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Lincoln Charter students celebrate World Kindness Day in Zoom classroom

Dawn J. Sagert
York Dispatch

Lincoln Charter School is big on kindness, but in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the district's students had to celebrate World Kindness Day on a smaller scale.

Fourth grade teachers Deborah Smallwood and Caitlin Fourhman teach a combined class of about 40 students online. The school began the year utilizing a hybrid teaching model in which some students learned online and some were physically in the school.

However, all students worked in a Zoom classroom, using online tools, which made the school’s transition to strictly online instruction this week pretty seamless.

Lincoln Charter School fourth grade teacher Deborah Smallwood shares a lesson about kindness as she co-teaches a class of about 40 students via zoom from her home in York City, on World Kindness Day, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The school moved to full online classes this week after beginning the year with an in-class/online hybrid model for learning. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Smallwood shared a lesson with the students Friday, World Kindness Day, even while social distancing.

“Sometimes students don’t do nice things on social media and I think it’s important to remind students to be kind to others,” Smallwood said.

She also talked about how small acts of kindness can go a long way. With students not being able to hang out or play together like they could before the pandemic, she’s found that they prefer to continue in their Zoom classroom during their lunch break just to have a little social interaction.

“So when we’re eating lunch, we still hear them and we allow them to stay on because we know they need that,” she said.

Among other activities, Smallwood asked students to post positive comments in the classroom chat. She also introduced students to acrostic poem writing and encouraged them to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.