Positive Education: Acts of kindness
Research suggests that practicing acts of kindness adds to wellbeing. Irrespective of whether the circumstances are random or planned, when applied regularly the effect can increase positive emotion in both the giver and the receiver.[i]
This year students and staff at University Senior College have engaged in many acts of kindness and the following examples represent that benevolence.
1. More than a dozen students have donated blood for the first time for the Australian Red Cross and became aware that each donation contributes to saving the lives of three other people.
2. As part of their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) the intensive English class organised a fundraiser earlier this year supporting the Sight for All charity. Collectively the USC community bought $200 worth of flower bulbs; the money contributing to improve the sight of people from underdeveloped countries.
3. Kristina from Year 12 organized a cake stall for the Elephant and Animal Orphanage in Thailand. The $370 raised was delivered by Kristina personally during a term break.
4. Students and staff raised $800 selling cakes at the Hub in the University of Adelaide Student Hub. The money was donated to the Red Cross to assist its work in earthquake stricken Nepal.
5. Another group of staff and students participated in Oaktree’s Live below the line campaign. This charity is one of Australia’s most popular youth-organised events. Each participant was challenged to live on $2 a day for 5 days and collect sponsors for the cause. Individuals gained an insight into those who live below the poverty line and managed to collect $1000 in sponsorships. Two students Marsha and Lilly, raised further funds for this charity by holding a quiz night boosting the USC charity monies to $2,950!
6. Earlier in August, USC staff and students dressed in denim (some in double denim!) for the Jeans for Genes campaign and generated $210 for the Children’s Medical Research Institute.
7. Students and staff will volunteer their time to patrol the Mall on Friday August 28th for the Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day fundraiser. If you see us stop for a chat and help out the cause.
8. A former student Phoebe Smith (USC’s 2014 Proximae Accessit) is raising funds for research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Since February of this year, Phoebe is personally affected by this chronic illness therefore she will be shaving her head (on her birthday) to increase community awareness of the condition. Phoebe’s online fundraising page
USC Student Counsellor – Dr Nadia Lovett with students in her office
9. Commencing in the school holidays of term 3 2015, 16 USC students will be volunteering their time in a new pilot program with the Children’s University and the University of Adelaide. We look forward to keeping you updated.
It is evident that the acts of kindness demonstrated by our students and staff have contribute not only to their own wellbeing but also provided help to the lives of many others.
[i] Lyubomirsky, S and Layous, K (2013). How do simple positive activities increase well-being? Current Directions in Psychological Science 22(1) 57–62.