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Pittsburgh Commitment to Kindness-Lockley Early Learning Center

H.W. Lockley Early Learning Center is about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh and is located in the city of New Castle. We have approximately 800 of the district’s earliest learners (K-2) in our building.

As grant winners of the PA 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant, three years ago we established our C.A.N.E.S. Club after school/summer learning program. This name stands for Cultivating and Nurturing Exceptional Students. 75-100 students attend C.A.N.E.S. Club throughout the year. Our commitment to nurturing exceptional students includes helping to develop students’ social and emotional skills. A large component of this is developing a strong school family culture where each child feels safe and loved.

Because our school is so large, we are starting small and have dedicated our initial focus to forming a JAM Kind Kids Club within the population of our C.A.N.E.S. after school students...as the club builds momentum, we will extend it to include the school day population. 

On Thursday, May 2nd with the help of Slippery Rock University service learning students under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Amodei, our very first Kindness Carnival was held. The event was open to families of our C.A.N.E.S. Club students. That evening we enjoyed various activities that were all devoted to KINDNESS! The event was called “May the FORCE of KINDNESS Be With YOU! As the event date fell near May 4th and we had a great deal of STAR WARS themed books and prized available to give away that night.

This night, students and their family members in attendance were given two free tickets for chances to win fabulous themed auction baskets, that were comprised of #bethekindkid t~shirts and fabulous donations from community businesses. Additional tickets could be purchased and all proceeds were put in the C.A.N.E.S. Kind Kids Club donation fund. The fund balance is currently at $70 and as the club expands, students will choose an organization to donate this money to.

The event consisted of rotations where students and their family members participated in kindness themed activities:

1. Yoga and Relaxation Room

2. Paint a Kindness Rock (We are collaborating with some Jr/Sr High students to construct a Kindness Rock Garden here at Lockley!)

3. Decorate a Thank You flower pot, which were filled with flowers and delivered to the community businesses who donated to our auction basket table

4. Play Kindness Bingo

5. Gym Kindness Obstacle Course

6. Decorate your space on our Kindness Graffiti Wall

7. Make “Happy Spring” Kindness Cards to be delivered to community nursing homes

Everyone enjoyed hot dogs, chips, and water...as well as the free Star Wars giveaways! 

Impact: Through thoughtful, small group discussions, students have recognized areas within the school where they would like to see more evidence of kindness as well as more kind acts occurring. From the cafeteria to the restrooms and playgrounds...the Kind Kids Club is working on developing plays, videos, as well as meetings to brainstorm other ways to promote kindness in these areas they have deemed as “hot spots”.