Stories for Kindness Class

Currency of the Heart: Coins of Compassion in Compassionate Schools

(Above art, “Pocket Change”, and the piece below, are by the amazing group 6 Degrees of Creativity who are making this magnificent art for the Compassion Games.)

Compassionate Schools Network logoThis week marks the beginning of North Thurston County in Washington state Public School District’s participation in the Compassion Games as part of the “Compassionate Schools Movement”, and they aren’t alone. This year, over 50 schools have committed themselves to participating in the Compassion Games as a way to bring compassion and the Golden Rule to schools through the competitive spirit of giving and cooperation.

The demand for the Games in schools, in fact, gave rise to an entirely new Education league! Two exceptional educators have stepped up to coordinate this league; Rhaybin Shein and Lia Mandelbaum. Here’s their presentation, full of ideas, to help schools bring the Compassion Games into their classrooms.  And here’s a link to the presentation they prepared to help educators introduce the compassion games into schools.

In an inspiring feat of creativity for the Games, North Thurston County – led by Compassionate Schools advocate Superintendent Raj Manhas – formed a currency for their district called the “Coins of Compassion.” It is unlike any currency you’ve ever heard of. Over 20,000 of these coins have been given to principals and other leaders within the district, which are then given to anyone who commits an act of kindness or compassion. Paying it forward is the ultimate measure of economic success in a compassionate society. By the end of the Compassion Games, it is not the goal to have the most of these coins, but rather to give and receive them as much as possible. It is, effectively, a game of acknowledging others and their goodness, and in return, also being seen for the good we each give to others. Coins of Compassions are a living economy of the heart and they’re now in the hands of kids who are learning to give and receive them to and from each other.

The Compassion Games will be played during 9/11 to 9/21 in schools, and again in October from the 15th to the 25th at the request of educators seeking more time to prepare in the beginning of the school year.  So, if you were unable to form a team in your school for this year’s September games you can still get in on the fun and learning for October. Sign up here.

The emerging Compassionate School Movement is in large part led by Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Compassion Games, Charter for Compassion, and Compassionate Seattle hosted a conference 10626504_707342982667742_3748807769131385059_nin August called “Building the Compassionate Schools Movement: From Sandy Hook to Seattle,” igniting conversation and joint action to bring compassion into schools, to teach emotional wellness and whole person development, teacher and administrator interconnectivity and engagement, and to use compassion to propel student’s success for learning and life.

We are both honored and proud to be a founding member of the Compassionate Schools Network. Today, September 15th, is the launch of this new social collaborative network. The Compassionate Schools Network is a free online community and resource-sharing platform for students, parents, school staff, and community members.

Click here to learn more about the Compassionate Schools Movement and Network, including co-creative ideas for bringing Compassion into the classroom, and how your school can affirm the Charter for Compassion!

Click here for the full press release of the Compassionate Schools Network launch:

The Kindness Class – Mission 1 of 4

“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” — Your Compassion Games Begin!

The Games Begin!
A kind and understanding word, a generous act, the surprise of an unexpected gift, or the warmth of a smile…you’ve shared these acts of compassion as either the giver or receiver, probably many times. And while you may be facing one or many hardships, you have a dream within you that keeps you sharing acts of kindness despite signs that would have caused others to stop long ago.

And that’s why the Compassion Games were created! The Compassion Games were created for you and everyone else to win by realizing your dream for great kindness, empathy, and compassion for yourself, others, and your world. If you let it, playing the Compassion Games can make you stronger and alter what you think can be.

So, how will you live your dream for a better world? Will you Do Good and surprise someone you know with a random act of compassion? Will you Volunteer for a United Way service project? Will you Tell A Story of compassion? Or will you Get SuperBetter and complete your quests for the Epic Win and help make a Golden Reality where no one goes hungry and no one gives up?

In the end, you know deep in your heart that no one wins if someone loses. And you know deep in your heart that everything’s gonna be alright because you’re gonna make it alright.

So this is your moment to really shine! Play the Compassion Games and Go For the Gold! Together we can make this world a better, safer, kinder, and more just place to be. Let the Compassion Games begin!

Kindness Class – Led by Andy Smallman

We are so fortunate to have Andy Smallman leading his Kindness Class during the Compassion Games. Andy has been teaching kindness for over 15 years. He and his wife Melinda Shaw founded the Puget Sound Community School and Kind Living.  Participating in this activity is a great opportunity to interact with an amazing visionary, educator, teacher and great guy. Here is the invitation from Andy to join the class:

Ready for some random acts of compassion? Want to participate in the Compassion Games but aren’t sure how?

Join the Kindness Class!

Seattle-based educator Andy Smallman has put together a four week kindness activity to take place as part of the Compassion Games. The activity, based on his popular online kindness classes, is a perfect way for people interested in participating in the games but aren’t sure how to get started. Each week Andy will provide a kindness theme, what he is calling a “mission,” designed to get people thinking about kindness and then acting on those thoughts.

While we’re calling this a “kindness class,” really it’s a series of four weekly activities designed to provide you some structure to bring more kindness into your lives. It’s part of the Compassion Games, a Seattle-based initiative created to inspire people to make their communities safer, kinder, more just, and better places to live.

Learn more at or email Andy.

This class works like this.

Each Friday during the games, which take place from September 21 – October 21, 2012, a “kindness mission” will be unveiled here. These missions are really kindness themes, created to provide people a focal point for completing kind actions each week. For fun, participants are encouraged to playfully imagine they are secret agents receiving an assignment they have one week to complete. On Tuesday each week a brief message of inspiration about that week’s mission will be posted. And then each Friday, a wrap-up or reflection comment about it will be posted, right before the next week’s mission is posted.

Click Here to Join the Kindness Class!

The first three missions ask participants to act alone and in a way so that no one but they are aware of what they’re doing. The final mission involves a partner. Throughout the class and regardless of the mission, participants are encouraged to complete their actions quietly and without fanfare, thus providing them practice in both humility and modesty while reducing the risk that what they do is for show or reward.

This class was created and is being facilitated by Seattle-based educator Andy Smallman. The illustrations being used were all created for this project by Internet artist Fish Astronaut.


Please consider this your invitation to participate. Learn more at or email Andy.