Scavenger hunts are cool.
Also, according to a Westport student-parent initiative, it’s “kool” to be kind.
This week, a “Kool To Be Kind Scavenger Hunt” gives parents and children a chance to have fun, learn about Westport and kindness, and bond in the process.
Kool To Be Kind — a year-old project initiated by mothers/professionals Cindy Eigen, Lynne Goldstein, Sarah Green and Melissa Shein — promotes kindness and compassion at an early age by training high school students to act as mentors and role models to elementary schoolers.
It’s being piloted in all 3rd grade classes at Long Lots and Coleytown Elementary Schools. Staples students — trained by K2BK — lead interactive lessons promoting kindness, empathy and the creation of anti-bullying allies.
The children just finished the 2nd of 5 lessons. Now they’re “hunting for kindness.”
They and their high school mentors created posters, which have been posted in 40 stores throughout Westport. A scavenger hunt for the posters starts tomorrow (Monday, January 16), and runs through Sunday (January 22).
The plan is for parents to help their kids use scavenger hunt cards to find the posters –and then discuss what they’ve found. If a poster says “Ally Power Rules,” a parent might initiate a discussion of the word “ally.” Hopefully, that will reinforce ideas the youngsters got from their K2BK lessons in school.
Once a child locates a poster, he or she will be given a sticker by a store employee. The class that gets the most stickers will earn a prize.
Nearly 4 dozen Staples students interviewed for spots as K2BK mentors. They thought they’d be teaching children, but they’ve also learned a lot themselves.
“They see their high school world through different lenses now. They seem changed in the process,” the K2BK founders say.
The scavenger hunt may also spread awareness throughout the community. Customers will see the posters hanging in windows or on walls. Owners will hand out K2BK fliers to anyone who asks about them.
“It’s simple,” the K2BK leaders say. “Being empathetic, nice and inclusive is what high school kids think is Kool. Being the opposite is not.
“If 3rd graders get the message, spread it to the rest of their school, and bring it home to their siblings and parents and then out to the community, we are doing our little bit to stop bullying and promote ‘ally power.'”
The founders have one other hope: that the scavenger hunt “will encourage everyone in the community to commit random acts of kindness, and pay it forward as much as possible.”