Many exciting endeavors are underway in schools, but for them to fully flourish, we need to shift our mindsets so that we consider a school as a living, breathing whole.
This winter, sixth- and seventh-grade students at Concord Middle School (Peabody) are participating in the ThinkGive Challenge, a character education program that is furthering CMS’s vision of a student body in which acceptance, tolerance and kindness are the norm.
Inspiring. Challenging. Compelling. Habit-forming. Mindful. Fun. These are some words Shady Hill School (MA) seventh-graders have used to describe their ThinkGive Challenge experience. Read on to understand how the program changed the way students viewed their own ability to make a difference.
The president and co-founder of ThinkGive Penny Austen joins WBZ-TV's Nick Giovanni and Anaridis Rodriguez.
The ThinkGive Project is a natural fit [at McCall Middle School], particularly during their unit on the Holocaust. "Students are learning about how to take opportunities to stand up against injustice, how to take small steps and make decisions along the way," teacher Kelsey Kennedy said. "They may seem inconsequential in the moment, but when you zoom out, you realized history starts with individual decisions."
"It’s been heartwarming for me to watch our sixth graders experience ThinkGive," says lead Challenge teacher Susan Lewis. "The program helps reinforce the school’s core values of empathy and inclusivity. It helps our girls see beyond themselves and realize they have the power to create a supportive community, both within Nashoba Brooks School and beyond.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a space online where kids could go to share the good things they are seeing and doing? Welcome to ThinkGive. This nonprofit’s mission is to make giving a way of life.
Allison Webster, Head of Dedham Country Day School, discusses how, as positive psychology research, practice, and theory have begun to influence what happens in schools, the purpose of education has begun to change for the better.
This fall, I participated in the ThinkGive Challenge with several of my classmates and one of our teachers. This exercise could not have come at a better time for me. As a senior in high school, there are many things competing for my attention: schoolwork, college applications, sports practice, orchestra rehearsal, and a variety of other endeavors.
I recently wrapped up my first year as Assistant Head of the Lower School at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe, MI, where the theme for the year was “Kindness Makes a Difference.” The purpose was to teach and celebrate kind interactions among students—something that had been a challenge for the school. While we had our community’s buy-in and had begun to see some positive effects with students, we found that there was only so much we could do promoting kindness through posters, bulletin boards, skits, rewards, and classroom discussion.
My daughters and I were walking along Boston’s waterfront at twilight, and the sky filled with dramatic strokes of purple, orange, blue, and pink, making for a magnificent winter sky. Near a railing by the water, we saw a girl in her late teens taking a selfie with the sunset behind her. The snapping of a selfie is such an ordinary sight, and it wouldn’t normally have caught my eye. But unlike the usual person with a fully outstretched arm and carefully crafted expression, this teen girl had an expandable pole to hold her iPhone.
Educator Polly Vanasse is a ThinkGive supporter extraordinaire. Not only has Polly twice participated in the ThinkGive Challenge, last fall she ran ThinkGive’s classroom pilot at the Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA. For 21 days, Polly and staff led the all-girls, seventh grade class through the Challenge curriculum. The students took turns presenting the lesson and then dove into discussion about what they’d given the day before, what the impact had been, what they felt inspired to do next.
Inspiring. Challenging. Thought-provoking. Compelling. Habit-forming. Mindful. FUN. These are some of the words our sixteen seventh graders used to describe their experience of the ThinkGive Challenge at Shady Hill School. When we began the Challenge, the class didn’t necessarily believe that a 21-day giving experience could change the way they viewed the world or their own power to make a difference. However, as their teachers, we hoped they would stretch themselves to take risks and fully participate in the ThinkGive experience (...)
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