A Little Kindness Makes a Big Difference
Want to make the world a better place? Start little. But with a big idea. Start with little children. Help them learn the big value of kindness. Start with a little cow—or a big one! Moozie, to be exact.
When Moozie speaks, children listen—and learn. The big talking cow (robotic or a costumed human) may visit a daycare, preschool, kindergarten, or first or second grade class to give a special Moozie introduction to kindness (with the help of a volunteer storyteller). But what happens afterwards, on a daily basis, confirms the impact. With the assistance of the little Moozie puppet that comes to live in the classroom, teachers help class members through difficulties by simply posing the question, "What would Moozie say (or do)?" Teachers report—and research confirms—reduced disruptions and bullying with Moozie on the job.
Soon the children pick up the kindness value as their own. Playground tiffs change when a child intervenes, asking if Moozie would like that. When classmates are distressed, children have been known to bring them the little Moozie to hug. Empathy and kindness grow.
The Children's Kindness Network began 20 years ago and has reached nearly 400,000 children with the message, emphasis, and skills of kindness to one another, to animals, to the earth, and to self. Moozie-creator, Ted Dreier, working with volunteers, has extended Moozie's reach across the U.S. through not only the classroom visits, but also through the Moozie books, songs, and kits.
Teachers have benefitted, as have parents, grandparents, and even the 118 wing of the Tennessee Air National guard.
Tasks for volunteers are both big and little, ranging from assembling kits to making storytelling presentations in classrooms, to creating Moozie songs, to serving on the board of directors. All are welcome. Whatever "size" of the volunteers' contributions, they make a big impact—one that goes from early brain-wiring of the very little children and from their experiences of kindness to how those influence their subsequent relationships, actions, and leadership as they grow bigger and move into adulthood.
And the world becomes a better place.
To see Moozie (and Ted) in action, visit either childrenskindnessnetwork.org or moozie.org and view the NPT video. For more information about volunteering, email email@example.com.
Support this series at patreon.com/volunteering.
In June my Patreon supporters will get to hear a special Moozie presentation.