In October, Polaris kicked off a school-wide social emotional program called Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). RAK is an organization that believes spreading kindness will make the world a significantly better place. Their website is a great resource full of kindness ideas, stories and resources (www.randomactsofkindness.org). The program director for RAK, Brooke Jones, is a parent of a 5th grader at Polaris. We expect you will be hearing a lot about kindness since our wonderful Polaris teachers will be using the RAK curriculum with students this school year.
On October 10th, with the leadership of our school psychologist, Lisa Strassburger, and our Student Council, Polaris kicked off the RAK program with a “star project” focusing on acts of kindness to self and others. Look for stars to decorate the halls all over our building. We will continue the kindness theme throughout the year. In December, students will focus on kindness to the community by participating in the Holiday Giving Project. In Spring, we will focus on kindness to the earth with a “green project”. The culminating event with be at the Spring Showcase where students can share displays of their kindness work in the community by creating a display board.
We believe this program can help our students increase their social emotional intelligence by helping them be accountable for what they say and think as well as working to make the world a better place. It will be great to watch the kindness spread in our school, community and homes. Check out the student made video about RAK below.
For additional resources on social emotional learning:
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted http://sengifted.org/
Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning http://www.casel.org/
A Parent’s Resource Guide on Social Emotional Learning https://www.edutopia.org/SEL-parents-resources
Community Service Projects
Community service is a value at Polaris, we believe these projects encourage our students to see the challenges in our community as opportunities where they can make a difference. Student Council coordinates two school-wide community service projects each year: the Holiday Giving Project in December and a “Green” project in the Spring.
The 2016 Holiday Giving Project benefiting The Gathering Place was a huge success! Our community donated 1000+ toiletries for Betsy’s Cupboard, 30 handmade fleece blankets for children and generated over $400 in greeting card sales that go directly to homeless women. Thank you, Polaris community, for your generosity and kindness. To learn more about The Gathering Place’s mission and how to make an impact, visit http://tgpdenver.org/. See the time lapse video below of students sorting donated toiletries before delivering them.
Stay tuned in 2017 as we continue the kindness theme and Student Council presents “Kindness to the Earth” with a compliment tree and our annual “Green” community service project.
Spring Showcase Community Service Booths
Our Polaris students have many causes that they are passionate about and individual students are engaged in service work outside of the school. There will be an opportunity for your child to display the volunteer work that they have done in the community at the Spring Showcase in May. Your student may want to have a small bake sale or sell a craft they have made to raise money for an organization they are involved with. To reserve a table for your project at the Spring Showcase, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polaris is proud to continue our year-long focus on Random Acts of Kindness to ourselves, others, the community and the earth.