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Kindness Sprouting At Hawley School



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Hawley Elementary School celebrated kindness throughout the month of December with the help of an inspiring book.

Hawley Principal Christopher Moretti explained on December 13 that for the whole month, the school’s Kindness Committee, headed by language arts consultant Patti Vitarelli, was overseeing lessons, activities, and book readings.

For the month, a Kindness Cart was shared from classroom to classroom. The cart included a copy of the book The Power of One, Every Act of Kindness Counts, by author Trudy Ludwig and illustrator Mike Curato. When the cart came to fourth grade teacher Madeline Tatto’s classroom on December 13, she pulled out the copy of the book.

While her students sat at their desks, Tatto told them that she would read the book to them, then there were activities to complete and other independent reading books to select from the cart for the students. There was also a warm electric pot of hot cocoa ready for her to pour one cup for each student to enjoy while reading.

“One after all is the starting point for change,” Tatto began reading.

A description for the book reads, “When one child reaches out in friendship to a classmate who seems lonely, she begins a chain reaction of kindness that ripples throughout her school and her community. One kind act begets another, small good deeds make way for bigger ones, and eventually the whole neighborhood comes together to build something much greater than the sum of its parts.”

As part of Kindness Month at Hawley, Moretti said students were tracking the kind acts they complete and filling charts, which are all on display in the school’s hallways. Kind acts are also being recorded on a paper flowerpot on display on a wall near the school’s library. As the kind acts have been growing, the plant has been expanding to include each new leaf, which records a kind act.

Moretti also said the school’s PTA sold Ben’s Bells Kindness Coins and the students are thinking up ways to distribute them throughout the Newtown community.

Kindness Month at Hawley typically concludes with a full-school assembly to celebrate kindness. With ongoing pandemic protocols, the school will instead host a virtual event with each class participating from within its designated classroom.

Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck can be reached at eliza@thebee.com.

Hawley fourth grade teacher Madeline Tatto reads to her students on December 13. —Bee Photos, Hallabeck
A paper flowerpot is on display outside Hawley’s library. The stems grow as new leaves are added, with a kind act recorded on each flower.
The entire Hawley community is reading The Power of One, Every Act of Kindness Counts, by author Trudy Ludwig and illustrator Mike Curato in the month of December.
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