Hello again from the team at the OM@home blog, a blog about children and young people, written for children and young people . . . . For young people just like you, about young people who inspire us here at OM HQ.
Young people like Ocean Eisenberg . . . .
Ocean likes to consider himself a peacemaker . . .
So, when the amiable third-grader noticed an increase in playground problems at his school in Bend, California, he took it upon himself to do something about it.
'There had been some bullying, arguments and pushing,' Ocean explains. '[Kids] weren't being nice to each other. I tried to solve some problems [and] the teachers told them not to do it. It just didn't work.'
Feeling frustrated, Ocean soon realized that he needed to take a fresh approach . . .
He came up with the Kindness Club.
Having ordered bracelets for everyone in his class, Ocean distributed them and persuaded his teacher, Jennifer Baughman, to lead a discussion centered on the importance of being nicer to each other.
'It's had a definite impact,' she says. 'It has helped [the kids] to be more reflective and it's part of the fabric of the classroom now. The kids are excited about it, it has been cool. If the kids feel that someone is being unkind, they'll just point at their bracelets [which serve as] a constant reminder about the pact they've made to be kind.'
Being the peacemaker he is, Ocean is delighted at the impact his bracelets have had . . .
'Whenever you tap it, it usually stops the argument,' he explains. That life at school has improved as a result - for all concerned - is beyond question.
'[He has shown that] if you have kindness and can learn kindness, it has a ripple effect,' says Ocean's mom, Emmy, whose pride in the super-nice nine-year-old is obvious. 'He has [just] always had a heart like that [and] I'm proud of him for coming up with his own solutions. It makes him happy to help others - if everyone really thought about being kind, it would change everything.'
Here's to kindness, and here's to Ocean . . .