Students are wrapping up their study of Jerry Spinelli's, Stargirl. The eccentric Stargirl performs random acts of kindness every day. Whether it’s sending a card or a note or singing Happy Birthday to someone, cheering for an opponent, or helping another in need, she’s always thinking about other people and what might make them happier or feel better–whether she really knows those people or not. At the end of the book, a Sunflower Club is formed at school as a way to honor Stargirl's memory, and the members pledge to do something nice for someone else each day.
Literature students became honorary members of the Sunflower Club on Monday and assumed the duty of doing something nice for someone each day, whether they really know the person or not. The goal of the project is to do as many creative “acts of kindness” as possible to as many different people as possible. Additionally, they are charged with keeping a reflective blog of all the things they do. On their blogs they are discussing whom they “sunflowered” and providing a short explanation of the thing that was done. Students are also required to add a brief reflection of how it made them feel. Because of the nature of blogging, students are encouraged to comment on others’ blog posts with kind words and support. The mantra of the final project of the year: Be creative. Be thoughtful. Be kind.
Over the last few days, I have seen kindness in many different forms and in many different places. Wednesday, my advising class was ‘Sunflowered’ with balloons and Starbursts - by a student from another room! That same day, an incredibly kind banner, espousing my abilities as a teacher, was secretly attached to my door. Thursday, I witnessed many students offering to help one another in a variety of ways. From lunch table duties to holding doors, they really began to step up. In addition, my ORB class received Tootsie Pops, students passed out kind notes to their classmates at lunch and during seventh period, and lockers were decorated up and down the halls. Today, my fourth period literature students received flowers to brighten their day. Frankly, I love the way the whole atmosphere changes when people are doing good. I am inspired!