVES ALONG THE WAY.
Jose: ANOTHER BIG PART OF THE BE KIND CURRICULUM ARE PAY-IT FORWARD PROJECTS WHERE KIDS LEARN TO HELP THEMSELVES BY HELPING OTHERS.
Ivory Myers: Member, The Be Kind People Project
Abiel Gomez: 6th Grader, Pioneer Preparatory Academy
Emily James: Teacher, Tavan Elementary School