--No Cost, Online Portal Offers Educators Engaging Standards-Aligned Resources that Foster Kindness and Compassion in the Classroom and Beyond--
“The world is a better place when we encourage kindness."
SILVER SPRING, Md. [November 14, 2016] Kindness starts with one. One person holds open a door. One person writes a thank you letter to a teacher. One person sparks kindness when another really needs it. Now, more than ever, it’s time to be kinder. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation(RAK), an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, have teamed up to announce today the launch of an all-new education initiative, “Discover Kindness in the Classroom.” Available at no cost to classrooms nationwide, the program offers standards-aligned resources for grades K-8 that teach important social and emotional learning skills, and stimulate thoughtful conversations between educators and students about the importance of kindness in their daily lives.
Social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, productive citizen and successful worker. Many risky behaviors such as drug use, violence and bullying can be prevented or reduced when social and emotional skills are taught. Moreover, social and emotional learning can improve academic scores. One study shows that students who have been in a directed SEL program can increase their scores on standardized tests by up to 11%. (American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology).
Discover Kindness in the Classroom provides elementary and middle school educators and counselors cross-curricular lesson plans and hands-on activities that encourage students to spread kindness and share their experiences with others. The program features two specially curated Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Kindness Collections that explore kindness concepts including respect, compassion, empathy, integrity, fairness, helpfulness, and gratitude. The second Kindness Collection will launch in February 2017 coinciding with Random Acts of Kindness Week taking place during February 12-18, 2017. Units in each Kindness Collection are designed to inspire and empower students to be kind and compassionate, act on what they have learned and share their positive actions and how they felt. Educators can also utilize the “How-To Guide” to create their own Kindness Collections by selecting and organizing resources that meet their students’ needs, in addition to the educator guides that accompany each Collection and provide best practices for easily integrating these resources in classroom instruction.
“Social and emotional learning skills are incredibly important to my students’ futures and impact so many aspects of their lives both inside and outside of our classroom,” said Kristen Davis, first grade teacher in Santa Rosa County, Florida. “I look forward to incorporating resources from DiscoverKindness in the Classroom into my instruction to show my students how small acts of kindness can make a big difference and impact everyone around them.”
In addition to the Fall and Spring Kindness Collections, Discover Kindness in the Classroom also offers monthly Kindness Spotlights that are designed to quickly and easily highlight various Kindness Concepts. Each Kindness Spotlight offers two short elementary and middle school activities focused around specific Kindness Concepts of the month. For example, November’s Kindness Spotlight will explore gratitude and respect, and December will feature fairness and integrity.
“The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation curriculum has been quietly implemented in thousands of schools worldwide, but we believe teaming up with Discovery Education will inspire and empower thousands more teachers across the nation to see and feel the impact of teaching kindness in their own classrooms. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” said Brooke Jones, Vice President of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
"Discovery Education shares The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation's belief that the world is a better place when we encourage kindness," said Lori McFarling, senior vice president of Discovery Education. "We are proud to collaborate with them to present classrooms nationwide engaging digital resources that help teach important social and emotional learning skills and promote thoughtful conversations between educators and students about the importance of kindness in their daily lives."
To learn more and access to program’s free resources, visit www.discoverkindnessintheclassroom.com.
About Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Established in 1995, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) is an internationally recognized nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO, dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. RAK provides free online resources to encourage acts of kindness across the globe, specifically in school communities. www.randomactsofkindness.org
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.