How students are spreading kindness in Hanover schools

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Two years ago, Hanover County Schools received a creative classroom grant from the Hanover Education Foundation to implement a year-long kindness initiative called "A Passion for Kindness."

Teacher Tamara Letter couldn't wait to help spread a little love.

“We've been talking about kindness for an entire year," Ms. Letter said, “so by the time we start these projects students have had an opportunity to discuss their feelings, what kindness means to them, and to really go deep into discussing empathy and compassion."

This is the culmination of that year-long effort, shown at a "kindness fair" at Mechanicsville Elementary School in May.

Students created projects; from making board games to give to senior centers; to making cupcakes to deliver to local law enforcement agents.

"When they first start talking about these feelings they are grappling with their own ages and feeling that kindness is all about me and giving to me” says Ms. Letter.  “As the year goes on they see that they can have the same feelings by giving to others."

Being a kid, these days can be tough.  When they hear about horrible things like the shootings at schools in Florida and Texas recently, it can add to their anxiety.

"Students need to know they're loved," Ms. Letter said. "And students need to know that they're valued.  So anytime we have any situation in the world that impacts them in an emotional way they need to know that we're going to be there for them, support them, guide them through any turmoil that comes their way."

It's a way to build kindness by Building Better Minds.

Watch “Building Better Minds” with Rob Cardwell Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Watch “Building Better Minds” Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Watch “Building Better Minds” Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.