A School Has Replaced Homework with Acts of Kindness All Through December

The season of holidays is coming and the one that we celebrate the most is Christmas where our kindness and gratitude is revealed.

In this period of the year we feel great joy, and the holiday spirit makes us better persons, but we can always do better and that is the idea that we want to convey to the younger generations. The school, Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin, in Ireland, for three years uniquely spreads Christmas joy and it will do the same thing this year too.

These students are shown how they can always be better by doing small things that will eventually lead to bigger ones. The Irish students throughout December are asked instead of homework, to do acts of kindness either to the community or close ones. All their good deeds are being noted in a “Dialann Cineáltais” or “Kindness Diary” every day and after that signed by their parents. The parents are welcoming this initiative and support the school in carrying out this project.

Each year the students have a particular theme like last year when they practiced gratitude and all their deeds were documented in a “Dialann Buíochais” or “Gratitude Diaries.”

The school incited its students by sharing acts of kindness in a Facebook post and presented the schedule that the students can follow up for their fulfillment.

Clonakilty Gaelscoil pupils undertaking kindness acts in lieu of December homework!!For the third year running, pupils…

Posted by Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin on Monday, December 2, 2019

For instance, for each week day there is a planned activity, on Mondays, students can visit, phone, or send a Christmas card to a lonely relative or an elderly person. Tuesdays are for helping with household chores. Wednesday is a day for cheering up some other person. Friday is their personal day when they can do something they love and that makes them feel good about themselves.

Self-esteem is of great importance for every person especially for the young people, and because of that the Fridays are a self-day where the school gets also involved. Namely, on Friday they have a meeting on how to boost the self-esteem in young people and that is done by reading the kind observations of the students about their peers they have been previously dropped in a “Buicéad Cineáltais” or “Kindness bucket”.

Here it is what the Vice-Principal, Íde Ní Mhuirí, conveys about this project, quote:

 “We are encouraging our pupils to think of the real spirit of Christmas, the spirit of kindness and giving. With such an emphasis on the materialistic and commercial aspect of Christmas, we often tend to overlook what it’s really all about… Goodwill!

Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to be able to enjoy Christmas, some are lonely, some are sad, some might yearn for what they do not have and some might simply not enjoy the festivities. But there is nobody in this world that wouldn’t benefit from an act of kindness, and the joy of kindness is that it costs nothing.

Our message to the children is very simple: they can be the reason somebody smiles today and they can definitely help make this world a better place for others and for themselves.”

This is not the only imitative that this school carries out. There is also a collective project involving the whole class, known as “Gníomh Cineáltais Ranga” or “Class Kindness Act” where the class has to come up with an idea that will bring great benefits for the overall community.

The entire school year is with activities that stimulate moral and family values. In June, students focus on their families and in that period again instead of homework, students have a school task to spend some quality time with their family members like playing games, or simply hang out together and go for regular walks. Each activity the student must register it in a special book or diary.

Kindness and gratitude can be offered throughout the whole year and there is nothing better when the school themselves promote it. Every effort is counted, no matter how small it is, it contributes to a greater good and for sure will make a difference in someone’s life.