Project Title: The Random Acts of Kindness Study
Research Team: Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, John Tyler Binfet, Jenna Whitehead, Lina Sweiss, Michelle Sipl, and Jacqueline Maloney
Participants: 700 4th and 5th grade students and 28 teachers
Location: Vancouver School District and Penticton
Description: The goal of this randomized controlled study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a social and emotional learning program for children which focuses on promoting kindness and well-being. Specifically, the proposed research is designed to examine the effectiveness of a new and innovative program – the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Curriculum. The RAK Curriculum focuses on promoting kindness, resiliency, and well-being in children during the elementary school years. The program provides opportunities for children to enhance their prosocial behaviours (e.g., sharing, helping, cooperating) and well-being by engaging in activities identified to promote knowledge and skills associated with kindness and altruism. More specifically, the program provides opportunities for children to enhance their social and emotional competence by engaging in activities identified to promote knowledge and skills associated with social and emotional competence, including emotion understanding, empathy, perspective-taking, and kindness – those skills and knowledge that lead to increases in children’s positive social behaviours and school adjustment. We are investigating program outcomes on students’ social-emotional competencies through self-, teacher-, and peer-report data at three time points: pre-, mid-, and post-program. Teachers will fill out implementation calendars to monitor program fidelity and both students and teachers from the intervention group will fill out consumer satisfaction surveys to evaluate program acceptability.
Funding: Funding for this study comes from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation