Celebrate Kindness!

kindness-starts-with-meWhat does kindness look like? The students of Alta Vista Elementary School created “Kindness Quilts,” comprised of hundreds of individual portraits of kindness, demonstrating unique expressions of kindness at home and at school, as well as ways to be caring to animals, to the planet, and to oneself.

A celebration launch party was held on the evening of April 3rd at Selby Library with about 140 people in attendance. Sarasota’s Mayor Atwell acknowledged these students for the inspiring ways they focus on being kind every day.

At a time when so much attention in the news has been focused on the detrimental effects of bullying, Alta Vista’s Principal Dr. Shirley and Assistant Principal Dehea Smith, as well as the dedicated teachers, counselors and numerous volunteers, instill positive values of empathy, caring, responsibility, trust, and the importance of family and community. Daily acts of […]

By |July 14th, 2014|Projects|0 Comments|

Kindness Project Thank You!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for Your Kindness Project Donations!

The Kindness Starts With Me Campaign was a huge success thanks to the generosity of so many donors!

On Valentine’s Day I met with 630 students at Alta Vista Elementary School and presented each one with their own copy of the book Kindness Starts With Me. They were thrilled!

Here are a couple of comments from the students:

“Thank you for the kindness book. It was very kind of you to give us the books. For my opinion, I think what you did should go in the kindness book. …Speaking of kindness, what you showed me is that you are very generous. You’re the best!”

~With gratitude, Your friend, Jadarius.


“Thank you for the lovely book. I love the book. The book is splendid…the book is wonderful…the book is special.”



Donations continue to be accepted to support the “Kindness Starts With Me” program.

The web […]

By |March 8th, 2014|Projects|0 Comments|

Kindness Starts With Me

“Kindness counts and so do you. You never know what your kindness can do.”

~Linda Commito

At Alta Vista Elementary, a Title One school in Sarasota, Florida, we created a kindness program, which we called Kindness Starts With Me.

Here’s how it started.

I asked each class of students, sitting in a circle on the floor: “What does kindness look like? How are you kind at home and at school?”

Cook For My Family | Kindness Starts With Me“Kindness is not calling someone names,” said one student. Another said: “We are kind when we help each other win,” and a third student chimed in, “Kindness is inviting a new student to play at recess.”

At home: “I am kind when I share my toys or read to my little sister or brother,” or “I […]

By |January 26th, 2014|Projects|0 Comments|

Alta Vista Cares Sew Much

lc-blankets350x467The library/media room at Alta Vista elementary school is buzzing with activity as class after class come to participate in their school’s service project, Alta Vista Cares Sew Much, spearheaded by their progressive principal, Dr. Barbara Shirley. The individual tables, seating 4 students at each, are piled with large squares of fleece – warm, cuddly, and colorful – which many hands have cut and are now tying together to make throws. One hundred to be exact! Throws that will soon be on their way to St. Pete’s All Children’s Hospital, where they will make the day brighter and warmer for young cancer patients.

The idea for the project was inspired by one of Alta’s Vista’s students, a fifth grader named James, who had been taught to sew by his grandmother, and together had made pillow cases for cancer patients at this same […]