Kindness Week: Five Days of Love and Good Will

by Aadira, Y12

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson truly captures the essence of what Kindness Week at FIS signified to all its students. The Kindness Week Team, made of a dozen enthusiastic students, including myself, aimed to create an atmosphere of warmth, gratitude, and smiles throughout the week of February 20th to 25th. From Monday to Friday, the team organised various activities, making sure that there was something for everybody.

One of our successful ventures was the scavenger hunt, which encouraged an enthusiastic response from the younger students in school. With tape, scissors and distinctive signs, the team pasted various words behind doors, on the hallway floors, and on bulletin boards around the school; words like “Optimism”, “Charity” and “Friendship” among others that were reminiscent of what kindness meant to each of us. The main race was between Year 7A and Year 9A, however, the former won by just one point, and were given deserved prizes of candy, chocolate and wristbands. “I had Year 8 girls complaining they could not find any words as the Year 7 students were taking them all!” shared Ms. Grobe, The Kindness Week supervisor.

Another activity that took place throughout the week was “Free Hugs” from our team members to all the students at FIS, which gathered crowds of students lining up for some indiscriminate love. The theme of affection was continued with the “Box of Anonymous Compliments”, designed by Liza from the team, that was placed in an accessible hallway, intended for the purpose of spreading uninhibited positivity. A presentation on Monday, designed by Antoine, Matthew and Irvin, taught each class how to make origami hearts, which they could drop in the box after writing down a compliment to a friend or teacher. This received equal participation from all classes, and at the end of the week, the anonymous compliments were delivered to the intended recipients, who received them with wide grins and flushed cheeks.

Saisha of Year 8B said, “The anonymous compliments were my favourite part of the week because it brought a smile to people’s faces.”

However, the considerate words did not stop there; the Kindness Tree made sure of that. The Kindness Tree, initiated and maintained by Bethany and Katherine of The Kindness Team, was essentially a large board set up in the hallway with a table of Post-Its laid in front of it, free for all to write messages of support and encouragement to passers-by. As the week progressed, the number of leaves on the tree began to flood the board, the messages ranging from “You are special and loved” to “You are the ketchup to my rice”. Another opportunity to spread gratitude presented itself in the Parent Teacher Meeting for the Year 11s that happened to fall during the week. The Year 11s were given the opportunity to write a letter of thanks to their parents and present it to them, and with the help of the school ambassadors, this initiative was successful and well received.

The atmosphere of laughter and smiles was concluded with the bake sale and Pyjama Day, fundraising endeavours that invited students to purchase baked goods or pay to dress up in their pyjamas and onesies, the proceedings of which would be donated to the Suicide Prevention Services and the FIS Solidarity fund. On Pyjama Day, the school canteen collaborated with Sodexo to sell hot chocolate or “Warm Hugs in A Mug” for a day, which was a fan favourite. “The canteen staff were overwhelmed with the long queue,” said Gina, a member of The Kindness Team.

On Friday, an amount of $5,563.20 for the school charity fund. On the other hand, the proceedings of the bake sale totalled $3,800, and on Thursday the 2nd of March, SPS visited the school and were directly presented with the money by Nicole, Naomi, Carlen and Issac of Year 12.

The success of Kindness Week and the unwavering enthusiasm of the students at FIS taught all of us in The Kindness Team one of many things: generosity and warmth will bloom when opportunity is created for them.

Hopefully the positive spirit of the week will remain in the air long after it has passed, and kindness, love and consideration will continue to arise in all facets of student’s lives at FIS.