The Secret Kindness Agents
By FERIAL PEARSON
The Secret Kindness Agents Project is a global movement that is in over 400 schools across the world. Started by high school students, it consists of students and adults together doing random acts of kindness, intentionally and consistently, while staying anonymous by using Secret Kindness Agent names, because kindness seeks no rewards or expectations of thanks. The project can be tweaked for any community/school/grade level as long as it follows the four non-negotiables:
1. Everyone gets an Agent name
2. Everyone decides together what their missions will be (there can be no dictator!)
3. There has to be some sort of reflection after each mission. This could be a quick discussion, journal activity, video creation, etc
4. The missions become a habit and are done at least once a week indefinitely
A dissertation study on The Secret Kindness Agents project as it was implemented in 23 contexts at all grade levels K-16, in urban/rural/suburban schools, in public/private/homeschool/children’s museum showed that the project led to increased feelings of well-being amongst young people and the adults working with them, better social/emotional skills, decreased referrals and disciplinary actions, a greater feeling of ownership in the school community, and increased feelings of happiness amongst all those involved.
Adopt & Adapt
There are no extra resources that are compulsory. Some teachers use the founder’s TEDx Talk, or the two books published about it, as well as other publications about the project to help them figure out how they would like to tweak the project for their context.
Hallmark quick documentary: https://corporate.hallmark.com/stories-caring-secret-kindness-agents/
Learning for Justice: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/fall-2017/secret-agents-of-kindness
Born This Way Foundation example: https://bornthisway.foundation/secret-kindness-agent/
First book (short and tells the story of the original Agents): https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Kindness-Agents-Ferial-Pearson/dp/1608080919
Second book (Indies award finalist in Education). This book contains the research about the project and about kindness education, along with chapters by two dozen people who have tweaked the project for each of their diverse contexts/age groups: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Kindness-Agents-Educators-Guide/dp/1608082407/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
The project was also endorsed by Parents magazine: https://www.parents.com/kids/development/social/for-parents-in-2020-raising-kind-kids-is-most-important/