Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pay it Forward!

Paying it forward. A few years ago there was a movie with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, called Pay it Forward. The idea was a young boy, as part of a school project, started a chain reaction by doing an act of kindness for a stranger.

A few months ago, my mom passed away. She asked that we do an act of kindness in her memory if we wished to do something to remember her.  I recently began taking piano lessons again after more than 40 years. It has brought me such joy!  It got me thinking. My mom and dad gave me a wonderful gift of piano lessons when I was a little girl. This might be a great way to “pay it forward” and do something in my mom’s memory.  I contacted my piano teacher with my idea. Did he have any students whose parents might be finding it a struggle to give their children the give of music,especially with the holidays soon upon us? If,so, I wanted to pay for their lessons. He did have such a family and I am now passing on a random act of kindness to strangers. I think my mom would have really liked this. I hope that the two children will in turn, try to think of something they can do to “pay it forward” to someone else.

What can kids do as random acts of kindness?
Maybe, it might be donating a pair of winter gloves or a hat to someone who might be in need with the winter months coming.You can purchase both at most $1 stores.  It doesn't have to involve money. Maybe, a child could offer to sit with a new student at lunchtime so they don’t feel alone in a new school. A child could put a smiley face on a student’s desk that may be having a bad day.It might be helping to review for a quiz with another student or helping them organize their notebooks for a particular subject. It might be offering to do something for an elderly neighbor.

What  ideas might you have to suggest which kids could do to “pay it forward”? With anti-bullying month in October, this might be a helpful list to compile and, an activity to promote with your students!

Interesting piece of historical trivia: Ben Franklin did a "pay it forward" to a person named Benjamin Webb. The year was 1784 and Franklin gave some money to Webb. Franklin told Webb that he didn't want the money repaid but instead, use the money to help someone else out at some point.


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