Aesop once said: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” The ancient Greek storyteller’s words resonate deeply with Pamela Reader of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers. She’s the founder and moderator of the Kind Club at Maui Preparatory Academy in Lahaina.
As its name suggests, this club is all about kindness. “The purpose of the Kind Club is simply to help spread kindness, and in the spirit of Maui Prep’s commitments, to spread aloha,” Reader said. “The focus of the club is not about how someone may have been mean to you, but how you can spread your own kindness into the world and create a better place around you.”
Reader started the club two years ago for students in the Maui Prep Lower School program (Kindergarten through fifth grade). “I first did it when my older daughter was in fourth grade—she is now in sixth grade—and decided to bring it back this year with my younger daughter,” she explained.
The club currently has 12 members who meet once a week after school. “We discuss how being kind to yourself helps you be more equipped to be kind to others,” Reader said. “We also talk about how a small act of kindness can have ripple effects and how sometimes you may have to just choose to be kind.”
The students have taken part in several kindness-themed projects and activities. Last month, they completed the aptly named “Kindness Rocks” project: Club members painted inspirational messages on rocks—like “Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud,” “Kind words cost nothing,” and Spread kindness, not COVID”—and placed them all over the Maui Prep campus. The students also took three rocks home with them to spread positivity in their own neighborhoods. “They really loved doing the Kindness Rocks project and making people feel happy,” Reader said. “They recognize this has been a rough year for everyone.”
Other Kind Club projects include a book study of R.J. Palacio’s bestselling children’s novel, “Wonder,” and a kindness calendar that gives students ideas of things they can do for others. And at every club meeting, members recite a kindness pledge. It reads: “I pledge to myself on this very day, to try to be kind in every way. To every person, big or small, I will help them if they fall. When I love myself and others too, that is the best that I can do.”
Reader says more acts of kindness are in the works. “Kindness Rocks was our big project, but the parents and kids want to do more,” she said. “We are looking for opportunities to bring the club back together to do something kind for the community. We are thinking of care packages for the Boys & Girls Clubs or for the homeless. We are open to ideas.”
Through the Kind Club, “I am hoping to make Maui a happier, kinder place,” Reader said. “I was previously an educator and worked heavily with social-emotional skills with kids. My passion for seeing kids succeed and grow has not gone away since I am now a Realtor, but I suppose it has only intensified as my kids get older. And if we can help kids understand the importance of kindness at an early age, that will only broaden their reach in education and beyond.”
And what can Maui residents do to support the Kind Club and its members? Reader suggests two simple things that don’t cost a cent—but are worth a million bucks. “First, be kind to each other. One small act of kindness can have ripple effects,” she said. “Second, teach kids from an early age that it’s cool to be kind.”
The Maui News – March 22, 2021