Primary pupils encouraged to spread kindness

Book allowing children to record their small acts of kindness to be passed between pupils

Julia Belgutay

kindness children primary education politics

An initiative encouraging primary school children to focus on the acts of kindness around them is being launched today.

The Kindness Book is being piloted in 15 London primary schools with the aim of rolling the scheme out throughout London, the UK and Europe.

The book invites children to draw and write about moments of kindness with each other. It is hoped that, through the process of recalling these moments, children will come to realise how small acts of kindness are carried through their school and throughout society.

Aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 12, the book invites pupils to write down a moment of kindness with a friend, who they then pass the book on to. The friend then writes down their memory of a moment of kindness with another friend who becomes the next recipient of the book, and so on.

Small acts of kindness

The book is the first initiative of the Kindness Movement, an initiative founded by brothers Jason Holt and Stuart Acker Holt together with business leader Debra Charles to honour the life of Robert Acker Holt.

The oldest surviving member of Hatton Garden’s London Diamond Bourse, and founder of jewellers Holts Gems, Mr Holt died in January, aged 94. Having fled the Nazis as a Jewish refugee, aged 16, his sons said he never forgot the small acts of kindness shown to him during this time.

The mission of the movement is to encourage small acts of kindness at schools, which are then carried through to society, as well as to raise awareness of the value of kindness and to reduce prejudice. The organisers plan to turn the finished books into an exhibition.

Jason Holt said: “Dad instilled in my brother and I – and all who met him – a sense of kindness he himself felt from one or two individuals during his years of persecution in Vienna in 1938. This book is a celebration of dad’s memory and a way to pass on that sense of kindness to all our children.”

Stuart Acker Holt added: “One of my father’s greatest words of advice were ‘always carry a pen’. He used his own pen to record and share moments, or doodle observations in his little notebooks of kindness. He carried them throughout his life and I believe this record fed his remarkable reservoir of empathy. He would be delighted to see this simple and beautiful idea carried forth to children in the Kindness Book.”

Debra Charles, founder and chief executive of the Novacroft Group, said: ”We firmly believe the best place to have a meaningful impact is within our education system and to place discussions around kindness, integration and respect within the curriculum. That is why the Kindness Book, the first project of the movement, is directed at schools.”

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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