Friday, February 19, 2016

Elementary School Focuses on Teaching the Heart and Mind

Sara Buchan and two of her students who have earned blue butterflies.
Although Friday is the last day of National Random Act of Kindness Week, Martha Reid Elementary School spreads the kindness year-round.

Students and staff have all taken part of the Kindness Challenge. It’s an initiative started by first grade teacher Sara Buchan who wanted to teach children how to pay it forward.

“I can make them brilliant in math, but if they do not have social and emotional intelligence, I have failed them,” said Buchan.

The eight-year Mansfield ISD teacher started incorporating what she coined as a kindness mat. The mat is a non-reward-based sheet of paper with different nice gestures students can do. She later contacted the founder of Secret Blue Butterfly and received blue butterflies for teachers to hand out to students who go above and beyond.

The blue butterflies hang to remind students and staff
to spread kindness.
An entire hallway is adorned with blue butterflies hanging from the ceiling as a reminder to children to pollinate the world with kindness and love.

“None of this could have happened without the support I received from the principal and teachers,” said Buchan. “We have a segment on the morning announcements about the Kindness Challenge, and everyone has really bought into the whole idea of promoting joy.”

The saying is true: a little bit of kindness goes a long way. Reid Elementary staff hopes the kids use the lessons learned to continue having a heart of compassion as they grow older.