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This parent was hoping to remain anonymous and didn’t really want credit, but I decided that she deserved the credit and I really wanted to celebrate her for this. So, with her permission, I am writing this to congratulate Cate Griffin on this great idea and to make sure everyone in our community knows about it …

The “Report Bullying” button on the website leads you to a page with a definition of bullying and allows you to report an incident directly to the Principal and Vice-Principal. You can provide your name, or remain anonymous. The goal of this is “to make sure that Alta Vista Public School remains a safe place to learn and work.”

My fantastic friend Cate recognized that this was a useful and important tool, but thought that we could make it even better by also including a section on the website where people could report acts of kindness. This follows our shared belief that reading about good deeds creates a “good deeds” mindset.

She emailed me to tell me about her idea of contacting the Principal at our school to propose this “Report Kindness” addition to the website and asked what I thought. Unfortunately, I was not able to check email for most of that day and could not tell her I thought it was a great idea. Luckily, Cate felt so inspired by this idea that she wanted to act quickly, so she emailed the Principal without waiting for my feedback or confirmation of support.

This was the main message in her email:

“I suggest that we add an icon and link to allow folks to report incidents of kindness and acts of generosity and friendship that the students experience. Perhaps there could be a way to leverage and share these “good news stories” at school events, on the website, etc. and demonstrate the amazing behavior of our kids at the school. I believe that if we share good practices they can be and are repeated and where we choose to focus our efforts is where the seeds of rich mindsets grow. In addition, this is also a great way to demonstrate how the staff / students / school community works to achieve the school mission statement.”

The Principal responded immediately and was very enthusiastic and supportive about the idea. He got this new button up and running in just a few days. And, I am happy to report that at our School Council meeting this week, our Principal presented this “Report Kindness” button to the group. You can check it our here:

http://www.altavistaps.ocdsb.ca/forms/kudos.html

On top of just thinking that this is a fantastic idea, the thing that makes me so happy about this is that Cate felt comfortable enough to make this suggestion to the Principal. She knew that she would have the support of many in our parent community because we spend a lot of time talking about these kinds of ideas. We spend a lot of time talking about the type of community that we want to create to raise our children in. We spend a lot of time talking about all the beliefs and ideas that went into the creation of World-Changing Kids (WCK) and the writing of Plant a Garden of Kindness, A Child’s Guide to Filling a Year with Weekly Acts of Kindness.

Cate and I actually met three years ago in a park in our neighbourhood. My (very forward) children, who were five and two at the time, immediately went up to this new mom and daughter to ask them to play and quiz them on who they were and how old they were and where they lived and what school they went to. Cate and I spent a good half hour talking that day about Plant a Garden of Kindness – when it was still just an idea in my mind and a whole bunch of thoughts on what it wanted to be. Immediately Cate said she wanted to be part of it. And since that day, she has been instrumental in the completion of the book and the forward movement of WCK.

So the fact that she came up with this great idea of “Report Kindness”, and was motivated enough to act on it, knowing that our community would love it, makes me so happy for WCK.

Our mission at WCK is to build a community of friends where we can create, inspire, teach, learn and support one another. A community where we all feel loved, included and safe. The ultimate goal is to raise our children within this beautiful community and then watch them change the world.

I felt that this “Report Kindness” addition to our school’s website was just the most beautiful, inspiring confirmation that our very grassroots, community built WCK is making a difference!