Lunch lady makes awesome cart to help boy with dwarfism

The experiences we have in school tend to stick with us throughout our lives. It is a significant time when small acts of kindness, encouragement and inspiration go a long way.

Welcoming and inclusive schools, classrooms and teachers support student development and help them prepare for a positive and engaging journey in life.

Here are three of our favorite daily actions that spread benevolence on campus:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to get fifth graders moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles who wants to use pickleball to get his students to “move around the playground again after 15 months of learning zombies at home.”

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use sturdy paddles to strike a perforated plastic ball over a net. It’s that simple.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low income neighborhood where there is minimal outdoor space for children to roam around. Mark’s goal is to set up a couple of pickleball courts in the schoolyard and engage the kids in what is quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all of his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20 minutes of physical education allocated each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students out, exercise, learn to cooperate and have fun by donate to your GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Keep Calm: Regulatory Kits for Kids

According to WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the United States, 1 in 5 adults suffers from a mental illness and 1 in 20 suffers from a serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one such person and has endured severe anxiety, depression and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her “knowledge to inspire and help others along their mental health journey and to spread positive, factual awareness.”

She has put together regulation kits (which she herself has used) that teachers can use with students who suffer from stress and anxiety. Each “CALM-ing” kit includes a two-minute timer, toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya’s GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where they live.

To help Kaiya reach her goal, visit Keep Calm: Regulatory Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, Calif., Who hopes to raise enough money to create a library of Spanish lessons.

The school is located in a low income area, and although its students come from Spanish speaking homes, they need help developing their fluency, confidence and vocabulary by reading books in Spanish that will really interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms the cultural heritage of her students will allow them to discover the pleasure of reading, to learn new things about the world and to be supported in their university future.

To support Julie’s GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do you have a fundraising idea that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe celebrate ideas that make the world a better and kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the biggest human kindness collaboration in history and create your own GoFundMe.

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