Evidence That It Works
A study of nine to 11-year-olds found that those who performed three acts of kindness, in comparison to those who created maps of places they had visited, increased their well-being and their popularity among peers.
Why Does It Matter?
Peer acceptance and a sense of belonging help to create a classroom climate that is warm and welcoming. Indeed, students who feel like they belong in school — that they matter to both their teachers and their peers — show greater academic achievement, are more engaged and motivated in school, and suffer from fewer psychological and social problems such as depression, peer rejection, and bullying.
Hence, giving students the opportunity to intentionally practice kindness and reflect on what it feels like to both give and receive kindness can help build classroom and school climates where kindness is a social norm.