Teacher starts Kindness Club at Orange County elementary school

Students plan to make blankets to donate to homeless shelters

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A new club at an Orange County Public Schools elementary school is teaching young students the joy of kindness.

A second-grade teacher at Sunshine Elementary in Orlando, Kathleen Daley, had the idea for the Kindness Club after the pandemic began. She asked her fellow teacher Mary Kate Leinhos to start the club with her. Students in second through fifth grades are eligible.

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“We noticed that after COVID they were really lacking that ability to be connected to each other, so bringing them together kind of outside of the academic world and the classroom and doing the projects together and even with different grade levels, the fourth graders are working with the second graders and they’re kind of mixing, allowed for that connectedness,” Leinhos said. “I think the younger kids really kind of enjoy having like a mentor and the older kids enjoy being that mentor and being able to help them and guide them through those projects we’re doing,”

Daley said during October, the students collected and donated more than 50 pounds of candy to the Ronald McDonald House.

Moving into the holiday season, students will put together craft kits for children at Ronald McDonald House. Then in January, the club will make blankets to donate to homeless shelters.

“You’re never too young to learn how to be kind to others and how to help others. I think that especially now more than ever with all of the COVID stuff going on, I think it’s just really important to take a step back and realize we should all be kind to each other and sometimes put others before ourselves,” Daley said.

If you’d like to help Daley purchase supplies for these projects, you can visit her GoFundMe page.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.