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Book of the Month

This school year, each Book of the Month will focus on different acts or forms of kindness and our activities will focus on having students reflect on how our actions, both big and small, can create positive effects across different communities and groups of people. Our ultimate goal is to create the time and space for meaningful conversations and reflection.
 
We can continue these conversations even after we've moved on from the activities. At home, you can watch the read-aloud videos together (click any book cover below), ask questions about the activities completed in school, and create the space for your own family discussions and reflections. Our children learn by watching what we do every day so keeping kindness, towards ourselves and others, at the forefront of our daily lives will reinforce the messages in each of these stories!
September
Family is a special thing, and family isn’t always just your relatives. Family can be those you love and who love you, the people who would do anything for you and love you no matter what. This heartwarming story helps little ones understand the special bond between their classroom family–and that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s ok to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others. Now more than ever, no matter where that ‘classroom’ might be, it’s important that students understand the message that their class is a family.
book cover with school house and students standing in front of it
October
This is the story of a circle. When we're first born, our circle is very small, but as we grow and build relationships, our circle keeps getting bigger and bigger to include family, friends, neighbors, community, and beyond. Brad Montague originally created Circles as an Instagram video adorably narrated by his kids, and now this picture book adaptation is the perfect way to start a conversation about how to expand our worlds with kindness and inclusivity—even if it seems scary or uncomfortable. 
 
Book cover with a little boy drawing circles around himself
 
two students holding a bag of socks
Our school joined the "Socktober" movement and spent the month of October collecting socks to donate to the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless
 
November
Join the fun as "K_nd" goes on an adventure to find his missing "i." Along the way, he meets a diverse group of children who learn what it means to share their kindness through everyday actions both big and small. Whether helping someone who's hurting, pitching in to protect our planet, allowing others to go first, or learning to share, this engaging story will spark conversations at home and in the classroom about the concepts of kindness, empathy, and compassion. This book will encourage children to bring kindness along wherever they go. 
 
 
book cover 3 children holding different pieces of loose leaf paper. 1 like a paper airplane, 1 like a bird, 1 like a hat
students and teachers creating fleece blankets
 
We hosted a school-wide event where families joined us in reading "Will You be the I in Kind?" and then worked with the students to create 60 fleece blankets! These blankets were then donated to a nearby animal rescue.
 
December
A child in a yellow slicker takes a big, friendly red umbrella out on a rainy day.  This umbrella helps everyone stay dry, no matter if they are tall, hairy, plaid, or have four legs.  It likes to gather people (and other creatures) in and give them shelter.  “Some people worry that there won’t be enough room under the big umbrella.  But the amazing thing is, there is always room.”  On the final page, the sun has come out, and the umbrella has expanded to cover an entire park.
 
 
book cover with a Big red umbrella and someone underneath it
 
red umbrella with avatars underneath
 
Students created their own version of themselves to put under the Big Umbrella because "there's always room" for all of us. On the raindrops, students wrote ways they can be more inclusive!
 
January
Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.
 
 
book cover two children walking down the street
 
paper snowflakes on the lobby wall
 
Students reflected on what makes them a good friend or ally and created snowflakes listing all of those traits. Each snowflake is a unique and beautiful reminder that it's "snow" cool to be... kind, funny, brave, helpful, respectful, caring, fun, loyal, trustworthy AND SO MUCH MORE!  
 
February

One day Minna’s teacher asks each of her little bunny students to “celebrate kindness with a do-and-draw-and-share” project. When Minna gets home she tells her family about the new project and she soon discovers that her biggest problem is not what should she do but how should she manage all the things that she does. Minna discovers that doing acts of kindness is contagious. For every kind act that she does or that is done to her, Minna makes a drawing. Soon Minna has a whole collection of drawings of acts of kindness. How is she supposed to pick out one of them when they are all special? In the end Minna makes a quilt of her pictures and her work of art inspires her class that soon a quilt of acts of kindness is spreading across her classroom wall. This charming picture book will inspire school children to create kindness quilts of their own. In so doing they will realize how their lives are full of acts of kindness and that both giving and receiving kindnesses makes life truly special for us all.

book cover a rabbit with square fabrics
March
Little Clara enjoys painting cute messages on rocks and leaving them for people to read. One day a turtle feeling down and out passes by Clara's house. Upon seeing the messages on the rocks he is rejuvenated and rushes home to share the messages with his friends. This is not your typical rock, mineral or stone picture book, but rather a heartwarming tale that seeks to teach children that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Spreading kindness and positivity one painted rock at a time.
 
book cover little girl drawing on a rock
 
 
 
The story is about a gray stone that believes his purpose is to make others happy. Being chosen to become a paper weight feels like a mistake. “This just can’t be my skill,” Stone says. But then…he meets some new friends that love to splatter and scribble paper with their bright colors, lines, and designs. It doesn’t take long before Stone realizes how he can make others happy. He’s on a mission to become something greater and in the process meets scribble and splatter and they all come up a creative way to bring joy to thousands of people.
 
book cover cartoon stones in a pile
 
April
Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send a care package of cookies to her grandson Lionel in Mexico. The cookies give Lionel an idea, and his idea inspires a student, who in turn inspires a ballet troupe in England! And so the good feelings that started with Amelia’s smile make their way around the world, from a goodwill recital in Israel, to an impromptu rumba concert in Paris, to a long-awaited marriage proposal in Italy, to a knitted scarf for a beloved niece back in New York. Putting a unique spin on "what goes around comes around," David Ezra Stein’s charmingly illustrated story reminds us that adding even a small dose of kindness into the world is sure to spur more and more kindness, which could eventually make its way back to you!
 
 
book cover adults walking down the straight one girl sitting on an adults shoulders
 
 
One ordinary day, Ordinary Mary stumbles upon some ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, her thoughtful act starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others—one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage—one of whom is Maria, who then helps five other people—and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary.
 
book cover little girl with brown hair
 
 
May
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. The Power of One not only conveys a message of kindness, it offers concrete steps that kids can take to make a difference in their own communities. As Trudy says in the final line of the book: "Acts and words of kindness DO count, and it all starts with ONE."
 
book cover little girl in yellow dress holding a flower