Along with studying math, reading, language arts, science, and social studies, St. James students have religion lessons focused on Scripture, present-day stories, and real-life applications. During the COVID-19 remote learning period, students read the Good Samaritan from the Gospel of Luke, watched a video with examples of kindness, and discussed kindness with their parents, the children went about doing random acts of kindness while quarantined at home.
The children then wrote their acts of kindness on colorful hearts and returned them in their packets on SWAP Day. Examples of their kind acts include: “Held the door for mom,” ”Let my brother have the first turn,” “Said please and thank you,” “Cleaned up a mess without being asked,” “Picked up sticks in the yard,” “Called my best friend,” “Said 'sorry' when I was wrong,” “Told Nana I love her,” “Shared my tablet with my brother,” “Gave our neighbors food,” “Gave a homeless man $2.00 of my own money,” “Helped clean the house,” and “Helped my little brother play a video game.”
In addition, St. James' teachers are enjoyed the kind notes the children are sent in their packets of completed work. The children’s messages express that they love their teachers and miss them. They are worried about the teachers and felt better when they saw them outside, waving on SWAP Day. The faculty laughed when a first grader sent an assignment for her teacher to complete!
Parents are part of the kindness team too! In the words of Maureen Merrill, fourth and fifth-grade teacher, “The parents have sent in the sweetest, nicest notes.” The other teachers have commented on the kind notes they have received from parents, as well. A few families sent masks for teachers and aides to use. Parents have expressed a new appreciation for teachers and the difficult, challenging job they have.