Grand Ridge Elementary Kindness Tree
In 2019, Grand Ridge Elementary school counselor Judith Fernstrom, set out to start the school year on a positive note by teaching students the importance of kindness, which she did by visiting each classroom individually and reading a story about kindness. Each grade read a different book, and afterwards students participated in a discussion about why it is so important to be kind at school. Kindness helps people feel safe, included, and happy to be at school. The lesson continued with students brainstorming ideas on how to show kindness not just at school, but also in their everyday lives.
A the close of the lesson students were invited to take a pledge to be kind throughout the school year by signing their name on a paper leaf, all of which now hang outside Fernstrom’s office as the Grand Ridge Kindness Tree. Every time students walk by the tree, they are reminded of their beginning of the year promise. Each leaf color represents a different grade at Grand Ridge.
Fernstrom attributes the tree in helping reinforce the culture of kindness already in place at Grand Ridge, and loves that it provides a nice visual reminder that kindness is something all members of the Grand Ridge community practice.
The Grand Ridge Kindness Tree is part of the ISD’s PBSES program, which is supported by local levy dollars. Thank you to the ISD community for their continual support of these important programs.
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