September 2018


Special Kindness Week Edition

September 2018

Paula Kellerer
My gramma was a storyteller. She was trained as a teacher and taught in a one-room schoolhouse on the Eastern Colorado prairie. It was there that she met my grandfather, a widower with two sons. They eventually married and ended up raising three sons, the third being my father. After the boys were raised, my grandfather passed away and Gramma never remarried. So, our family was blessed with her presence frequently – long weekends, family camping trips, road trips, etc. Because I was the only girl in our family, Gramma and I spent a lot of time together, sharing the full-sized bed in my room, in the camper or in the hotel room if we were traveling.

She loved to spin a great story, especially at bedtime, and all of her grandchildren were very familiar with her favorite characters – Billy, Johnny and Fido. It would start something like this….

Once upon a time there was a little black-and-white dog with a wiggly-waggly tail, four pittery-pattery paws, two flippy-floppy ears and a little black nose, and his name was FIDO! Fido had two owners who loved him very much and their names were Billy and Johnny. Now one day…

She would expertly create the context, connecting their experience to our experiences. If we were camping, Billy, Johnny and Fido would be exploring the woods or fishing at the lake; if we were on the coast, they might be exploring the beach and discovering amazing seashells or chasing crabs; if we were at home, the three characters might be playing in the yard, exploring the creek that ran behind our house, or doing their chores.

Although I am not sure, it is possible that the two boys were modeled after her own sons and Fido was a memory of a dog the family raised on their homestead in Eastern Colorado. Whatever the origin of the characters, the character development of the three main leads (yes, even Fido) was clear and consistent throughout the years of stories – they were kind, considerate and always polite. They reflected her hopes and dreams for each of her grandchildren.

Billy, Johnny and Fido would notice the needs of others and find ways to participate in their lives. They would mow the lawn of the lady down the street, they would notice the little boy who didn’t have any friends to play with, they would give up their allowance to support a family in need, they would apologize when they were wrong, they would bring Mom breakfast in bed for her birthday, they would make cookies for their teacher, they would … You get it – they were amazing young boys who represented the best in all of us. They used polite words, they looked for ways to help others and they were grateful for the opportunities they found to spread kindness.

Kindness. The Nampa School District is taking time during the week of September 23-29 to focus on kindness. We invite you to join us as well, making this a community effort to live and model the very best within each of us. Although kindness is not something we pursue only one week a year, we do want to elevate this trait throughout our community in this week we have designated as Kindness Week.

Working with several community partners, our schools and district have planned events that focus on kindness. You will see T-shirts, reader boards, school-based events, hashtags, and more highlighting kindness. Come join us. Or create your own ways of demonstrating kindness to those around you – look for those who need encouragement, mow that lawn, share those cookies or whatever makes sense for you. On Saturday, join us in supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Ford Idaho Center as we celebrate kindness as a community.

In this world of choices, choose to be kind. This week and every week. #2CKindness.

- Dr. Paula Kellerer

Kindness Week Highlights

Guided by student leaders, teachers and administrators, schools across the district have a full slate of activities planned to recognize Kindness Week, including dress up days, service opportunities, Kindness Bingo, writing encouraging messages for each other, and more. If you’d like to order a Be Kind T-shirt to wear during the week, contact the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa.

Here are just a few specific examples of Kindness Week activities in the works:

• At Roosevelt Elementary School, community members including police officers, firefighters and the mayor will form a tunnel down the hallway and wave to and encourage kids as they walk through.

• At West Middle School students will learn the art of the apology, learn how social media affects real life and break down different types of teasing.

• At Lake Ridge Elementary School, kids will rise to daily challenges such as inviting someone new to play with them, helping a younger student or learning something new about someone else.

• At the District Office, employees will read to children at a local elementary school, sponsor a food drive, serve lunch at the Nampa Senior Center and paint and hide encouraging messages for Nampa Rocks.

We encourage you to find your own way to express kindness next week and look forward to seeing you at the Ford Idaho Center on Sept. 29.