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Children to walk for a kinder world all the way to the moon

Diana Jenkins, October 10, 2021 2:30PM Kids News

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Grace Drewitt, 10, and her dad spread kindness by leaving daffodils on letterboxes and beside cars in her neighbourhood of Silvan, Victoria, to deliver joy during lockdown. Picture: David Caird media_cameraGrace Drewitt, 10, and her dad spread kindness by leaving daffodils on letterboxes and beside cars in her neighbourhood of Silvan, Victoria, to deliver joy during lockdown. Picture: David Caird

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World Kindness Day is fast approaching and Fly High Billie — a charity aiming to empower* children through kindness — is reaching for the moon and stars.

Kids, schools and communities are being challenged to spread small acts of kindness while walking 382,000km together – the distance from Earth to the moon. Fly High Billie’s second annual Walk for a Kinder World starts this Wednesday 13 October and runs for the month leading to World Kindness Day on November 13.

“This year we are heading for the moon … which ties in with the Australian curriculum for the grade 5 unit of work, space,” said Fly High Billie founder Danny Mayson-Kinder. “I think the Walk for a Kinder World event is a wonderful opportunity for children and people in general to not only do something kind for others, but to also look after their own mental health and be kind to themselves.”

media_cameraArndell Anglican College junior school principal Keith Petersen is encouraging all staff and students to participate in the Walk for a Kinder World. Mr Petersen is pictured with a Fly High Billie card, with artwork by Billie Kinder.

Head of Junior School at Arndell Anglican College Keith Peterson said that they were “very keen” to invite all students to participate in the event.

“The event expresses such a beautiful and communal purpose,” he said. “It provides a process that’s very accessible*, with each student able to select the level of their own contribution, to celebrate and to make their own difference from.

“What better way of sharing could there be than to release ‘lockdown’, from so many turning keys, opening every lock to make a giant open door for kindness?”

Head of Junior School at Pymble Ladies’ College (PLC) Kate Brown said she chose to get involved with the Walk for a Kinder World because she was a big believer in the power of kindness.

“I just think now more than ever, with the way the world is, that we need to empower our young children with a sense of voice and hope,” Ms Brown said. “Kindness is something that translates into any language, into every action and every person, whether they’re old, young – wherever you’ve come from, you can choose to be kind.

“Simple acts of kindness have such a significant impact on others but also on your own sense of self, so it’s such a powerful tool, emotion and concept … that we can give to our world each and every day.”

media_cameraYear 6 student Eliza is a Kindness Captain at Sydney’s Pymble Ladies’ College. PLC is “walking to the moon” in support of the Walk for a Kinder World. The school’s Kindness Captains are helping other students co-ordinate their walking and fundraising efforts.

Challenged to walk to England for the inaugural* charity event last year, PLC students ultimately* reached the equivalent of circumnavigating* the globe. Ms Brown said that outstanding result made them wonder what else they could do and how much further they could go.

“Our mission is to help spread kindness throughout the world … why not throughout the entire universe?” she said.

“We study space as part of our curriculum in junior school and they’re fascinated by the whole otherworldliness, so we thought, ‘Let’s launch ourselves to the moon’. Obviously flying into space is high in the news at the moment with some of our billionaires doing it and we thought we would rather launch kindness.

“This is something children can do. I’m really hoping this year that other schools join in. Space is something that captures children’s imagination and the concept of going to the moon is super exciting. Everyone can see the moon, so why not try to walk, swim and run kindness all across that distance? Imagine what a difference that would make to our world.”

media_cameraFly High Billie’s Walk for a Kinder World honours the memory of Billie Kinder, pictured, by encouraging children to spread kindness with every step they take.

Each class in the junior school at PLC has a Kindness Captain, who is elected by her peers. Last term they spent the whole term online, with students swept up in Sydney’s 15-week lockdown.

“Our Kindness Captains were more active than ever,” Ms Brown said. “We were doing Kindness Against Covid. Our theme for term 3 was ‘kindness is my superpower’ so the girls were thinking of ways that we can spread a message of kindness and therefore spread a message of hope through our community.

“Whether that was them helping out at home, surprising parents by laying the table, doing their household chores without being asked, or whether we did messages in a bottle where they upcycled plastic bottles and just dropped them on doorsteps of people they will never know, or see, but they left messages of hope and kindness in these plastic bottles the children had decorated.”

Staff members as well as the 503 students in the junior school will be participating in the month-long walking event. Year 4 Kindness Captain Melanie X said she felt like she was “making a difference”, while Anika V, year 4, said being a Kindness Captain is “a wonderful and special opportunity.”

“I feel really proud to be a Kindness Captain,” Anika said. “We get to do things that are important – we give to others and help them.”

Year 6 student Georgia Y said that she thought the Walk for a Kinder World was “amazing”.

“Not only is it encouraging when you want to reach your goal but also it is something that we can all do together,” she said. “I think that it is important because when you are doing the activities you are exercising and reaching a goal but also you are a part of a really special initiative.”

media_cameraAnika V, year 4, is a Kindness Captain at Pymble Ladies’ College in Sydney. The junior school student body is aiming for the moon by Walking for a Kinder World from now until World Kindness Day on November 13.

Fly High Billie is named for Mayson-Kinder’s 12-year-old daughter Billie, who tragically died in a 2016 equestrian* accident. The charity also runs the annual B Kinder Day each June to spread kindness, empathy and compassion as part of Billie’s legacy, which includes three b kinder workbooks, covering age-appropriate activities to combat bullying and other mental health crises.

“Billie always said ‘If you reach for the moon, even if you don’t make it, you’ll land among the stars’,” Ms Mayson-Kinder said. “So we decided this year’s walk would be to the moon in the hope that we could spread kindness as far as we can and encourage everyone to make the world a kinder place.”

Register at fundraise.flyhighbillie.org/event/walkforkindness/home

Be Kind media_cameraLeaving messages is another way of spreading kindness and hope during your Walk for a Kinder World. These handwritten notes to fellow community members popped up along the fencing at Sydney’s popular Coogee Beach during the city’s extended lockdown. Picture: David Swift

GLOSSARY

  • empower: make someone stronger or more confident
  • accessible: reachable, attainable, not difficult
  • inaugural: marking the beginning or first occasion of something
  • ultimately: finally, eventually, in the end
  • circumnavigating: going right around something
  • equestrian: relating to horse riding

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. What is the distance between Earth and the moon?
  2. What day is celebrated on November 13 each year?
  3. When is Fly High Billie’s annual B Kinder Day?
  4. Last year PLC junior school students walked the equivalent of what distance?
  5. What are two ways PLC students have been spreading kindness through lockdown?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Ways to be kind
Perhaps you, your family or your school will choose to join in the Walk for a Kinder World. But even if you don’t, you can still take on the message and take action to spread kindness. Set a timer for 15 minutes and brainstorm as many ways as you can think of to be kind. Your ideas can include ways to be kind to yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbours, your teachers, your pets, strangers, your community and the Earth.

Display your work in a prominent place at home or school so that you can be reminded of your ideas. See how many of them you can complete and tick off between 13th of October and 13th November.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education; Personal and Social Capability

2. Extension
If 10,000 people join in the Walk for a Kinder World, what is the average distance each participant needs to walk each day to reach the target of walking the distance from the Earth to the moon?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Mathematics

VCOP ACTIVITY
Adjectives
An adjective is a describing word. They are often found describing a noun. To start with look at the words before the nouns.

Search for all the adjectives you can find in the article. Did you find any repeat adjectives or are they all different?

Extension
Pick three of your favourite adjectives from the text and put them in your own sentences to show other ways to use them. Have you used any in your writing?

Extra Reading in civics