HANOVER, Va. — What does kindness mean to you?
Answering that question is just part of the Kindness Passion Project launched in Hanover County Public Schools.
Tamara Letter is not only a Hanover County teacher, but she’s also the author of the book "A Passion for Kindness."
"I'm passionate for kindness," said Letter. “I think it's great when educators can bring their passion into the classroom."
Although she teaches elementary students in Hanover, college professors will also tell you kindness matters.
According to University of California at Berkeley researchers, practicing compassion and kindness can improve health, well-being and relationships — as well as academic achievement.
It's something needed so much that Hanover created a year-long kindness initiative.
They have lessons throughout the year to help students dive a little deeper into understanding what kindness truly means.
“Sometimes kindness is being courageous," said Letter. “Sometimes kindness is being still and silent and listening. And there are a lot of other things that go into being kind in the classroom."
"Today I helped two kids in my class with their laptops," said nine-year-old Alyssa.
"I think it means that you should be nice and talk to others and do things for them."
Kindness is helping others, and yourself.
"When you are kind or you receive it or do it, you have chemicals in your brain that release," said Letter. “They're those feel-good chemicals. Kindness makes you feel good."
As part of the project, students at Mechanicsville and Laurel Meadows Elementary are given money to go and create their own projects of their own design to make the world a better place.
Learning kindness is about building grace, empathy, and yes, even better grades.
A wonderful lesson... that's Building Better Minds.
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