North East — After seeing the benefits of kindness at North East Elementary School, NEES teacher Tahiya Cooper is now providing young children everywhere the opportunity to learn about the importance of doing good deeds for others with her book “Kindness Week.”
The book is inspired by a kindness club that Cooper created at NEES in 2018. The club collected donations for the Cecil County Animal Services shelter in Chesapeake City, created posters around the school building, and celebrated the work of cafeteria workers and other staff.
“It was amazing to see the kids’ reaction to doing something for someone else,” Cooper said.
The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the club, but it will return during the spring.
The book is also inspired by the need for more diverse characters in children’s literature.
“Students should be able to see themselves when they are reading,” Cooper said. “Representation is important, it’s important for kids to know that there are different races and personalities in the world and that everyone should be respected and loved.”
Cooper wrote the book during the COVD-19 pandemic, as she thought children needed to learn about empathy during a stressful time. It took the nine-year veteran of Cecil County Public Schools around three months to write “Kindness Week.”
“Kindness Week,” features a third grader, Aniyah, who is excited for her school’s Kindness Week celebration, but she meets a student who doesn’t understand the importance of doing kind acts for one another. Aniyah then challenges her classmate, and demonstrates the importance of doing kind things.
“I really want my readers to be inspired to do kind acts for one another by the book,” Cooper said. “I think children develop character by what they see and what they read.”
Kindness Week, featuring illustrations by Patricia Grannum is currently available on Amazon, interested readers can go to this link https://www.amazon.com/Kindness-Week-Tahiya-Cooper/dp/B09PHJRKWT/.