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Clonakilty school’s ‘acts of kindness’ diaries make BBC’s breakfast show

December 18th, 2019 11:41 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Pupils from Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty taking part in the Kindness initiative incllude, Corey Ó’Donnabháin (back) and (middle row): Donnacha Ó’Súilleabháin, Caoimhe Ní Phíobairt and Lauren Ní Chathain. Front: Síomha Nic Carthaigh, Aoibhín Ní Laighean and George Báicéir. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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THE world’s media has been captivated by a kind-hearted project undertaken by staff and pupils of a Clonakilty primary school.

Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin has been overwhelmed with the response to its kindness initiative that sees the 350 pupils carry out acts of kindness instead of homework for the month of December.

Speaking to The Southern Star following an appearance on the BBC Breakfast last Thursday, leas príomhoide Íde Ní Mhuirí described the appearance by her and a pupil on the show as ‘unbelievable and surreal.’

‘We went up to the RTÉ Cork studios to do a live broadcast with the BBC team and that was a wonderful experience,’ said Íde, the vice-principal.

‘We are all thrilled with the reaction to what we are doing and it’s great that it’s such a positive story and that the children can see that random acts of kindness can make a difference. What we are trying to say is that it doesn’t cost anything to be kind.’

Last year the pupils embraced the concept of gratitude and for this year they are being asked to carry out the acts of kindness and give to others in their families and community in return for a whole month free of homework.

The pupils will record their acts of kindness with different tasks in a special ‘Dialann Cineáltais’ (Kindness Diary) which they will fill in daily and will then be signed by their parents.

‘They take great pride in filling in their daily dairies and what’s great, too, is that the parents are also embracing it and the feedback so far from them has been very positive,’ added Íde.

The pupils will also get the chance to do something for their community with the ‘Gníomh Cineáltais Ranga’ (Class Kindness Act) where each class will put their heads together and propose an unique way in which they can collectively make this Christmas season better for their community.

‘Some of the ideas that they have come up with so far are amazing and they always embrace these things and take it to the next level which is great,’ said Íde.

Alongside the Kindness Diary initiative, there will also be a ‘Buicéad Cineáltais’ (Kindness Bucket) in the school, where the children can place kind ‘observations’ about their peers, which they hope will serve to boost the self-esteem of those around them.

‘This has really taken off too and it’s the small gestures that matter because when you do something positive, you feel good about yourself,’ said the vice-principal.

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