Norwich Public Schools: Assembly offers lesson in kindness
Sarah Herrick For The Bulletin
Huntington ROCKS stands for respect, opportunity, cooperation, kindness and safety. Each month, Huntington School focuses on one of these characteristics and soon they will be focusing on kindness.
An assembly at the school featuring Ned's Kindness Adventure fits perfectly with their mission, because the overarching theme is showing kindness. The performer actually goes on an adventure to Kenya, Africa, and experiences amazing kindness from a unique culture. He shares his experiences at the assembly. There are interactive components within the assembly that students get to participate with. The positive message throughout the program inspires students to be kind-hearted and caring, because each person matters a lot.
What is unique about the program is that the school does not pay anything to have this assembly. Ned's Kindness Adventure runs a pay-it-forward sale, so essentially, the school that is visited prior to us pays for our assembly, and our assembly will pay for the next and so on. Hand-crafted jewelry from Nairobi, Kenya, is given to students who interact with the performer. The jewelry is then offered for sale to the students for five days after the assembly. When students wear their piece of jewelry, it is supposed to remind them to be kind.
When asked what they liked best about the assembly, Liam from Mrs. Cipriani's fifth-grade class said, "The clean water pump. When the kids got excited and happy at the end because they had clean water." Kailahni from Mrs. Lehman's second grade replied, "I liked the pictures of Africa at the Ned Show. Their jewelry is pretty and fancy."
The Teen Outreach Program (T.O.P.) put on a fun evening for families at Kelly STEAM Magnet Middle School. The Teen Outreach purpose is to teach children about themselves, different experiences they go through at this age and focus on giving back to the community through community service learning projects. The groups are composed of seventh- and eighth-graders that meet two times a week, on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.
The students brainstormed and decided they wanted to plan an event on becoming healthier. They researched teenage obesity as well as ways to become healthier. After they had all their data, students created displays on healthy eating that guests could browse through while enjoying healthy snacks. As a second component, they offered a gym activity at which families could get involved while getting exercise. They had games available, such as basketball, volleyball and other related sports. Some of the people who attended were from: Fiddleheads, UCFS, Smiles on the Go, Norwich Family Services and UCFS Mental Health Services at Kelly STEAM Magnet Middle School. As a bonus, they had massages and yoga in the fitness room.
Sarah J. Herrick is the Norwich Public Schools' Business Office administrative assistant.