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Irish school asks students for acts of kindness instead of homework for December

Ireland school replaces December homework with acts of kindness
Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland  (INQUIRER.net Stock Photo)

An elementary school in County Cork, Ireland, has done away with formal homework for December, instead asking students to carry out acts of kindness and record them daily in a diary.

Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty made the announcement on its official Facebook account last Dec. 2, following the success of the school’s “gratitude diaries” from the previous year. According to the post, the students must write in their kindness diary every day, which would be signed by their parents after. This is the third year the school has done away with homework for the month of December.

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

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

The students are given a schedule to adhere to for their kindness initiative, with a different act of kindness for each day of the school week.

On Mondays, for example, students are asked to communicate with an elderly person, whether it is calling a grandparent or visiting an elderly neighbor. On Tuesdays, students are asked to help with house chores “to make parents’ lives easier.” Wednesdays are for random acts of kindness. On Thursdays, students are asked to participate in anything they enjoy or that makes them feel good; this is in line with the school’s interest to promote mental health and positive self-care.

Meanwhile, on Friday mornings, their observations would be randomly selected during the assembly and shared with other students to emphasize how small acts of kindness can make a difference in people’s lives.

The school has noted in the post that the feel-good factor derived in helping other people can never be quantified.

“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,” the school said. “This Christmas we hope our [children] won’t feel the need to buy expensive gifts for others, instead choosing to better the lives of those around them by giving a little of themselves.”  Cody Cepeda /ra


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