|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • Good deeds, big rewards



  • The project started as something multi-age class teachers Jaime Murphy and Emily Robischon thought would be nice for the holiday season. The assignment was to perform random acts of kindness, RAKs, with their families.

    • email print
  • Palmyra-Macedon Primary School second-grader Clare Boesel was hiding things.
    At Breen’s, she slipped coupons into the tight spaces between the lines of boxes and cans on the shelves. At a dollar store, she hid dollar bills behind books and under cookie packages. At some vending machines, she taped coins to the front of them. This “7 and-a-half-almost-8”-year-old was performing random acts of kindness.
    “I came up with them all by myself,” she said with pride. “It made me happy and warm and fuzzy inside.”
    Clare wasn’t the only one paying it forward. She was joined by the 39 other first and second grade students in her multi-age classroom at the primary school — each finding a different way to offer a bit of kindness to a stranger and expecting nothing in return.
    The project started as something multi-age class teachers Jaime Murphy and Emily Robischon thought would be nice for the holiday season. The assignment was to perform random acts of kindness, RAKs, with their families.
    “It started out as something to do for just a couple weeks,” Murphy said. “But the parents just ran with it. It ended up being truly life changing in our classroom. Our families embraced the projects, did multiple random acts of kindness throughout the month and continue doing RAKs weekly. It has become a part of their lives.”
    Seven-year-old Molly Siether left hand warmers in the mailbox for her mailman. Then she baked brownies and brought them to her neighbors and made cards to bring some cheer to her friends. But her favorite random act was picking four angels off an Angel Tree and picking out toys to give the children for Christmas, crediting her mom and dad who helped her pay for them. Her efforts are depicted in a book she created herself, but she isn’t quite done with her gifts of kindness.
    “I’d like bake cookies and just go around the neighborhood and drop them off,” she said, fiddling with her book on the table in front of her. Baking is something she’d like to do when she grows up. “I’d like to bake and make dinner and stuff.”
    Molly became the recipient of a random act when her best friend, Phoebe Cole, 6, gave her a doll as gift.
    “It made my friend Molly very happy,” Phoebe said, who isn’t sure when or what act she may do next. “I have no idea. Maybe next summer.”
    Maya Ikewood, a 6-year-old in first grade, is already working on her next RAK. Her first kindness was making breakfast for her mom, dad and little brother. It was no small task.
    “I made toast and jelly,” she said, which her mom and dad really enjoyed. “It made me feel good.”
    Page 2 of 2 - However, her brother was a bit harder to please.
    “I had to prove to my brother it had apple jelly on it,” she said. “He’s very picky”
    For her next project, Maya said she has made two cartons and filled them with lots of jelly beans. She plans to give one to her aunt and grandma and the other to her grandma and grandpa on Easter.
    “It makes you feel good because it will make them smile,” she said of her random acts.
    Murphy said the abbreviation RAK has become part of the students’ vocabulary. The classroom’s RAKs include writing cards to soldiers, donating toys, baking breads and cookies, helping at animal rescues, and simply saying thank you to people who help them every day.
    All of the students’ projects will be on display at the Palmyra Community Library beginning Wednesday, March 27, and the community is invited to come see what random acts of kindness the students have been working on. The students will share with their families the completed projects and books they have created. At the library, there will a place for the community to leave their comments for the students about their projects and random acts.
    Murphy and Robischon hope the students’ projects will give others an idea for a random act of their own.
    “We’re hoping it sparks a ripple effect through the community,” Murphy said.
    It’s an opportunity for the community to learn from the students as well.
    “What the kids found is that not only do the random acts of kindness make other people feel good,” Robischon said, “but they also found it makes them feel good.”

        calendar