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Growing the Power of Human Kindness with the Kindness Tree

In a world where acts of kindness often go unnoticed, Island Pacific Academy student Thayleah Hall ‘26 has embarked on a heartwarming mission to cultivate the power of human kindness in her fellow Navigators through her unique initiative known as the Kindness Tree Project.

As part of her platform for the 2023 Miss Hawai’i Teen Volunteer pageant, the Kindness Tree serves as a symbolic representation of how kind actions and words can nurture growth and positivity.

“The tree starts off small but when the kids say kind words and do kind actions it starts to grow,” shared Hall. “Kindness is the key to helping this tree grow and that’s what makes it so special because other plants, you would need water and sunlight, but this tree can help encourage kids and other people to do kind things in this world.”

The driving force behind this project is the simple yet profound belief in the power of human kindness as the cornerstone of a harmonious society. With her platform’s motto “grow with kindness,” the goal was to emphasize the importance of kindness and its ripple effect on the community and the world.

Hall worked with Elementary students in Grades K-4, creating and decorating heart-shaped leaves for the Kindness Tree, with each student contributing to the tree’s growth in their own unique way.

“These students were very good listeners and they had so much fun hanging up their hearts on the tree,” said Hall. “Some of the kids wrote IPA’s Five Agreements and some of them wrote the word “love”. And some kids drew an amazing, colorful picture of someone or themselves doing a kind action. After they were done, they got to hang it up on the tree. Now the tree is growing with so much kindness. “

Hall also selected books to read to the classes that emphasized the power of kindness, and engaged them in discussions that showed their understanding of the valuable lessons.

“After the reading I would talk about the book and what lesson it talked about. I would even ask the kids what they learned from the book. So many kids raised their hands when I asked them that question.”

Hall’s Kindness Tree Project not only aligns with IPA’s core values of the power of human kindness and generosity of spirit, but also embodies qualities of ingenuity and growth mindset. As an educational approach, it provides a creative way for children to develop empathy and compassion, creating a positive learning environment.

Hall is grateful to Ms. Kerri for helping her get in touch with the teachers, and to all of the Elementary teachers for giving her the opportunity to share her platform. For Hall, the most meaningful aspect of the project was witnessing the joy and enthusiasm from the younger Navigators.

“Seeing the kids having fun with the reading lesson and the activity just brings me so much joy and happiness,” shared Hall.” When I was saying goodbye to the kids, I walked out of the Elementary building with happiness and joy.”

By embracing the Kindness Tree Project, Island Pacific Academy reaffirms its commitment to our core values, like the power of human kindness, and also nurtures a community where empathy and compassion serve as guiding principles for a brighter future – one small act of kindness at a time.