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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Random Acts of Kindness

Any amount of time spent watching, reading or listening to the news can make you really appreciate the value of random acts of kindness. Whether the gesture is big or small, random acts of kindness offer lots of benefits to both those who give and those who receive. There’s happiness to be found in sharing a book, creating and hiding painted rocks or volunteering to watch the class pet. It doesn’t matter what the act of kindness is, just as long as it comes from the heart.

Editors Jaclyn Rosansky and Kim Carpenter collaborate on their experiences with acts of kindness. Jaclyn discusses finding painted rocks and Kim recounts her time visiting family in Kentucky and her niece’s time with a class pet.

Hidden Gems

The concept of painting and hiding rocks for others to find is a great and creative way to bring a smile to someone’s day. I became curious about this activity after venturing to Mullins Park (Coral Springs, FL). Painted rocks kept popping up left and right. On the back of each rock was a request to share it with a rock painting group on Facebook. Upon checking the online group, photo after photo of painted rock each with its own personality and flair appeared. At the top of the page was a message for the group to find some rocks, paint them and hide them and then share photos or leave hints of where to find them.

Painted rocks found at Primrose Park in Wellington, FL (on left) and Mullins Park in Coral Springs, FL (on right). (Photos by Jen Oms and Jaclyn Rosansky)

And so, my own rock painting began. I began painting rocks in my spare time and sharing information with family members. It was agreed that painting rocks could be therapeutic. Some of my coworkers also joined in and we inspired each other with our designs and vibrant color choices. For some of us, painting rocks has been inspired by the holiday season. Trees, benches, and boulders became favorite hiding spots for the rocks. Hearing a burst of excitement when someone finds your creation is the best part just because it made that person’s day a little bit brighter.

Rock painting precedes social media. One woman who was hiding her creations at Mullins Park said she had been painting and hiding rocks since the 1970s. But the movement has really gained momentum over time. There are numerous online groups dedicated to sharing rocks that have been painted, hidden and found to make getting involved easier than ever.

Visit The Kindness Rocks Project to view painted rocks within the online community for inspiration and share your own painted rocks.

–Jaclyn Rosansky

Little Free Library

Each year I visit my family in Kentucky. During my trip last year, I enjoyed a day at Smother’s Park in downtown Owensboro. It’s a large park with a playground overlooking the Ohio River. I noticed a swarm of people around a small wooden box full of books. It was a Little Free Library. Parents were selecting books and the children were sitting around it in a circle reading to each other. I thought it was such a wonderful idea so I Googled it and found them all over the country. I’ve even noticed painted rocks hiding inside the library boxes in my community.

Holiday Park little library in Fort Lauderdale, FL (on left) and Owensboro, Kentucky little library (on right) (Photos by Jaclyn Rosansky and Kim Carpenter)

It’s important to incorporate random acts of kindness in your own community. Exchanging books with your neighbors is a great way to start. With the Little Free Libraries, you can share your appreciation for reading and promote literacy in your own neighborhood. They can be placed anywhere.

Explore Little Free Library for more information and building instructions. Check out the map to see if you have one nearby, or build and register your very own for your community.

Class Pet

A classroom pet is another great way to share kindness. Having students take home the class pet during the weekend is also a great way to teach respect and responsibility. Hermit crabs, hamsters or bearded dragons are all great choices.

A perfect example is a preschool my 5-year-old niece Addison attends. She brought home her classroom hermit crabs named Butterfly and Star and she even explained to me how to care for them.

Addison Cohen with hermit crabs Butterfly and Star (Photo by Kim Carpenter)

Check out Pets in the Classroom for a list of benefits, download lesson plans for incorporating pets into your classroom and you can even apply for their grant program.

–Kim Carpenter

Whether in your community or classroom, kindness is contagious, so remember to pass it on!

Thank You, Teachers and Librarians

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on what and who we are grateful for, but it also reminds us that expressing our thanks should happen year-round. Gratitude, after all, has numerous health benefits, including improved physical and psychological health. Expressing gratitude also has the ability to improve someone else’s well-being. Unfortunately, teachers and librarians rarely get the recognition they deserve.

Only 29% of teachers said that they had received recognition or praise for their work within the last seven days.

According to a Gallup employee engagement poll, only 29% of teachers said that they had received recognition or praise for their work within the last seven days. When recognition does finally arrive, it usually happens during the last days of the school year, before summer recess. Teachers and librarians work hard all year long. Recognition shouldn’t be limited to the last day of school.

At ProQuest, we recognize teachers and librarians for who they truly are: heroes. From all of us at ProQuest, thank you to teachers and librarians for your service and dedication. And Happy Thanksgiving!

How do you show gratitude? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @ProQuest or in the comments below.

We Are ProQuest: What We’re Thankful For

 

Happy Thanksgiving from the ProQuest Team

Photo credit: kennymatic / Foter / CC BY

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, turkey-induced comas, long weekends, and of course, a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for in the past year. For this edition of our We Are ProQuest feature, our editors share what they’re grateful for this holiday season.

“I’m thankful for my family (which includes my pets), my friends, my job and my co-workers, my house and the community I live in, and most of all my health, which allows me to enjoy all of the other blessings I have. In October, I celebrated 10 years as a breast cancer survivor!”—Becky Beville

“I’m thankful for my family.”–Michelle Brault

“I’m thankful for having incredible friends and family. I’m thankful for the wonderful opportunities I have at work. And I’m also thankful for all the Black Friday deals I will be taking advantage of this year.”–Kim Carpenter

“I am thankful for wonderful family and friends and the Florida sunshine.”–Ilana Cohen

“Although I may not have everything I want, I have everything I need, and for that, I am grateful.”–Jennifer Genetti

“I am thankful for my wonderful husband and my two beautiful children, who surprise me with how much they learn every day. And I am thankful for my loving parents and my brother who are all such wonderful people.”—Jennifer Oms

“I’m grateful for many blessings–my home, job, health, coworkers, friends, and family. I’m especially grateful for my Mom who just moved near me after 20 years of being in separate states.”—Christie Riegelhaupt

“I am thankful for friends who have been like family, an amazing first year in Boca Raton with the best team, gorgeous weather, and the ever-lovely cortadito.”—Juliana Rorbeck

“I’m thankful for my family and friends, especially that they are all healthy.”—Jaclyn Rosansky

“I am thankful for weekends at the beach with my dogs, Loki and Scooby.”—Amy Shaw

“I am grateful for every day that I can see and feel the love and positivity in the world, and for each day that I am hopeful and happy. (I’m working toward being grateful for the days I am not those things.) I am thankful every day for my daughter, and for her wisdom and compassion. She certainly helps me in the hopefulness and happiness departments.”—Michelle Sneiderman

“I’m thankful for good health, a growing family (more grandchildren!!!) and beautiful Florida weather. I am also extremely thankful for a Chicago Cubs World Series Championship!”—Kathy Starzyk

“I am thankful for good health, good people, good food, good books, and good days.”—Jeff Wyman

What are you thankful for? Share with us! Comment below or tweet us using #ProQuest.

All the Things That Are Difficult to Discuss

This was supposed to be a blog post on human trafficking and slavery. In honor of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Preventing Month, I put together the January Spotlight of the Month on this topic, using materials available to students and teachers on SIRS Knowledge Source. Although I had done the research and felt I had a handle on this emotional and challenging content, I still was feeling ill-prepared to write a blog post about it.

My apprehension got me to thinking…how would I one day talk with my 10-year-old daughter about this complicated issue? We have pretty intense discussions about human history and difficult events, but have we discussed human trafficking and slavery?

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Then I remembered…this horrific topic was broached very delicately in her classroom last year. And it’s come up again this year in her Model UN discussions at school. Not in great detail, of course, but enough so that she is aware that human slavery is a modern-day reality, not just one of the tragic truths of U.S. history.

She learned about this issue in school, from a seasoned professional, with proper context and adult support.

So this blog post is a heartfelt THANK YOU to all teachers for navigating countless emotional and demanding discussions in the classroom about events and issues that touch all of our lives.

My daughter has come home from school knowledgeable and talking about the Holocaust, slavery, terrorism, poverty, hunger, war, lack of education in many parts of the world and contemporary women’s rights issues. She has been a part of classroom discussions on divorce, bullying, and death. I have been fortunate to be in her classroom for a few of these conversations. I’ve admired the aptitude with which her teachers directed the dialogue, and have observed the benefits of having a peer community surrounding you when developing an understanding of new and challenging concepts and ideas.

My daughter and I have talked about these issues, too–sometimes before they are discussed in the classroom, sometimes after. Sometimes both. And I am always thankful for my ability to help my daughter understand and integrate these complexities of life.

Today, I am so grateful for the teachers who have done the same.

Heroic Librarians

“Librarians are the coolest people out there doing the hardest job out there on the frontlines. And every time I get to encounter or work with librarians, I’m always impressed by their sheer awesomeness.” ― Neil Gaiman

All librarians are heroes to me, and with Thanksgiving approaching, I thought I would share my top ten list of amazing real-life librarians who have enriched our world. (If you can’t view the list below in your browser, you can also view it on Playbuzz.)

Who is your Super Hero Librarian?

Is there a librarian you are thankful for? Feel free to share with us in comments section below!