By Bev Jordan
Students from Arndell Anglican College in Oakville have written cards to 425 students at Woodville School in Essex in the United Kingdom as part of a program to “Spread a Smile of Australian Sunshine”.
The “b kinder” initiative was carried out last Friday (March 5) and involved all students in K-6 in the junior school.
The special cards were supplied by the flyhighbillie charity, founded in memory of former Arndell Anglican student Billie Kinder who died in a tragic accident at Pitt Town in 2016.
Billie’s mum, Danny Mason-Kinder, who set up the charity and the annual “b kinder day” said the idea of donating the cards was that every student at the Woodville School in Chelmsford, Essex would receive a hand-written welcome back to school card.
“The concept was to send a ray of sunshine, one kindness card at a time,” she said.
“Due to COVID 19, the children in the UK only went back to school on March 8, after a very long lock down.
“Unlike us here in Australia, they are in the middle of winter and lock down means very cold, dark days with no school or friends to play with.
“Arndell wanted their students to participate in this initiative and a lot of ‘empathetic learning’ was done by the children. The children addressed what empathy meant and what it would be like to actually be a child in lockdown in the UK and how they wouldn’t be as lucky as they were in Australia.
“So, each card was written with their own message of ‘sunshine/ kindness/ greeting of friendship and encouragement.
“It is hoped that once the children from England are settled back at school, they might reply and possibly start an ongoing circle of friendship.”
Another 35 cards will be going to Barons Court Primary School in Southend on Sea.
Both Woodville and Barons Court take part in the annual “b kinder” day which is now held in several countries around the world, teaching children about kindness, compassion and empathy.
To find out more about the flyhighbillie charity and its programs and workbooks visit flyhighbillie.org