Think your toddler is too young to spread kindness? "Learning about, experiencing and reproducing kindness are fundamental skills that kids should acquire at a young age," said Monica Nolasco. She is vice president of curriculum at The Learning Experience, an education and childcare franchise in Dobbs Ferry.
Preschoolers there were recently introduced to a fun-loving elephant "Bubbles" to raise money for Make-A-Wish. Kids as young as three took part in the fundraiser. A wish wall and coins for a cause were activities in this key part company-wide philanthropy curriculum that teaches and shows children how to practice kindness.
Along with academics, kids in school need to engage in social-emotional learning. "The school environment for any child can be stressful and intimidating at times and "children often deal with being teased, ignored, or excluded," said Nolasco.
"Children learn and imitate behaviors by watching and listening to others, especially adults. In order for them to learn kindness, it is vital that their trusted adults model kindness.""Through social-emotional learning, kids will learn the value of kindness. Not only do they learn through their interactions with other children and adults, but when students learn to manage their feelings and emotions, they also become more confident and resilient," Nolasco continued.
Research shows that when teachers teach the value of kindness and allow children to practice skills that build character, children learn how to treat others and react to situations both inside and outside the classroom, according to Nolasco.
Learning about, experiencing, and reproducing kindness are fundamental skills that kids should acquire at a young age.
Nolasco said research shows that neglecting these early lessons in a school setting could have a negative impact on children from "isolation, lowered self-esteem, low peer acceptance, increased levels of stress, and prevalent bullying."
The "2019 Bubbles' Road to Wishes" in October raised over $500,000 nationwide for Make-A-Wish, according to franchise spokesperson Jamie Szwiec.