Archive for May, 2013

Promise Monsters

Friday, May 17th, 2013

5-17-13A unique idea was presented to me for getting kids to perform kind acts. Michael Bogan, co-founder of Promise Monsters sent me the following information of their upcoming launch:

Promise Monsters is a line of plush monsters, manufactured in the USA (Indianapolis), that spread sneaky acts of kindness. Every Promise Monster comes with a Monster Mission – a fun and sneaky act of kindness for kids to complete. When the kid completes his kind mission,  Promise Monsters mails him a reward! Promise Monsters are sold at independent retail locations and online

Through Kickstarter – the popular crowdfunding platform – Promise Monsters aims to create a new monster, Albert, and all new kind missions. Rewards for backers of the project include the monster himself, Albert; donations of monsters to Riley Hospital for Children; picking the kind acts to be included with the monsters; and even the chance to have a backer’s drawing made into a Promise Monster.

Santa Rosa, California

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

5-16-13See Something! Say Something! This is the rallying cry of students and teachers at Luther Burbank Elementary School when it comes to bullying. Principal Julian Szot invited me to visit some of his classrooms at this K-6 school. I stopped there to drop off information on the ROCK ride, I hadn’t been gone for more than 30 minutes,  when the school called and asked me to come back for a visit. I love when this happens.
Talking with students, 30-40 at a time, in a classroom setting, is like having individual conversations with all of them. It has the highest degree of possible effectiveness. As one of the teachers put it, “Just keep showing kids positive messages, as often as we all can.”
Thank you to everyone for making this last minute visit take place.

Bee Kind

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

5-15-13The town of Sebastopol, California was mentioned to me a handful of times over the past few weeks. People highly recommended I come here, all of them were right.
This town is plain and simple, kind. Conversations come easy and people are as welcoming as can be. It’s as if something is in the water.
Visiting two local schools was a joy, talking with front office personnel and parents who happened to be visiting during my stay led to longer conversations about bullying. Two of the parents had seen me riding in Sebastopol yesterday. The students at Park Side Elementary School were working on a huge art project in the front hall, they loved seeing The Kindness Bicycle parked out front.
Thank you to CJ and Lisa for arranging such a beautiful place to park overnight, with a view of the mountains in the distance.

Community Matters

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
5-14-13The Kindness Bus Tour, like life, always unfolds just how it was meant to.
In researching the town of Sebastopol, California for my visit here, I never realized that Community Matters makes their home here. I had to make sure it was my first stop today. This organization’s program is in over 1,000 schools nationwide and is having a huge impact in stopping bullying.
Their Safe School Ambassador program is at the core of how they help students become the first line of defense. The description below is right off of their

At its core, the Safe School Ambassadors program is an “inside-out” approach to improving school climate, one that relies on social norms change and the power of students to help stop bullying and violence. Student bystanders see, hear, and know things adults don’t, can intervene in ways adults can’t and are often on the scene of an incident before an adult. They are a critical and under-utilized resource for positively impacting the crisis of bullying in our schools.

The Safe School Ambassadors program engages and mobilizes these bystanders, but not just any bystanders. The program harnesses the power of the socially-influential leaders of a school’s diverse cliques, the ones who shape the social norms that govern other students’ behavior. These “Alpha” leaders are carefully identified through student and staff surveys. They are selected based upon specific criteria, such as: strong position and influence in their peer group, good communication skills, and a history of standing up for friends. They participate in a two-day interactive training along with several adults who serve as program mentors. The training gives student Ambassadors the motivation and skills to resolve conflicts, defuse incidents, and support isolated and excluded students. After the training, small group meetings of Ambassadors are held every few weeks. These meetings, led by the adult mentors, provide time for strengthening skills, support data collection and analysis of Ambassador interventions, and help sustain student and adult commitment to the program.

Novato, California

Monday, May 13th, 2013

5-13-13I spent most of the day in this town to the interest of many as I rode the busier streets on my way to local schools. The outdoor lunch crowds were very supportive of my mission, which inspires me all the more.
On my travels from town to town, not wanting to overburden The Kindness Bus, I am being very selective with choosing routes I take and towns I visit. I am avoiding long grades at all costs, pampering this tired, old bus in its last bit of service. The thought is always on my mind as I go up a grade, is this the last hill it will climb?
I talked with Monica, a school crossing guard at one of the schools I visited today, she is popular with all of the students. She says it hurts her to see and hear all of the children who are being hurt by bullying that takes place in schools today. “It just needs to stop,” she says.
Thank you to Pauline who remembered The Kindness Bus from South Beach last winter, she was so happy to see it in Sausalito, that she brought over a homemade green juice smoothie. It gave me energy for the entire day

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

5-12-13In reading some of the more than 1,200 blogs that have been posted to this website, I came across this one below, from two years ago, that has a direct connection with the ROCK ride I am currently on.
Having 8 sisters, I am cognizant of the well known adage, Kindness and Moms go hand in hand. This is something I witness as I travel the country seeing lessons being handed down from mother to child, one generation to the next. The best way to learn lessons as a child, is for a parent being a role model to the child. My favorite demographic is young child / parent, and the conversation which turns to a lesson as child or parent discusses a meaningful, timely phrase written on The Kindness Bus. There is quite possibly a lesson for nearly every teaching moment. I love to anonymously stand nearby The Kindness Bus and listen to parents ask their children what a particular message might mean to them. One such lesson was in response to a mother asking her teen age daughter about the message, “Don’t use words that hurt.” The daughter replied, “That would put an end to all cyber-bullying.” The daughter had given her mom the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

5,200 Girl Scouts

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

5-11-13My timing couldn’t have been any better as I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. A sea of waving Girl Scouts were walking from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge the the south and then down to Crissy Field in the Presidio. Thousands more were arriving at the starting point by motor coach. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to park The Kindness Bus for all to see.
As many of them and their moms explained, the girls are bridging from one level to the next and this most popular event in all of scouting is looked forward to all year long.
The Kindness Bus was the perfect backdrop for so many of the troops before they began their “right of passage” to the next level of scouting. The group in today’s photo is from Truckee, California.