EXECUTIVE EDIT: Kind Catch-Up with Karin
Hello, Kindness Family! The first half of the school year brought our kids physically back into schools, albeit into a constant state of flux. Life is still anything but “normal.” We’ve all seen the daunting anxiety levels, increased incidences of bullying/cyberbullying, and escalated suicide rates. Our hearts break for what our children and teens are going through.
I am so proud to be a part of KM365, where we are helping kids and teens develop the skills to face challenges and handle their feelings and experiences. If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are you are an integral part of our foundation. YOU are making a difference by improving children’s social and emotional well-being as a part of our family. We move forward together, and so I share with you what we’ve been up to lately.
From September through December, our programs focused on KM365 competencies of optimistic thinking, self-awareness, self-navigation, and social awareness. Kids and teens worked on being aware of how they were feeling, considering what their “go-to” reactions are, managing themselves, and productively taking steps toward positive outcomes and their goals. They did a deep dive into understanding, respecting, and appreciating others; having compassion, recognizing the social environment, and appreciating diversity. Then, they engaged with community to practice their social-emotional education…all while making a difference in our world.
On a foundation level, we have been responding to current needs and building for the future. We received a grant to support our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, which ground us to celebrate the radical individuality in everyone. We are updating our programming to ensure inclusivity. Our Executive Board has grown to ten strong. We recently created an Advisory Council to bolster and diversify our knowledge base. We have made incredible progress with our online Kindness Shop and hired three new part-time team members to support and grow our programs.We have enhanced our online Ambassador Resource Library, trained new Ambassador leaders, and expanded our High School Teen Leadership program. Additionally, we are in the process of implementing a Kind School designation and Kindness In Action service project program that respond to the needs of our youth, parents, and schools.
I celebrate the awesomeness of KM365 in 2021 and acknowledge that these times present a tremendous opportunity to do more. I am optimistic about what we will accomplish together, in community, with a common goal of making sure all our children are supported, celebrated, and thriving. Happy, Healthy New Year and thank you for being a special part of our Family.
Karin Gellen | Executive Director