Imagine a group of boys wandering the streets in a pack. What is the first image that comes to your mind… is it that they might be up to no good?
Au contraire – this group of boys wants to spread cheer and niceness. They want to make smiles, not frowns.
The Awesome Superheroes of Kindness are born – aka the Smile Team!
The boys are between 7 and 10 years old, they are from three different schools. Some speak English, some speak English and French; some are shy, some outgoing.
The idea is to empower the boys to choose a voice for good, to see community workers as integral to our well-being, and people in need as equal members of our community, who all appreciate a reason to smile, who are connected to us in many ways thus forming our community. We want the boys to influence each other positively, to make good choices that make themselves and others proud and happy; to see that having different clothes or different living arrangements and different families does not mean someone isn't a member of our community with the same feelings as us. By creating an environment of caring and empathy, we hope to open their eyes to the bigger community they are a part of.
Julie has made capes for them: a visible sign that everyone can recognize. No masks, though - this is not anonymous work.
They have chosen their name - Smile Team! - they have fleshed out what they want to do as missions and they made Thank You cards and awesome badges to hand out. More crafts/creations to follow (we talked about making flowers at a future meeting). They will also collect some of their own clothes and toys for donation, perhaps organize a food drive in their respective neighbourhoods then come together and compare their results.
In order to make this project easily reproducible, we will start a FB page to document the process and the missions. We would love inspire Smile Teams to form all around Kingston!
Funded by Kingston, ON (September 2013)