Our vision for Kindness Academy
The Kindness in School Program (KISP) is a learning solution delivered to students through face to face kindness workshops (click for student and teacher feedback here). We are fundraising to develop a digital version of KISP called Kindness Academy that will take a holistic whole school approach towards facilitating mental and emotional well being in children, including those who traditionally home learn. and teachers. Content will focus on vital topics i.e. cyberbullying, peer pressure, racism, accepting differences, grooming, refugees, migration, self-kindness amongst others. There will also be content aimed at providing teachers and parents with tools to enable a richer learning and mindfulness experience for themselves and for their students and children.
Through accessing kindness academy, whether at school or at home, children and young people (CYP) will be able to experience the following:
- Digital kindness lessons to enable continuous learning and practical application of values such as resilience, mindfulness, courage, integrity, compassion, caring, responsibility, assertiveness, gratitude and respect - all of which helps to build and strengthen vital EQ skills for life such as social awareness, self-awareness, relationships skills, self-management and responsible decision-making ;
- A dynamic hub of thematic resources providing a creative and one-stop safe space for children to understand areas such as bullying, peer pressure, racism, grooming etc and to be equipped with key tools and tips should they be faced with such issues;
- A creative outlet to express their emotional energies through playing augmented reality videos such as multi-award winning ITSY, originally a short film on Kindness, commissioned by BKM is now an integral part of KISP and is now being made into animation where the friendly neighbourhood spider becomes a 'buddy' to young children. The academy will offer children the opportunity to learn vital lessons through animation. Watch our pilot animation episodes
- Inspiration for CYP through accessing books, short films and animations on the values of kindness and how they and we all can make kindness the norm;
- Short videos that focus on stories of resilience and courage (and other kindness attributes) in complex or conflicting situations dealt with positivity and mindfulness. These inspiring videos will be of successful entrepreneurs, leaders and activists with lived experiences of homelessness, bullying etc.
Post-covid mental health crisis among CYP
BKM supports CYP (aged 5-14) living in deprived neighbourhoods, those with behavioural issues or those whose mental health issues as a result of racism, domestic issues, trauma etc. The hopelessness of being in poverty, multiplied by poor academic results, often results in low motivation and strong negativity. As a result, children from deprived families often experience high stress, anxiety and low self-esteem, which has a direct impact on their health.
BKM conducted a ‘Kindness Needs Assessment’ survey in February 2021 and received responses from 11 schools in Wandsworth. The top 3 mental health concerns identified amongst students included: issues at home (100%), low self-confidence (100%) and stress & anxiety (85%).
BKM - a charity led by people with lived experiences
Our Founder & CEO Premila Puri’s experience of being severely bullied as a child was the inspiration behind the charity. Our educational research volunteer team consists of a former primary state school teacher for children with special needs, drama practitioner, mental health advocate, and a psychologist. They bring vast first-hand and lived experiences of working with children and young people. Some have children who have experienced racism and bullying in schools. Such first hand experiences have been a vital source of input into our workshop development.
What will the fund support?
The funds raised will support 1) technology project manager to scope and plan the project, research into technology platforms and delivery partners 2) education manager to plan structure of academy for KS1-KS4, align with KISP and ensure all content is digitised for the academy.
Pilot animation episodes are available here.
Every pound matters!