The Wichita Eagle
Posted with permission from Tribune Content Agency

After hearing and seeing lots of violence in the news, a fifth grade class in Andover, Kan., is hoping to bring kindness to the lives of others.

"When we saw all the violence on TV and internet, like the shootings, we asked (our teacher) how we could change whats going on in the world," student Justus Dockstadar said in an email. "She said we could always try to change by showing kindness and it could be big or small. So we began to develop the Kindness Project."

The Kindness Project, organized by teacher Shanda Seibel at Prairie Creek Elementary School, has one main goal: Spreading kindness as Little Helpers, Big Heroes.

The students are calling on classes across the country to follow their lead and show kindness to those around them just in time for Valentine's Day.

"They can do something small like show kindness to others or they can do something big like give up their Valentines and give it to someone else who needs it more," the students said in a statement.

To show other classes just how serious they are about being kind, the class chose to give up their Valentine's Day party and instead donate it to Wichita's Littlest Heroes, an organization who helps kids with life-threatening medical conditions. The class hopes to donate 250 Valentine's Day boxes for all the little heroes.

"The number one thing is that we came up with it together," student Sophia Bankston said. "We also came up with idea to help Wichita's Littlest Heroes because one of our classmates missed Valentine's Day because she was fighting cancer."

To help the students spread kindness, the class asks that you use the hashtag "#TheRoadToKindness" each time you do a good deed.

The students also created a list of 100 good deeds that can help spread kindness, including holding the door open for someone you do not know, writing someone a nice letter and taking out the trash for your family.

"We thought we should do something that warms people's hearts and fills up social media with kindness and love," student Lilly Spurlock said.

While the project started in September, Seibel said the class hopes this project never ends.

"My heart is full watching them spread kindness and the empathy they show others," she said. "I truly believe that children can change the world if given a chance. Children are not jaded and my hope is that they continue spread kindness and change the world beyond their 5th grade year."