Oak Hill Academy Students Spread Kindness During the Holiday Season
Everyone within the community of Oak Hill Academy, an independent elementary school in Lincroft, is committed to upholding its “Code of Respect.” This code provides a framework within which its dedication to kindness operates. Each month, a specific character trait related to the code is highlighted. December’s focus trait was kindness.
The students, faculty, and staff celebrated and shared individual differences and customs during the holiday season, yet also discovered that they were united by the common pursuit of kindness. They learned that the act of being kind can take many forms.
For instance, the Upper School social emotional learning initiative “Tuesday Talks” provides opportunities for small groups of students and faculty to discuss topics that enrich the school’s strength as a community. With the focus on kindness for the December talk, students were asked to recognize a random act of kindness they experienced and write them on a Post-It note added to the Kindness Bulletin Board in the school hallway. Filling up this board was a tangible way to show how our students are responding to our kindness initiative, and they enjoyed viewing the completed board at the end of the holiday season!
Students at Oak Hill Academy also built a “Mitten Tree” through the Student Council that displayed clothing items collected for various non-profit organizations. In addition, the Pre-K and K collected for Toys for Tots; 1st and 2nd graders collected children’s pajamas for the Burn Center at St. Barnabas in Livingston; 3rd graders collected items for Monmouth County SPCA; 4th graders collected gifts and gift cards for the Salvation Army; 5th and 6th graders collected gift cards for 180 Turning Lives Around, and 7th and 8th graders gathered items for Afghan Refugees in need in Burlington County, NJ. They found out that spreading kindness helped them to embrace the holiday spirit and helped make this year a special one!
A kind word here and there can make all the difference in the world. Those who take the time to be kind will undoubtedly reap the benefit of personal growth from helping others. Kudos to Oak Hill Academy who strives to strengthen its community of kindness during December and throughout the rest of the school year.