Junior Kindergartners Learn Lesson in Kindness

As recruits of the “Kindness Ninja Headquarters,” Collegiate School’s Junior Kindergarten classes (Sycamores and Willows) are involved in special secret missions involving being kind to others.
Junior Kindergarten teachers Rives Barksdale, Alex Dooley and Tia Owen were inspired to start Kindness Ninja missions by a kindergarten class at R.J. Hawkey School in Canada.

Through the Kindness Ninja missions, our youngest students
explore empathetic feelings by thinking of other people’s wants and needs, said JK teacher Alex Dooley.

“These missions provide opportunities for our students to experience feelings associated with performing kind acts for others without the expectation of being recognized,” she said.

So far, the Junior Kindergarten classes have completed a training mission, which was presented in conjunction with the Stone Soup project, the annual canned food drive to benefit FeedMore Food Bank, an organization serving 34 counties and cities in Central Virginia, a reading of the book Maddie's Fridge and a discussion about the importance of helping others who might not have enough resources to purchase their own food.

The Sycamore’s first real mission: to do something kind for the Willow class. After brainstorming what the Willows liked, needed and might want, the Sycamores decided to create a set of castle blocks for the Willows. Students in the Sycamore class gave up time on the playground and Choice, free time for self-directed play, in order to complete their mission.

In true ninja character, the Sycamores snuck into the Willow’s room and the kindness ninjas delivered painted cardboard boxes for the Willows to use when building.
“The Willows are loving building towers with the boxes,” said Rives Barksdale. “And they have no idea that the Sycamores are behind the secret mission!”

These missions will continue throughout the rest of this school year and will include members of our Lower, Middle and Upper School community, facilities and the Richmond community at-large.