EMC News - Students and staff at St. Isidore Catholic School are making kindness contagious with their new 'Pay it Forward' movement. The idea is simple, each person does a random act of kindness and instead of expecting something in return they tell the person 'no need to thank me, just pass it on and pay it forward to three more people.'
The school held its kick-off event on June 8. All 520 students sat in the gym wearing matching blue t-shirts, which said 'Pay it Forward and Kindness is always Fashionable.'
Principal Michael Schreider was approached two months ago by Donna-Marie Flanagan, vice-chair of the schools parent council with the idea for the students. The school is very thankful for the t-shirt design from Henry Munro Middle School in Ottawa. Schreider thought the school could really embrace the idea and that it went along with their Catholic graduate expectations of love, hope and justice.
"Jesus was kind and caring to one another and he did things selflessly. He did not want anything in return, so when he did good deeds he expected those people to go out and do the same good deeds to them and pay it back to Jesus. It totally embraces what we do here," said Schreider.
He approached the school board and they were able to provide the students the t-shirts for free. The students will be encouraged to wear the shirts whenever the school has a spirit day to remind them to be kind to one another.
During the assembly, students talked about how they could be kind to each other such as sharing study notes, buying someone a freezie or playing with another student who may be off on their own.
Flanagan believes the children in their community are their main resource and thinks it is important to teach them at a young age to be kind to one another.
"I think it will make a difference with the children because I think it is important for them to understand that no act of kindness is too small," said Flanagan. "I think by implementing this initiative of Pay it Forward, we are teaching our children to take care of one another as well as do good for others."
Ward five city councillor Eli El-Chantiry, Ottawa Catholic School board superintendent Greg Mullen, trustee John Curry, Parish Priest Father Virgil, City of Ottawa Police Chief Vern White and school resource officer Amy Haggerty were on hand for the assembly encouraging the students to embrace the kindness movement and work hard to be kind to each other.
White explained to the students that when he was younger he had a lot of people who did kind deeds for him and says that one of his greatest experiences was when Rotary International sponsored him on an exchange to Tennessee. He feels since then his job, in part is to change other people's lives for the better. He feels that the most important part of the initiative is that the students will be reminded to Pay It Forward.
"I think it is one thing to tell them about it but to remind them every month is the key here. It's like Red Fridays, we all remember every Friday now we are supporting our troops wherever they are in the world and that our hearts, minds and thoughts are with them," said White. "For me this is now once a month that these kids will remember maybe they should be a little kinder that day which ultimately might extend into two or three days or beyond."
The Pay it Forward movement started after author Catherine Ryan Hyde's book of the same name was released in early 2000. It was later turned into a movie by Warner Brothers and now has spread to a worldwide social movement.
The Pay It Forward movement has captivated the hearts and minds of the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow to be kind to one another.
"We want to bring kindness to the whole world. There's been a lot of fighting going on and not a lot of people are being kind," said Grade 6 student Brynn Rhude. "I'm glad our school is doing this. We want to spread kindness around."
Causes Catherine Hyde Supports
The Pay It Forward Foundation, Marriage Equality (See Human Rights Campaign), the 350 movement to help ease global climate change, LandWatch San Luis Obispo...