“Hurt people hurt people.”1
And not just that, any fear-based emotion—including anxiety—can cause people to hurt others.
If we want our kids to be kind, let’s help them develop inner peace so that kindness arises naturally. And if we want our kids to feel peace in any situation, let’s help them shift their mindset.
We can do all this through presence and gratitude.
- To create a more peaceful, joyful, respectful, perseverant school community.
- To equip each child with the no-cost tools of presence and gratitude, allowing them to create their own inner peace regardless of outer circumstances.
- A 4-week elementary school-wide program that uses presence and gratitude in fun ways to achieve its purpose. Each week develops one of the four benefits of the program:
- Inner peace to outer peace.
- Joy through gratitude.
- Respectful conversations.
- The program’s foundation is the Be Present. Be Grateful.TM symbol (see photo at page bottom), which stands for the following:
- Circle—In presence there is fullness.
- Arc/Smile—In gratitude there is joy.
- Together they bring peace.
- Each student earns a different colored sticker for each week they participate in the program.
- 10 Be Present. Be Grateful.TM symbol posters to place throughout your school.
- 4 Be Present. Be Grateful.TM symbol achievement stickers/student (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue).
- 4 Weekly Info sheets/classroom (post to remind students of each week’s focus).
- 1 Be Present. Be Grateful.TM symbol bracelet/student (embossed silicone bracelet in your school’s color).
- Informational video/tip sheet for teachers.
- Kick-off video for students (can also be done in-person or through video conferencing).
- Short weekly overview videos for students.
- Close-out video for students (can also be done in-person or through video conferencing).
- Week 1: Presence
- Twice daily activity practicing one of the five ways to be present.
- Week 2: Gratitude
- Twice daily activity building on the children’s presence skills to develop gratitude in the moment.
- Week 3: Respect
- Daily activity using presence and gratitude to build respectful conversation and interaction skills.
- Week 4: Perseverance
- Daily activity using a three-step process to shift the way our children view and handle their everyday challenges and struggles.
- Overview meeting for teachers and any school employees who’ll be participating. This can be in person or through a video conference call.
- Video of how the program works to keep as a reference or for those who can’t attend the overview meeting, along with a tip sheet for all teachers.
- Program overview sheet to send home with the students or be available for an optional parent info meeting, if requested.
- Program kick-off video to be shown in each classroom or at a school-wide gathering. (In-person or video conferencing also available.)
- Personal support throughout the program by email, phone, or text.
- Twice weekly private Facebook group live check-in meeting for teachers to ask questions (attendance optional).
- Close-out celebration video to show in classrooms or at a school-wide gathering. (In-person or video conferencing also available.)
- Before/after survey, if requested, to gauge program impact on teachers and students.
- When your school buys a program, you may also choose to donate a second program to an underserved school.
- I’ll wave my fee for this donated program, leaving only the cost of the materials (posters, stickers, bracelets).
- As a service project, your school may opt to cover the cost of materials for this second program. For schools of approximately equal enrollment, this breaks down to less than $1/student. Below are two service project ideas:
- School fundraiser that students are encouraged to organize.
- Students earn monetary pledges from their parents in exchange for doing extra chores, etc.
- Your school may choose to remain anonymous or make notes that I’ll deliver to the receiving school, along with their program materials!
- Since the cost is based on the number of students participating, please email or call/text for a custom quote!
- As a point of reference, a school of ~335 students will pay $1099 for the program.
- All program materials and videos are yours to keep, even for use in future school years.
- Please note there’s an additional fee for optional in-person visits outside of the St. Louis area.
- “We’ve got a lot to cover in a day; I’m not sure how to fit in another program. How much time will this take?”
- Each of the four weekly videos runs about 2 minutes, after which you may opt to have a short discussion. The kids can complete each daily activity in about 5 minutes, though Kindergarteners may need a bit longer as they’re still mastering the art of writing. The overview meeting lasts about 1 hour. And the program kick-off and close-out celebration lengths are up to each school!
- This program is designed to be flexible and easily integrated into any school’s routine.
- “I don’t know anything about presence and gratitude. Am I going to struggle with this?”
- No! This isn’t a deep dive into the neuroscience of it all; instead, it’s an easy-to-understand baseline introduction that still offers incredible benefits. Between the overview meeting, tip sheets, and personal support (email, phone, or text) throughout the program, you’ll have the know-how to lead your students!
- “We’ve done other programs that sound good, but once they’re over, they’re over. How do we keep this program’s benefits alive after it ends?”
- The program materials and videos are yours to keep. I encourage you to display the posters and continue the daily activities throughout the year. You may even want to repeat the entire program! You can do all of these at no extra cost. The only difference being that the personal support, overview meeting, and video conferencing is only available during the initial four weeks.
- Refill packs of stickers are also available for purchase!
- Through practice, presence and gratitude become not something you have to set aside time to do, but instead a way of life.
- “What if we want to do this program again next school year?”
- Awesome! You can choose to buy a refill pack of stickers and bracelets (and posters, if needed) and run the program on your own. Or you can opt for the full package to ensure you’ve got all the support.
- Repeat schools get a discount on the full package!
Ready to fill your school with peace, joy, respect, and perseverance? It begins within each child.
A quick email (email@example.com) or call/text (314-649-7098) is all it takes to get started with your custom quote!
1This quote’s been attributed to several people including Will Bowen, Yehuda Berg, and Rick Warren. I’m grateful to each of them!