World Kindness Week–JSEC Leads Providence In Kindness Campaign

World Kindness Week--JSEC Leads Providence In Kindness Campaign

McKenzie Pizarro, Journalist

November 9-13th was JSEC Kindness Week!  JSEC knocked it out of the park with numerous kindness activities, and the JSEC Cav Chronicle Staff came up with some questions to find out just a little bit more about our own JSEC Kindness Crew that give lots of insight about.  Due to social distancing we sent the following questions to the leader of the Kindness Crew: Ms. Rose Molina.  Upon receiving her responses Ms. Molina made a point to give a
giant shout out to Katie Tewksbury.  our MSW Columbia Intern, who was the leader in carrying out much of the weeks activities/events as Ms. Molina was I am still home in quarantine. She also was able to secure ALL of todays raffle prizes.    Ms. Molina also stressed in a very positive way that with all her honesty, her interns keep me driven and grounded through any trying times we have been through at JSEC. They are so important to me and our work as social workers at the school.
Q1. What has inspired you to continue your acts of kindness?
The Kindness Crew has always vowed to continue our work in kindness as a mission of our school and now as our very own 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We see the vital importance that kindness has in our school, our community, and especially now during these trying times, in our world. These last few months through the pandemic we have seen the results of trauma, isolation and loss of our school community. There is fear surrounding people and many have lost loved ones.  I think this kindness campaign has continued to inspire us to be creative and think outside the box to continue our traditions of spreading kindness, highlighting kindness,  and bringing kindness into our school and greater community. 
 
Q2. What type of events took place today and this year so far?
This year we returned to school missing our Senior Class and leaders of our Kindness Crew. We had to think quickly to recruit new members, contact our current members,  and find the best way to continue our communications and work in kindness. Of course, with the many barriers of Covid this took us some time, but without a doubt we made it happen!
 
We have been able to carry out our kindness waves per usual. Our first wave included welcoming our new secondary network team members who now share the building with us. We surprised them with mini pumpkins, a sweet note,  and a JSEC Kindness bracelet. We then carried out some community Kindness Waves by showering the parking lots of Mary Fogarty Elementary School, Roger Williams Middle School, PPSD Registration Center, Young Woods Elementary school and Broad Street Elementary school with our famous Kindness post-its to welcome teachers and staff to their cars at the end of their work day. 

We have completed Kindness waves for our amazing maintenance staff, our lunch/cafeteria crew, our office and secretarial staff and for our entire teaching staff at JSEC thus far.  We have also helped with weekly Human Kindness Recognition awards with recognition and announcements, a certificate,  and a Kindness Crew bracelet.  Today we held our annual World Kindness Day Celebration.  We had to think outside of the box, because of Covid requirements, but we are grateful to have permission with review from our Administration to continue with the celebration.  Friday’s Kindness festivities included:

*KINDNESS RAFFLES: all students and staff got one raffle ticket as a complimentary gift to win some amazing prizes!
(all brought to you by our amazing SW intern Katie)

*KINDNESS WHEEL: Students were able to have the kindness wheel spun for them at lunch to win fun prizes including gourmet candy apples, chocolate covered pretzels and Oreos and can prizes. (all individually wrapped and handled with gloves) 
*LUNCH TIME CELEBRATION: The lunch room was transformed into a kindness wonderland with balloons, streamers and posters with the best kindness quotes and affirmations. We played music and visited each table with the fun! (covid requirements) One of our proudest projects we launched today was our
*KINDNESS CREW ELEMENTARY READINGS PROGRAM. We sent out the invitation to elementary schools throughout the Providence district and even received requests from the Warwick, East Providence and many private school districts for our Kindness Crew to read to their classrooms. We are so humbled by the support and interest.  Our Kindness Crew members: Mia Fields, McKenzie Pizarro, Shania E, Noel Torres and Gineris Castillo were reading rock stars! They read to over 100 students from 4 different PPSD schools!  They did this all virtually. We look forward to continuing this program with weekly readings throughout the remainder of the school year, with the hopes to one day visiting schools in person as we did before! We are also hosting in collaboration with the Community Development Program.
*THE JSEC TURKEY-GIVING. We had a great donation made by Edward Brady, Cranston City Councilman,  and owner of Thirsty Beaver Restaurant, who donated 30 Turkey’s. Now as a community we are hoping to gather enough side dishes and condiments to make each turkey into a whole thanksgiving dinner for 30 JSEC families. 
Q3. Do you accept donations and if so what type of donations do you accept to help fund your acts of kindness?
We sure do and are so appreciative of them as we start up as our own business with business goals! 
We will be opening our very own bank account and able to accept checks and money orders. For now we are able to accept cash-app and Venmo.  All donations are considered as a tax free donation and may be written off on a person’s or companies taxes.  
Q4. How has the hybrid/distant learning effected what you can/can’t do or have/haven’t done so far this year?
The biggest effect it has had is keeping contact with our Kindness Crew Members. We are missing so many former Kindness Crew Members from either being in distance learning or remote learning  which limits their involvement in events and activities.  We ask anyone who is interested or formerly a part of our Kindness Crew to please reach out to Miss Molina @ [email protected] WE MISS YOU DEARLY! WE NEED YOU! 
Q5. What outside of JSEC activities/initiatives have the Kindness Crew done or are planning on doing this year?
Our biggest goal for this year is to launch a KICKSTARTER business fundraiser to raise funds for The Kindness Crew to purchase their own screen printing software and products to make our own Kindness Merchandise! We hope this will allow for paid stipends for students and further fundraising opportunities to raise money to continue things like kindness waves and kindness celebrations that all cost money. 

We continue to work closely with the Providence Mayor Elorza, in his initiative to make Providence a kinder city and we have our fingers crossed that the PVD Fest will occur this year,  allowing for us to platform our work with 1,000 acts of kindness and continue community building. 

We hope to host our very own *”KIND BLOCK PARTY’ this spring which was in the planning stages right before the pandemic broke out last March.   Our goal is to unite our communities through kindness as a foundation and build collaborations with systems and organizations right here in our community! 

In February 2021, The Center for Resilience with release a jointly made video highlighting random acts of kindness with a fun community challenge around completing acts of kindness! This has been a work in progress with current JSEC Kindness Crew members and Alumni of the Kindness Crew. This is super exciting!

 

Q6. Approximately how many Kindness Crew members are there and if possible can you send a list of their names so we can place it in the article?
This year our active members have included:
*Mia Fields
*McKenzie Pizzaro 
*Gineris Castillo
*Noel Torres 
*Jeff (senior) 
*Jalaylah (gotta get last name) 
*Ariani Rodriguez 
*Shania E 
Wrapping up this interview we want to “THANK” the Kindness Crew for all that they have done, continue to do, and are planning to do in the future.  Kindness seems to be the pulse/heartbeat of our school and through trial, turmoil, disease, obstacles, pitfalls, stress, and chaos, it kindness always seems to persevere and keep us moving forward.  It has served as a trailblazer of sorts, and it is felt by all JSEC stakeholders, students, parents,administrators,  teachers, and community members. If JSEC had a heart we know the Kindness Crew would be in the center!