The thoughts of Silverthorne Elementary third-graders weren't on elections last week, but on the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Each week, the third-graders are in the habit of coming up with and embracing random acts of kindness. Previously, they have decorated bookmarks to give out to other students at the school, and written letters to send to the maternity ward at the hospital.
Last week, however, the third-graders looked beyond their community to the hardships of the East Coast. For their act of kindness they created "Deeds for Dollars," asking parents, friends and neighbors to pledge one dollar in return for chores done.
The idea took off and the money came in. Soon, the "Deeds for Dollars" spread to the entire school. Three hundred dollars has been raised for the Red Cross so far, with the deadline to turn in money extended to Friday.
Third-graders shared the chores they had done - washing dishes, making the bed, cleaning up. One girl brought in $10 of her own allowance; another contributed money from the Tooth Fairy. All the students expressed their desire for the hurricane victims to be able to return to their normal lives soon. The third-graders also sent letters to other schoolchildren on the East Coast who have been displaced by the storm.
The random acts of kindness are thought up by the students, not the teachers.
"They have a lot of ideas," said Liz McFarland, a third-grade teacher at S'thorne Elementary.
The students brainstorm ideas, and the classes get together to vote on which one will be adopted for the week. Future kindness acts will focus on improvements within the school and the community.
The students clearly enjoy the kindness project. As one third-grader said, "It makes your heart grow much bigger."