Last week, the Mission Hills Campus celebrated Kindness Week—an annual Parker tradition that brings focus to how the power of being kind can change yourself, change your community, and ultimately make the world a better place.

With assistance from the Parents Association, Lower School students took part in special activities and assemblies centering around a daily theme—Monday “Be kind to self,” Tuesday “Be kind to friends and family,” Wednesday “Be kind to our School,” Thursday “Be kind to all,” and Friday “Be kind to our planet.”

Every morning, each class from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5 read and discussed a kindness quote of the day. Teachers compiled their class’s best interpretation of the quote and posted it to the Kindness Wall in the Lower School courtyard.

One class reflected on John Holmes’s quote, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up,” and wrote “You have to practice kindness in the same way you would exercise to have strong muscles. Practicing kindness gives us a stronger heart.”

On Tuesday, the group PlayItSafe presented their assembly on bully prevention to all grade levels. Through audience participation, students learned to recognize the different types of bullying behaviors: teasing, excluding, name calling, etc. and acquired skills to help resolve a conflict.

Throughout the week, students wrote notes of kindness to peers, faculty, and staff and hung them in the courtyard surrounding the School in positivity.

On Friday, for the theme “Be kind to our planet” the Lower School set the goal to dramatically reduce the amount of trash sent to the landfill by designating the day as a zero waste day. Through resourcefulness, students found ways to reuse items like paper scraps from one project to another. During lunchtime, students eliminated food waste by only taking as much food as they knew they would consume. At the end of the day, almost all the trash cans at the Lower School were empty.

Kindness Week serves as a special reminder to students that their small acts of kindness every day do not go unnoticed and can be the key to brightening someone’s day.