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A Pledge of Kindness


In a video distributed to Troth Street Elementary students and parents, 6th grader Victoria asked fellow classmates Rebeca and Diego to read a story with her in celebration of World Kindness Day. The story, Try a Little Kindness by Henry Cole, shows different ways to be kind with the help of animal characters:​

A smile to greet the morning
A hug to greet each day
A "thank you" and a "yes, please"
Are things that you should say.
Our animal friends will show you
Exactly how it’s done
Make it a daily habit…
Kindness can be fun!
Troth Street Staff member hands out paperOnce they finished reading, the 6th graders shared an activity for students to complete. “We can trace our hands [on paper] and write in how we plan to show kindness,” said Diego.
Troth Street staff provided paper to participating students during Grab-N-Go meal service the Monday and Tuesday prior to World Kindness Day. Students completed the activity at home and returned to school on Friday to turn in their paper hands. The crafts were then displayed in the windows of the MPR.

“Kindness matters,” wrote Gonzalo. “Help others,” proposed Juliette. “Give food to dogs,” suggested Sophia. “Hold the door for mom,” promised Ericka.
“As they pull up for lunch, they will see their hand along with other students’ hands,” said Jovanka Martinez, TK teacher. “It’s a reminder [of what they have pledged].”
Boy in car holds up hand craft​Mrs. Martinez runs Troth Street’s Student Council along with her husband, Esteban Martinez, a 6th grade teacher. Prior to distance learning, student council members coordinated school spirit weeks. Now three representatives from each 6th grade class are tasked with promoting spirit months to boost morale and keep students connected to their school.
In search of the perfect school spirit idea before Thanksgiving Break, Principal Ilsa Crocker learned that World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13th. In the midst of a challenging school year, the theme instantly stood out. Mrs. Martinez happened to have a copy of Try a Little Kindness, and when asked what activity should be shared with the student body, the 6th grade representatives came up with the hand tracing craft.

“They were so excited,” said Mrs. Martinez. “They didn’t know about World Kindness Day.”
World Kindness Day, an international observance introduced in 1988, focuses on the positive power and common thread of kindness which binds us. In a statement to commemorate the occasion, the Secretary-General for the World Kindness Movement wrote, “Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divided races, religion, politics, gender, etc. Therefore, nothing is as rewarding as giving back to others."
painting of the Earth and hand crafts in the cafeteria windowWith remote learning in full swing, it is especially important for students to remain an active part of their school community. Inviting kids to show their school spirit and pledge acts of kindness are two ways to strengthen connections during a time of distance.
“We’re excited to continue to promote positivity,” said Principal Crocker. “Mr. and Mrs. Martinez have been fantastic working with our 6th graders and continuing to promote these qualities in our students.”