The RAC winners for 2019 for the best photo and story were:
1st Place: Kilmer Elementary School, Port Coquitlam
Mr. Comartin's class started with “Project Kindness” where his students completed kindness checklists at home such as making their beds, helping with meals and taking out the recycling/compost. They went into the community and picked up garbage at local parks and baked cookies for municipal employees. At school, when other classes went to the gym, they secretly placed kindness notes on their desks. Later that week, another class did the same to us. We also painted kindness notes on rocks and created a kindness garden in our courtyard. On February 11, they kicked off “Project Save the World”. Four groups of students took on the task of doing something to make the world a better place. Group 1 collected blankets for the homeless. Group 2 recycled batteries to keep them from the landfill. Group 3 collected items for the SPCA and Group 4 taught classrooms how to properly sort waste products. We collected 28 blankets for the homeless. We diverted 2150 batteries from the landfill. We brought over 100 items to the SPCA and several classes were taught how to properly recycle. Our final February class activity was making kindness placemats for seniors. In partnership with Senior Services Society, seniors were served their meals on colourful placemats with beautiful messages to brighten their day.
2nd Place: Summerland Middle School, Penticton
On February 12th, when we went around Summerland and Penticton, I felt that this was for sure the best day to remember. I was so excited for this day the night before and so excited to feel what it feels like to be kind to people for the day. My car group went to two senior villages, one in Summerland and the other in Penticton. When we went to Angus Place and Global News came with us, about four people got interviewed, including me. We gave out cookies to them as well. All the seniors that were there were super excited, they were so happy that we chose to visit them at Angus Place. We also went to Tim Hortons to buy some coffee for the people behind us and also buy coffee and donuts for fireman, policeman, paramedics and lineman. They were really happy to get something from a class who cares for them and understands the importance of how they serve our community. When we went to Penticton, we went to Walmart to do a flash mob, we did the dance with another car group. I absolutely loved everything about this day, it was probably this best day so far of my life.
I can participate and contribute to group activities that make my community a better place. This day made our community a better place because our class has been working on all of the core competencies. We all showed a lot of social reasonability during this week and during this whole day. We have all been planning this day and week since mid-September. We raised over $400 to do kind things for others. I believe we have made an impact in the two communities because when people get treated with kindess maybe they will it on pass it on and it will keep it going around the community. This day made a big impact on people’s life because a simple gesture or even just a smile can change somebody’s day or week. You never know how being kind will impact someone.
On the day before it really just felt like Christmas Eve because I was so excited for the morning and I just couldn’t wait because we were going to be giving back to the community. I did not want this week to end, I wanted it to last forever. I really believe that this was so important for the community. I think that Real Acts of Caring is going to spread throughout the Okanagan. I think this will turn out to be a big week year after year and hopefully, one day, it will just happen every day. On the day we went to the two communities, every time we said or did something kind and nice for someone or a group of people, you could really tell that they loved it and you always felt good yourself after seeing that. You never know when someone needs a little bit of cheering up. I enjoyed this day and this week so much, I hope I can help to turn this in to something bigger than it is already. I hope I can try to do a day like this next year and keep spreading kindness with my friends, to make others feel good on a daily basis. This day has changed me as well because hopefully I will do something kind for someone everyday even if it is just a smile or buying their coffee. All I hope is that my class and maybe other classes get to do this day and week again, that others will pass on the kindness and it will have a ripple affect around the community.
3rd Place: Quilchena Elementary School, Vancouver
My name is Brittany Segal and I am a grade 4/5 teacher at Quilchena elementary School in Vancouver, BC.
At the beginning of the year, my class and I held a bake sale to raise money to make bagged lunches for the DTES. Once a month, we decorate paper bags with words of encouragement and positivity, and warm and loving images. Each student then makes 1-2 lunches (sandwich, cookie, juice boxes, granola bar, fresh fruit). After school, a few students and parents come with me and we deliver the lunches and hand them out in person to people at Oppenheimer park. My students are always so amazed at how kind and appreciative the people receiving the lunches are. We do this activity once a month, and though it is executed by myself, it is the students that do all the work. This monthly activity means a lot to them, and has really taken off. It allows the students to show empathy and understanding for those in need, and it also teaches them to be kind to ALL people, regardless of class, race, or ethnicity. It is important to teach your students kindness, but more importantly, it is important to SHOW them how to be kind to all people. We are all born Noble beings, and through this project, students not only see that, but they feel it as well.