Jackie Scannell, a 6th-grade teacher at River Springs Middle School in Orange City, Florida, gave her 132 sixth-graders a wonderful homework assignment in 2010. Scannell told the middle schoolers back in October 2010 to complete a project by early December and report back to Scannell. The assignment: to do a random act of kindness. The goal of the assignment was to teach the children how good it feels to pay it forward. The focus of the lesson was about giving and the intrinsic rewards it brings. The acts the students engaged in were astonishing and very humbling, said Scannell. Brenden Adams, 12, delivered homemade cookies to the nurses and flowers to a lonely patient at Florida Hospital Memorial. Brenden said he thought about how hard the nurses work to care for all their patients. Michael Wheaton and his stepfather smoked 44 turkeys that were sold at a community fundraiser for a leukemia patient. The turkeys raised $700, which went towards the man’s medical bills. Amanda Gonzalez visited a local nursing home where she sang to patients. Taliyah Meyers spent time with her friends 4-year-old autistic brother and produced a video to promote awareness about autism. Marcus Colon helped feed the homeless at a local church, a project Marcus now plans to make a monthly commitment.
Scannell is hoping the intrinsic rewards the middle schoolers received by helping others carries over a lifetime tradition of doing good for others. The early people start giving the easier it is to make it a part of their life. If you would like to read more about these remarkable children please see Middle school assignment has children doing remarkable acts of kindness.