My Cardinal Rule Press book, Kindness is a Kite String, ends with this hopeful message:
“Kindness is contagious. When you catch it, pass it on!”
In the two years since the book’s release, I’ve had a wonderful time passing that message on to children in schools around the country. It’s been heart-warming to watch kindness spread.
Schools are working hard to put kindness at the forefront of their mission. Post-Covid, they are also eager to invite authors back in-person to inspire a love of reading and writing. I’ve enjoyed helping schools achieve both of these goals. The positive response from teachers makes me feel like the message of Kindness is a Kite String is making a difference. Here are some of the messages I’ve received:
In Kindness is a Kite String, I show the power of kindness through similes and metaphors. One of the metaphors I use is…
“Kindness is a golden chain that links us one and all.”
I explain to students that we are all links on the chain, and kind deeds connect us and extend the chain.
It’s been heart-warming to see the many ways teachers have kept the kindness chain going post-visit. Some teachers have had students write daily in a kindness journal.
Others have made kindness kites to display in the classroom. When students enact kind deeds, they add them to the kites’ tales. Both of these activities are available in the Readers Guide.
One school in Illinois even selected Kindness is a Kite String as their all-school read. The students made kites displaying the kind deeds they planned to accomplish. On a windy day in November, the entire school headed outside to fly their kites. They celebrated kindness with “unbridled joy,” as one observer put it.
Another metaphor from my book, from which the title is taken, says…
“Kindness is a kite string. Let it out. Watch spirits lift.”
Author visit after author visit, students have shared creative ways they act with kindness in their schools, homes, and communities. My goal in writing this book was to lift the spirits of others with its hopeful message, but seeing empathy in action definitely keeps my own spirit soaring too!
Michelle Schaub is an award-winning children’s author and poet. Her books include Dream Big, Little Scientists, Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections, and Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. Find fun and accessible ways to use poetry in the classroom on Michelle’s blog POETRY BOOST, www.poetryboost.com.Michelle lives in Fort Collins, CO, where she loves finding creative ways to cultivate kindness. Learn more about Michelle at www.michelleschaub.com