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These Kids Know (and Spread) Kindness

The Transitional Kindergarten (TK) class of Tropical Elementary on Merritt Island, known as the Tropical Kingdom, is doing amazing things to show how important it is to be kind. Realizing there is a symbol for peace, love and happiness, TK determined that one is needed for kindness — and that more kindness in our everyday lives can have a radical impact.  

So under the leadership of their teacher, Barbara Wilcox, the class set out to create a national symbol for kindness, believing that seeing the symbol would remind people: See Kindness, Be Kindness. 

First came projects that focused on peace — posters, releasing butterflies, a peace parade, and beach cleanup. Next came kindness cards and providing learning bags to pre-K students. A TK class chart tracks “How Are We Kind?” for themselves and fellow students.

A discussion about how we could all do more to show kindness every day led to the quest to create a kindness symbol. 

 “We felt it was important that if we were going to have a national symbol that people across the nation help decide what it will be,” Wilcox said. “We held a Google vote with four different symbols and received 983 responses from 24 different states, as well as some international.”

The Kindness All Around symbol won, receiving over 52% of votes. 

“These students are going to be the leaders of our nation one day and I want them to grow up with kindness in their hearts and in their actions,” Wilcox said. “They know that when people see the kindness symbol, it will remind them to be kind. They know when people use the kindness symbol, it will help spread the thought of kindness to more people. 

“They are making a difference and that’s powerful knowledge. At 6 years old, they are already on the path of making positive change in the world.”

To encourage recognition of the kindness symbol, TK developed a proclamation and sent it to Brevard County leaders. To date, the Brevard Board of County Commissioners, Brevard Public Schools, Cocoa Beach Chamber of Commerce, Veterans Memorial Center and city councils from Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, and Cocoa have all signed a proclamation recognizing the official Symbol of Kindness. 

To continue to spread awareness and garner support for this service-learning project, TK created an online petition to make their kindness symbol the “National Symbol of Kindness.” This petition has been signed by more than 3,700 people from all 50 states and 14 countries, and counting. 

TK has written letters to family and friends, as well as to the president of the United States, Florida public officials, U.S. legislators, entertainment personalities and the news media, requesting support to make this symbol a National Symbol of Kindness. Their petition signature goal is 100,000 signatures. You can help them meet their goal by signing and sharing the petition:

As student Layla says: “Kindness can’t be stolen, so everybody can be kind in the whole world.” 

— Brevard County School Board

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