Summer of Kindness with the Infinite Smile Project
This past summer, we partnered with the Infinite Smile Project, a non-profit dedicated to performing and promoting acts of kindness; to promote being kind to one another in our dance camps. The result of this partnership and the encouragement of kindness proved to be far more rewarding and heartfelt of an experience for the instructors, dancers, and parents involved then anyone could have hoped and intended for. The Infinite Smile Project‘s mission is to ‘ to bring happiness, joy and a more fulfilling life through acts of kindness and a philanthropic spirit…belief that with the consistent presence of kindness and charity in both children and adults we can create a more cohesive community and change our world for the better’.
OC Dance Productions incorporated kindness and ISP’s beliefs into our curriculum by implementing the ‘Summer of Kindness’ campaign over a course of 5 days of dance summer camp. On the first day of camp the ‘Summer of Kindness’ campaign was presented to the camp dancers and parents by the instructor and each dancer was given a ‘kindness bucket’ to decorate. The class then collectively decided on various acts of kindness and nice gestures that they could do in and out of the dance studio, such as helping a dancer with a step or cleaning up one’s room at home. These acts of kindness were written down on a kindness chart and served as a visual guide for everyone to track the dancers’ progress with their kindness acts by adding a star sticker (remember those tiny metallic star sticker charts in grade school?) to the chart as well as onto the kindness giver’s bucket every time an act of kindness was completed. As well, with each completed kindness task, the dancer wrote (or the instructor for the dancer is he/she could not write well yet) onto a colorful sheet of paper what he/she did and clipped it to their bucket on placed inside the bucket. The parents were encouraged to keep their eyes and ears open to their dancer(s) performing acts of kindness around the house and to acknowledge it, this extra motivation could prompt their kid(s) to continue doing these acts of kindness long after camp had ended. It was also OCDP and ISP’s hope that by spreading the idea of being kind to one another, that it would be a step in the right direction in eradicating the bullying epidemic in school and other children to teen environments. On the last day of camp the dancers performed for their parents then received a sparkly kindness wands for all their generous efforts the past week.
It was evident that there was an overwhelming sense of confidence and camaraderie with the camp dancers with their enthusiastic willingness to help one another as well as display that compassion in their homes. The kids felt fulfilled by the response from others with their acts of kindness, and that was enough, it was rewarding to feel confident in themselves and knowing that their parents were proud of their new found or flourished confidence. Many of the parents expressed how this mentality and program is exactly what needs to be implemented more in our community and that is why we want to continually support and share ISP’s efforts. Read an excerpt below on our ‘Summer of Kindness’ Campaign at our city of Rancho Santa Margarita classes, which was published in the Coto Living Magazine this past September.
Although the ‘Summer of Kindness’ Campaign has ended, you and your kid(s) can look forward to other program through ISP that is year long as well as promoting the kindness movement through their storybook ‘Dylan & Delany’s World of Kindness‘. Currently ISP is hosting a Kindness Art Contest in which the entrants (ages 17 and under in the US) are able to draw and submit a storybook character to join Dylan & Delany and not only that but the character will have an associated charity and kindness story. The drawings will be voted on by the public in November and the winner will win $1000 for a college fund or to be donated to their favorite charity. Want to know more about the contest and how your child(ren) can enter? Click here!