Oak Lawn School fifth graders have been working hard to bring a little more kindness to the world after reading “Pay it Forward,” a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The book, about seemingly …
Oak Lawn School fifth graders have been working hard to bring a little more kindness to the world after reading “Pay it Forward,” a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The book, about seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by the faith of a child, was also made into a movie in 2000.
“It basically started out as an SEL project, which stands for social and emotional learning,” said one of the fifth graders managing the project, Olivia Lage. “Ms. Scappaticca had an idea and wanted to do a project around the school. Some of the kids in class started to think, what if we did a kindness project to impact the whole school. Honestly, it’s just evolved into this whole big project.”
Olivia Lage and Lylah Riley were the fifth grade classes project managers. The two of them were in charge of helping to organize the different committees the class voted for and assigned students to in order to create a kindness chain with the hope of stretching it around the entire school.
The kindness chain, made of slips of glued together paper, had each link of the chain inscribed with a kind act performed by someone in the school. Each class was given a color to identify the grade, and weekly members of the fifth grade class would hand out slips of paper asking members of the other classes to fill them out with kind acts they had done for someone during the week.
Students of the fifth grade classes, run by Theresa Vessella and Jennifer Scappaticca, would collect those good deeds then hand them off to another committee. A group would then take the acts of kindness and transcribe them to a color matching the grade they came from before passing them off to the next group.
By the end of the project the fifth grade class had created a series of long paper chains in red, blue, white, yellow, green and black that would eventually be taken outside while to check if students of Oak Lawn had added enough kindness to the world to make their chain wrap around the school.
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