International and Public Schools Join Forces to Spread Kindness

KUALA LUMPUR: Two schools with very different backgrounds – the SK Jalan Bellamy public school and the international Alice Smith School – are joining forces to promote kindness during the #StandTogether National Kindness Week.

Principals from both schools, located next to each other, made the commitment at Alice Smith yesterday when their pupils came together for a #StandTogether “Back-to-School” visit with Selangor princess Tengku Zatashah Sultan Shara­fud­din Idris Shah.

“Cyberbullying is on the rise, and it’s important that we all work together to address it at a young age,” said SK Jalan Bellamy principal Faridah Baharum.

Faridah was speaking alongside Alice Smith principal Tom Verity, while their pupils had a meal and played games together to celebrate Tengku Zatashah’s visit to promote the National Kindness Week campaign.

“Children don’t see a divide ... they’re wonderful that way. So it’s important to put the power into the students’ hands, especially since they’re our future leaders.

“And if it (kindness) becomes part of their everyday life at school, they will continue with it as life goes on.

“That’s why the #StandTogether campaign is important – and we as adults will continue to work together and build ties, so it’s easier for the children as well,” said Verity.

Faridah said she and Verity would now start planning some activities for National Kindness Week.

The #StandTogether National Kindness Week campaign was launched by R.AGE and property developer SP Setia to help curb bullying in schools by spreading a new culture of kindness every first week of April.

Schools and students can participate in the campaign by signing up at www.standtogether.my, where they can download free Kindness Week programmes and activities, and join a student competition to win up to RM1,000 in grant funding.

Over the next few weeks, MPs, celebrities and influencers will be visiting their former schools to promote the campaign.

Tengku Zatashah, a #StandToget­her ambassador, also took time to speak with pupil representatives to get their thoughts about kindness in school during a closed-door session.

An Alice Smith pupil, currently in Year Six, opened up about helping a fellow pupil who had been left out by some peers recently.

“His friends were leaving him out of their class photos, so two of us decided to help. We asked him to join our photos instead,” said the pupil.

A Year Five SK Jalan Bellamy pupil chimed in with what kindness means to him in school.

“If Abu, for example, is sitting alone in the canteen, we can go join him and eat with him. That’s it,” he said.

The pupils’ examples of kindness clearly struck a chord with Tengku Zatashah, who hopes other schools will emulate SK Jalan Bellamy and Alice Smith’s move in spreading kindness.

“It’s important for students to remember they are not alone, and that we have to show kindness to bullies.

“Sometimes that’s all they need – they bully because they haven’t been shown kindness, so we have to be the ones to show it to them,” she said.

The #StandTogether can is co-organised by R.AGE and SP Setia, with support from partners including Digi, Unicef Malaysia, and International Medical University.

To find out more about the Educa­tion Ministry-endorsed #StandTo­get­her campaign, go to www.standtogether.my. Teachers and students can sign up at: bit.ly/standtoget­her2019.

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