(photo and story courtesy of Fremont Tribune)
James Farrell, Fremont Tribune
This week, each of Fremont Public Schools elementary buildings received a visit from magician Jeff Quinn.
But Quinn’s performances didn’t just give kids the opportunity to be mystified. His show centers around the idea of “kindness,” and aims to help teach kids to be kind to one another, says Bell Field Elementary School Counselor Ainslee Kroenke.
“Really the reason we wanted to do it is because kindness and empathy and treating each other well is really a big thing that we’re always focusing on and teaching the kids,” Kroenke said. “Anytime that we have an opportunity to teach them and reinforce that, host things with fun involved too, we just really enjoy being able to do that for them.”
Kroenke said that Quinn performed magic tricks, but also mixed in skits that involved the students to help show examples of how you could be kind to others.
He had four kindness points that he wanted the kids to remember, and that his performance sought to emphasize: “lend a hand, say nice things, include others and get help.”
At Bell Field, where Quinn performed Wednesday afternoon, those points were later re-emphasized during the school day, said Kroenke, who helped organize Quinn’s performances.
On Thursday, Quinn hit Grant and Clarmar Elementary Schools.
His visit was funded through a grant, Kroenke said.
It was a big week for kindness at Fremont Public Schools.
On Tuesday and Wednesday over at Johnson Crossing Academic Center, fifth graders took part in a “kindness retreat” with the organization Youth Frontiers. The event aimed to help kids reflect on the importance of being kind and consider ways they could be kinder.
Kroenke said there wasn’t any specific intention to line up the “kindness” magic show with the kindness retreat. Rather, kindness is a regular part of education in the Fremont Public Schools system, she said.
“It’s really something that we’re always working on,” she said.
Earlier this school year, Fremont Public Schools had a #BeKind day that emphasized kind acts done by students. Later this month, there will be a “Great Kindness Challenge,” Kroenke said.
“It really is just something that we’re always focusing on and trying to continuously find new ways to teach and reinforce the importance of kindness and empathy and treating each other well,” Kroenke said.
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