Let's Make Kindness Something you read about in books!
Our aim is to highlight the importance of small acts of kindness to children and out into wider society. We need to raise at least £8,000 to help curate a major exhibition and event in The House Of Commons in London in November 2019.
We do this using the Kindness Book, which allows children to share acts of kindness by writing them down in the book before passing it on to the person that was kind to them. They then immortalise another small act of kindness they experienced from another child and pass it on to them, creating a chain involving the entire school class.
Once the book is full, it can be used as a resource within the school, and we are now curating an exhibition in The House Of Commons designed to activate the project in wider society. But we need your help to make this happen!
By using the Kindness Book we believe children will learn how small acts of kindness are carried throughout a community. Through the process of recalling their own personal stories, children will come to see how kindness is an important aspect of society and is shared by all members. Besides our book, The Kindness Movement also provides teachers with free educational material such example lesson plans, as well as guidance on how the Kindness Book covers national curriculum objectives.
Our Story So Far
Since our launch in November 2018 the book has travelled the world and has already started to generate an extraordinary response.
- 55,000 children
- 600 schools
- 15 countries
- Translated into 5 languages (English, French, German, Dutch and Italian)
The response has been overwhelming. Children love to work with the book, but this is the just the beginning. The full power of the Kindness Book comes into its own when we share the stories and connect the authors.
Glasgow - The First Kindness City!
Almost 2,000 books to record acts of kindness between children have been handed to Glasgow’s primary headteachers – one for every class in the city. This makes the city the first “Kindness City”.
Glasgow City Council’s education director Maureen McKenna said Glasgow had the aspiration to be a “nurturing city”, and “this fits in just so well”. “So as soon as we were approached, it was such an easy decision to make”.
Where The Kindness Book Is Being Used
'Kindness is a core skill'
She said building resilience in young children was an important focus of teachers’ work, and “kindness was such a core part of it”. Ms McKenna said the book design was beautiful in its simplicity. “You can see by the reaction of the headteachers and by how quickly the books disappeared that it hits a nerve. It is also no nice to have the narrative alongside it. Kindness is such a core skill for all of our children.”
Handing out the books to every school was not the end of the story, either, stressed Ms McKenna. “What we will do is we will create a little space online and we will start to stories shared”.
Jason Holt said Glasgow’s decision to bring the book into every primary classroom “shows a vision for a value that so many others might nod to, but not champion or see through in this way”.
“What I see here is real leadership showing people want to make a change, and that is actually translating into action.”
“From a sentimental point of view, I can’t help feeling immense pride. I felt like my father was next to me with his hand on my arm, saying how proud he is, making something from his life.”
How will we use the funding?
In November 2019 we have been invited to put on an exhibition in the House Of Commons, London. This is the seat of political power in the UK, where policy and financial decisions are made about societal issues for the UK. This is a crucial opportunity to communicate the significance of The Kindness Book; and show how it can have a real meaningful impact for children and then further out into the community.
In order to maximise the exhibition we need to pay for the following
100% funding target pays for The Kindness Book exhibition
Scenario A: We exactly achieve our funding target of £8,000. This will pay for our exhibition in the House of Commons with the following breakdown
£3,000 - Collect stories from Kindness Books
£3,000 - Curate and design the exhibition
£2,000 - Promotion and outreach stemming from exhibition
150% funding target pays for gala event next to exhibition
Scenario B: We raise £12,000 through this campaign. This will enable to host an event next to the exhibition where we can invite speakers and guests to engage with The Kindness Book project.
300% funding target pays for exhibition to go on tour
Scenario C: £24,000 enables us to take the exhibition on tour around cities where Kindness Book has been translated.
Keeping Costs low
Since we first launched the book last November (https://www.tes.com/news/primary-pupils-encouraged-spread-kindness), thousands of books have found their way into the classroom, funded through money we raised ourselves, so at no cost to the teachers or the schools. We have managed to keep the print cost of each book to the absolute minimum and require only a very small investment in return for what would be an amazingly strong statement.
This project was launched by brothers Jason Holt and Stuart Acker Holt, together with business leader Debra Charles and recent LSE graduate Ben Berger. It was inspired by the life story of Robert Acker Holt, the father Jason and Stuart; whose life forever changed, despite Nazi persecution and fleeing the Nazi’s aged 15 – thanks to a small act of kindness shown to him.
The oldest surviving member of Hatton Garden’s London Diamond Bourse, and founder of jewellers Holts Gems, Robert Acker Holt died in January 2018, aged 94. Born in Vienna before the war in 1923, he fled the Nazis in 1939 when he was 16 as a Jewish refugee. Having experienced first-hand the fascist authority of the Nazis, the experience instilled in him an unwavering sense of justice. But even in his darkest days, there were some people who showed Robert kindness, and the power of these actions, however small they may have been, stayed with him throughout his life.
Besides honouring the life of a remarkable personality, The Kindness Movement is also dedicated to looking to the future and preparing the next generation for the challenges ahead. We believe that current political developments around the world, and the societal impact emerging as we move toward the 4th industrial revolution, requires action to remind ourselves that kindness, respect, and trust between individuals, no matter their background, is the fundamental principle of a strong and healthy society. Even if the political environment voices segregation, separation and suspicion, what really counts for our society is how we treat each other on a daily basis.
In memory of my incredible dad who taught me that kindness towards others - specially strangers - is the greatest gift one can give.
Ben recently completed his postgraduate degree in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the LSE. He has worked on a variety of entrepreneurial projects, from tackling the Silicon Valley to teaching start-up basics to Timorese guerrilla fighters.
Debra is the founder and CEO of Novacroft, a smartcard tech company with a team of 250 and clients including Transport for London and the Royal British Legion. She places teamwork, innovation, and the belief that the only barriers in life are those we erect ourselves as key to growth.
Stuart Acker Holt
Stuart is a documentary film director and founder of the CRUMB.FILM production company. His films centre on themes of relationships and values that connect all humanity. Stuart designed the story-telling format called film trails, re-imagining the function of the director and subject with documentary.
Risks and challenges
People love using The Kindness Book. Our great challenge is to create a mechanism that incentivises people to return the stories from the books. Given that the goal of this crowdfunding campaign is to transform the stories into an exhibition, getting the stories back in a uniform, hi-resolution digital format is paramount.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)