​​​​​The RAC Winners for 2020 for the best photo and story

1st Place:  Pitt River Middle School, Port Coquitlam, School District #43

In early January, my grade 6/7 class started brainstorming ideas for what to do for RAC week 2020. They came up with many ideas and then voted on 5 things that they wanted to do to spread kindness that week. On Monday they wrote gratitude letters to previous coaches or teachers at their elementary schools. In their letters, they expressed how thankful they were for the positive impact these people had on their lives. Letters were sent to several schools in the district, 3 outside the district, and one was even sent to a teacher in Russia! On Tuesday the students organized a staff appreciation with treats, coffee, and posters.  On Wednesday they got gifts for everybody on the Parent Advisory Committee to thank them for their support and contributions.  On Thursday the students made personalized cards for every class in the school.  These cards, along with cookies, were given to all 19 divisions!  By pooling their money, on Friday they were able to spread some kindness in the community.  They bought two $100.00 gift cards and dropped them off at 2 Starbucks locations in Port Coquitlam along with kindness cards they had made with quotes.  They treated over 60 customers to free drinks.  Other than the gratitude letters, all of these acts of caring were done anonymously!  While reflecting on the experience the following week, they wrote things like; “It makes me happy to make others happy.”  “I can’t wait to do more nice things for other people.”  “It makes me feel really special when I am the reason someone is smiling.”  “Now I’m always looking for little ways to make a difference for others.”

2nd Place: Fernie Secondary School, Fernie, School District #5; Citadel Middle School, Port Coquitlam, School District #43

Fernie Secondary School

Ms. Murphy’s two grade 8 and 9 leadership classes at Fernie secondary in Fernie, BC were excited to participate in RAC week on February 9-15, 2020. We didn’t have much time to prepare as we found out about it a week prior but the students worked hard and quickly to pursue the ideas they came up with to spread kindness in our school and community. On one day we raised $30 to take to Starbucks and give to the cashier to give out the next few coffees for free. The Starbucks was so touched by this gesture that they decided to add an additional 30% off the drinks so that the students’ money would stretch to more people. We sat at the tables and worked on Valentine’s Day cards as customers came up smiling and grateful to thank the students. The Starbucks cashier told us after that we completely uplifted the feeling in the shop by doing what we did. The following day these students walked down main street and handed out candy and Valentine’s notes to people they knew and to strangers. One student even wrote a personal card to a teacher of hers to tell her how much she appreciated her. The teacher was thrilled. Our second class decided to ask Starbucks to donate a box of hot chocolate so that they could walk through town and hand out hot chocolate. In addition, this class decided to make posters with kind tear off notes for people to take and hand out. We put the posters up in town as we handed out hot chocolate. The posters in the school had all the tear offs gone after two days! The students were really proud and felt good about what they did. 

Citadel Middle School

The students in Ms. Dawson’s class made special cards for all staff at the school then delivered them to each person with a chocolate treat! The students worked on these cards independently, each having a specific meaningful note to each staff member.  The same students also made up little comment cards encouraging their peers to write positive thoughts and moments on the cards. They used a rolling bulletin board to share these positive memos with the school community (the board is displayed in the front foyer of Citadel).  Ms. Dawson’s students carried extra copies of these comment cards with them all month of February handing them out to ensure everyone had a chance to share.  During the first week of February, students from Ms. Dawson’s class made posters to put up around the school announcing everyone to wear purple February 10 – 13 to acknowledge and appreciate Real Acts of Caring Week. For the 4 days of wearing purple, a few students accompanied Ms. Dawson’s EA, Ms. Schuk in rewarding those who wore purple by giving them a treat. We went through thousands of candies in the four day period due to so many Citadel students participating in the purple week! 

3rd Place:  Greenwood and Midway Elementary Schools, School District #51 (combined entry)

During the week of February 9th-15th students at Midway Elementary and Greenwood Elementary joined together to create Valentine cards for community members which included our local manor (senior's home) to remind our community members how important they are and how appreciative we are of what they have done for everyone over the years. Students in primary grades worked hand and hand with students from intermediate grades to create the special Valentines cards.
Secondly, we provided students at Greenwood Elementary with shovels and after one big snowfall we went out into the community and shovelled driveways for an afternoon. Thanks for instilling the reminder to participate in Real Acts of Kindness. Our hope is that this will foster our students and our community to pay it forward with acts of kindness.

And some other great entries!

Killarney Secondary School, Vancouver, School District #39 
Leadership in Killarney is more than just a course, it provides senior students with an opportunity to give back. To give back to not only their peers, but also to give fellow students a safe and welcoming environment wherever you are in the school. Leadership is a class you have to apply for, and the main requirement is willingness to do good for someone else.  February is our Kindness month.  We celebrate kindness by doing various different activities at our school.  One of our kindness projects, the 3rd party compliments is an initiative where anyone in the school can write anonymous compliments to teachers, staff, and support staff. This initiative has the goal of spreading positivity behind people's backs.  By having a compliment sent to them, we hoped that the recipient knows that they are appreciated. Our class has also made thank you cards for all of the teachers and support staff at our school. 

Riverview Park Elementary School, Coquitlam, School District #43
Our focus on kindness and caring has been ongoing throughout the month of February. RAC had its start in SD43 and encourages students to do something kind for another, without expecting anything back in return.  Some of the initiatives that students at RVP participated in during this year's RAC included:
- Presenting Team Time messages about kindness 
- Creating a Kindness Chain where students record ways people have shown them kindness, and ideas of how people can be kind (see attached photo)
- Creating 'super loops' on the Kindness Chain when a kindness action was taken by a group
- Organizing to pick up litter during break times
- Creating kindness notes and delivering them secretly to another class
- Writing affirmations and displaying them in the window
- Creating placemats and delivering them to a local homeless shelter
- Making flowers and notes to give out in the community to neighbours, store clerks, etc.

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.


The RAC winner for 2018 for the best photo and story was:  Maple Creek Middle School, Coquitlam, B.C.. 

Mme Burdock's class from Maple Creek Middle School in the Coquitlam School District spread caring and kindness to several places in Coquitlam during RAC Week Feb 11-17, 2018. 

The RAC winner for 2017 for the best photo and story was: 

1st place:  Pinetree Secondary School, Coquitlam, B.C. 

The RAC winners for 2016 for the best photo and story were:

1st place:  Harbour View Elementary, Coquitlam, B.C. ($500).  

Crista Jones, counsellor at Harbour View Elementary’ school, celebrated RAC week by placing construction paper hearts with positive comments on each of the 300 student desks in the school as well as all staff mailboxes in the office. Later in the week, the 30 students from Harbour View’s RAC club, baked goodies to take around to various locations in our community. They went to: Port Moody Police Station, Port Moody Firehall #1, Eagle Ride Hospital, the Poirier Public Library, the School Board office, the Coquitlam Animal Shelter where we brought food for the  animals and the employees, the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre, the Lakeshore Care Centre, Ecole Moody Middle, and Grandma Muriel’s (a school volunteer who helps the children maintain the school garden). With each delivery, they included a card wishing them a great day and they were signed by all the members of the club. It was a rewarding week, putting smiles on people’s faces! 

2nd place:  Lavington Elementary School, Vernon, B.C. ($150)
Colleen Harvie is the principal and submitted the second place entry. 
Lavington is a rural school in Vernon, B.C. Our students have been participating in the Real Acts of Caring Week. We are actually doing this for two weeks. As the principal of the school I was excited to receive your poster because this speaks to what our school aims to be as a community of learners. Our mission statement is “Growing together as a caring and compassionate groups of learners.” The school has taken these past two weeks on with sincere care and compassion for others. On a rainy day last Thursday our grade 6 and 7 students went to a part of Vernon where the homeless and less fortunate people gather. They gave out hot coffee, hot chocolate and printed messages of hope and kindness. They shared their feelings and experience with the school at our Monday assembly. We are a small school of 160 students and every student is learning about giving from the heart. They have also learned is that a true act of caring is one that we do not have to share, just experience.

3rd place:  Glen Elementary School, Coquitlam, B.C. ($100)

Sarah Husband is the principal of Glen Elementary School in Coquitlam.  They celebrated RAC Week by collecting and donating packaged goods to the SHARE Society.