Real Acts of Caring Week could soon be in schools from coast to coast thanks to a website and contest promoting the School District 43 program where people do something nice without being asked or recognized.
Harriette Chang, a skill development teacher at Banting middle school in Coquitlam, said districts from as far away as Ontario have contacted her for RAC ideas and some of her leadership students have emailed every superintendent in B.C. about the program.
“What can we do to get kids to feel confident about themselves and what they are doing?” said Chang, who said RAC fits with a new curriculum that promotes communication, critical thinking and social responsibility.
Chang started RAC week — first known as RAK, for Random Acts of Kindness — in 2006 at Port Coquitlam's Central elementary and the program has since spread to elementary, middle and secondary schools across SD43 as well as other districts in B.C. This year, she expects hundreds of students to hand out flowers, distribute baked goods, read to the elderly and do other nice things for people in their community.
Some politicians will learn about RAC, too, because a proclamation will be read out for RAC week Feb. 11 to 17 in the B.C. legislature and students will be doing a presentation at Coquitlam city council.
People who ride the ferry will also get a taste of Real Acts of Caring Week when students heading to Victoria for the proclamation will be handing out flowers and baked goods on the journey.
There’s also a contest with a $100 prizes for the best photo and story about RAC.
“RAC really promotes inclusion, which is something we’re trying to do in a big way, like RACing another class or when somebody is feeling down, doing something to make them feel happier,” said Chang, who said kindness stimulates the brain in a positive way and builds relationships among people.
“When kids start to do these kind things, they feel good about what they have done, it boosts their self-esteem. They will start treating people differently because they are feeling good,” she said.
• For more information about RAC, contact Harriette Chang at email@example.com or via www.realactsofcaring.org.