WEYMOUTH– Interim Superintendent Kathleen Smith and Ralph Talbot Principal Richard Bransfield are pleased to announce that staff and students at the Ralph Talbot Elementary School in Weymouth are participating in school-wide kindness projects.
Staff, students and their families have been participating in school-wide kindness projects at the Ralph Talbot School since 2019. This school year, parent council member Kristen Clancy and fifth-grade teacher Courtney Bulman created the “Do Good, Feel Good” kindness program, which consists of three at-home kindness projects that are open to everyone throughout the year.
“The past year has been a difficult year for everyone, but even during these hard times we had stories of inspiration and giving back to keep us going,” Clancy said. “With these stories in mind, I wanted to grow our kindness program to provide additional opportunities for our community members to get involved and give back to our community.”
The first program project, “Kindness to Others,” began in January. Approximately 40 families and 10 school staff members participated in the project. As part of the project, participants were provided with the resources, such as cloth free of charge, needed to create a blanket to donate to a local organization and a book to guide conversations around the project.
At the end of the project, a total of 52 blankets were donated to Annie’s Kindness Blankets, a non-profit group that was founded by the Varney sisters after they lost their mom to suicide in honor of her memory.
Currently, 30 families and staff members are participating in the “Kindness to Earth” project, which involves growing plant seedlings to be planted in the Weymouth Food Pantry Garden in conjunction with the Weymouth Food Pantry. For this project, each family and staff member are growing 10 tomato seedlings and two individual tomato plants.
The seedlings, which will be planted in the Weymouth Food Pantry Garden at the Old South Union Church in May, have the potential to produce 10 pounds of tomatoes per plant. In total, each family could potentially contribute up to 140 pounds of tomatoes. Once the tomatoes ripen, they will then be donated to the Weymouth Food Pantry to be distributed to those in need. The individually potted plants will be given to individuals in need to harvest themselves.
The last kindness project of the year, “Kindness to Ourselves,” is scheduled to begin mid-May. For this project, participants will create peacebuilder pinwheels with a pledge of how they plan to be their best selves. Once completed, all pinwheels will be displayed in front of the Ralph Talbot School.
“These projects have provided opportunities for our students to further build upon what they learn in school and through the books they are reading about kindness, respect, compassion and giving back through hands-on experience,” Principal Bransfield said. “I’d like to thank everyone who has made these projects possible and everyone who has participated in the projects to date. These projects show that when we come together we can make a difference, regardless of age and circumstances.”
Added Clancy, “During a time in which we all needed compassion, these projects have provided opportunities for families to speak with their children about what’s going on and how they are feeling while supporting the school’s teachings about treating people with kindness and respect. To ensure that everyone who wanted to participate had the chance to do so we removed all obstacles for families by providing all resources and supplies.”
These kindness projects have been funded through the Parent Council. In addition to the Parent Council, Farmhouse Bakery in Columbian Square also hosted a fundraiser for the program that raised $234 that will go towards supporting these projects.
While staff, students and families can’t participate in projects that have ended, such as “Kindness to Others,” they do have the opportunity to join ongoing projects.
Anyone interested in joining “Kindness to Earth” or “Kindness to Ourselves” can contact Clancy at [email protected]. To learn more about the “Do Good, Feel Good” kindness program, visit the Ralph Talbot Parent Council Page.