The practice of kindness at Washington Primary School isn’t just some lofty goal, it’s a daily expectation, day after day, week after week from September to the end of June – and even over the summer.
“At Washington Primary School, demonstrating kindness is embedded in our Washington Expectations, our Sanford Harmony social and emotional learning program and the Principal’s Book of the Month,” Principal Michelle Richards said. “As part of our morning announcements, we review the Washington Expectations. Expectation No. 1 is to ‘Be kind to others: Speak words that make others feel good.’”
Dr. Richards said the Sanford Harmony SEL program “teaches students about empathy, problem solving, accepting differences and positive communication skills. When students are observed demonstrating the Washington Expectations and/or components of the Sanford Harmony SEL program, they are rewarded with a white ticket (in-class individual), red ticket (hallway individual reward) or blue ticket (whole class reward). Students with the most tickets at the end of the week have their names announced over the PA in the morning as Weekly Washington Winners.”
The recognized students receive a “Kindness…Pass it on” sticker, “50 Ways to Be Kind” bookmark or “Kindness Makes a Difference” pencil. “At the end of the month, the students with the most points are our monthly Washington Ways winners,” Dr. Richards said. “They receive all of what a weekly winner receives along with a certificate and their photograph displayed in the main hallway of the building.”
The Principal’s Book of the Month program is focused on embracing diversity and acceptance. “Each classroom receives a book with supplemental activities,” Dr. Richards said. “Teachers invite me into their classrooms to read from the book of the month and engage students in discussions about how the book teaches us to be kind to one another.”