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Toolkit

Are you looking for great articles about giving? Support materials to supplement your curriculum? Videos celebrating kindness? Take a look at what we’ve found.


Sites

Kindness.org

This nonprofit's mission is to educate and inspire people to choose kindness. Using their research and learnings, they work to motivate their community to take kind actions. This collective action drives their impact in building kinder communities everywhere.

Greater Good

Greater Good offers sponsors groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, while simultaneously helping people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Look here for articles and teacher training on core themes of compassion, empathy, altruism, and happiness.

Roots of Empathy

A school program centered on building empathy in kids—by having a parent and baby visit the class throughout one year. Much can be learned from observing the relationship between a mother and her child.

Random Acts of Kindness

Provides lesson plans, classroom materials, and school activity ideas to support thinking about and practicing kindness.

Learning To Give

An easy-to-navigate resource for lesson plans around philanthropy.

The PeaceJam Foundation

The PeaceJam Foundation uses Nobel Peace Laureates (their spirit, skills, and wisdom) as inspiration in order to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world. Look for curriculum materials, information about these amazing people, and ways to get involved.


Articles

5 Ways Giving is Good For You.

Researchers, scientists, and sociologists have discovered that giving has pretty powerful and amazing effects. Not only does it make us happy, it’s contagious.

American Teachers Agree Kindness is More Important than Good Grades

Intelligence is good, but empathy is better. So say 78% of teachers in a new survey released by Sesame Workshop when asked if they'd prefer their students be kind or academically successful. In the long run, the ability to read a 400-page book might not matter as much as the the ability to read another child's emotions.

How Making Kindness a Priority Benefits Students

Research shows that social and emotional skills, including kindness, can be taught and learned, and that children benefit from the lessons. According to a 2011 review of 213 programs designed to teach social and emotional skills in school to children of all ages, kids who took part in the initiatives improved their outlook and behavior toward others. They also had better academic performance and showed improved social-emotional awareness.

Students' Broken Moral Compasses

The pressures of national academic standards have pushed character education out of the classroom. But by omission, are U.S. schools teaching their students that character, morality, and ethics aren’t important in becoming productive, successful citizens? It’s time for critical reflection about values our schools transmit to children by omission in our curriculum of the essential human challenges of character development, morality, and ethics. Far too often, “we’re sacrificing the humanity of students for potential academic and intellectual gain.”

Empathy Is An Essential Leadership Skill -- And There's Nothing Soft About It

Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s experience, perspective and feelings. It’s commonly described as the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes. But make sure you are assessing how they would feel in their shoes, not how you would feel in their shoes. This is the tricky part.

When Do Altruism and Kindness Begin in Our Lives?

Reinforcing the seemingly innate nature of altruism, whether in children or adults, can involve what have frequently been referred to as “small acts of kindness.” Using words such as “please” and “thank you,” offering to help a neighbor or a colleague with a particular task, expressing gratitude ... are but a few illustrations of kindness and altruism. Even one small act can have a long-lasting positive impact.

Why Teaching Kindness in Schools is Essential to Reduce Bullying

Kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it.

Hello, Stranger

It turns out that making connections with strangers—a smile, a little conversation—drives increased happiness. In fact, when we talk to strangers, we stand to gain much more than the “me time” we might lose.

Career Advice: Give

Givers focus on others, takers on themselves, and matchers care most about fairness. Studies show that most professional success, not just satisfaction, goes to givers.

The Kindness of Strangers

An interesting article about how different cities have different flavors to them, and how the people who live in different cities help in differing amounts.

Teaching Children to Do Good

Dr. Richard Weissbourd’s research shows that morality must be cultivated in children, and that a child’s morality—rather than happiness and self-esteem—should be the lead parenting priority. Caring for and giving to others is one way to get there.

What We Get When We Give

The benefits of giving are astounding: less depression and anxiety in teens, increased happiness, increased health. The list goes on and on.

Compassion and Caring: Integral Features of Emotional Well-Being

Highlights the importance of modeling compassion and inspiring children to care for others.

Empathy: Turning Feelings and Beliefs into Action

Children learn best by doing. If empathy isn’t translated into behavior, it will become a “sideshow.”

Gratitude and Kindness: Small Gestures, Large Impact.

Well-known author and speaker Dr. Robert Brooks strongly believes that a key component to developing children’s resiliency is for them to step outside of themselves to help others. This article is about the power of small, seemingly insignificant gestures. What ThinkGive is all about.

Six Ways to Boost Your “Habits of Helping.”

Good tips for expanding your own habits of helping, some of which are also age-appropriate for kids.

Celebrating Kindness: Random Acts of Kindness School-Based Pilot 2011-2012.

Amazing results from a pilot where kindness instructional materials were integrated into three public schools. Teaching kindness can have a hugely positive impact on academics, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and a school’s climate.

Random Acts of Kindness Can Make Kids More Popular.

It’s true. Not to mention kindness decreases bullying and increases empathy and caring for others.

Kindness Makes You Happy ... and Happiness Makes You Kind.

Discusses a study in which people performed a daily act of kindness for 10 consecutive days. Is there a positive feedback loop between giving and happiness?

Raising a Moral Child

Adam Grant, professor of management and psychology at Wharton and author of Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, examines why parents who value kindness and compassion frequently fail to raise children who share these values. He offers sound advice on what to do—and what not to do—in order to raise moral children.

A Case for Promoting Empathy in Schools

The textbook definition of empathy is “the ability to understand what someone is feeling,” but when put into practice, empathy means so much more: it means being able to grasp the many sides of today’s complex problems and the capacity to collaborate with others to solve them; it means being as good at listening to the ideas of others as articulating your own; it means being able to lead a team one day, and participate as a team member the next. Empathy enables ethical action, decision making and problem solving.


Videos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos delivers graduation speech at Princeton University

As a boy, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos learned an important lesson from his grandfather: Kindness is just as important as intelligence in order to be successful. In this 2010 Princeton University commencement speech, Bezos makes the case that our character is reflected not in the gifts we're endowed with at birth, but by the choices we make over the course of a lifetime.

Unsung Hero

This Thai Life insurance commercial has a GREAT message. Check it out.

22 Random Acts of Kindness

A man spends his 22nd birthday doing acts of kindness. Amazing what you can do in a day.

One Minute of Joy: Random Acts of Kindness

A great video to show your class. Footage of real people doing simple—and meaningful—acts of kindness.

What is Philanthropy?

Exactly. Even adults struggle with the word! How do you define it?

Why Kindness is good for you: Dr. David Hamilton at TedX Hackney

Dr. David Hamilton discusses how kindness makes us happy and benefits the heart through the effects of the hormone oxytocin.

Michael Norton: How to buy happiness

Professor Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can indeed buy happiness—when you don't spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.


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