Chessed program for children in school

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Post  Sun, Feb 16 2020, 7:11 am
I am thinking of encouraging chessed opportunities to be done by school age children.

Examples could be if (chas vesholom) a child has got a relative in hospital making things difficult at home,then a classmate invites the child to come to their home for a couple of hours or to go out somewhere together, or a child befriends (and discreetly asks others to do the same) to a classmate who does not have many friends or if a child is not in school for whatever reason then a classmate rings up that child to inquire how they are and if there is anything they need. There are many different opportunities for chessed to be done among classmates. The above is just examples that I have thought of.

I am thinking that each child would have a little booklet where they write down the chessed they did and there could be prizes for children who partake in this initiative.

Does this idea or something similar exist in your child's school or area and if not do you think this is a good idea? (If it exists, please advise the name of the Organisation and if they have a website etc.)

Many thanks in advance
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Post  Sun, Feb 16 2020, 7:29 am
Almost every high school and many middle schools have such programs. I don't think they are official enough to have websites .
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Post  Sun, Feb 16 2020, 7:49 am
What age group were you thinking of? Children are not always good at being discreet, and no one wants to be a chesed case. It would have to be carefully managed.

I know one woman who was recently widowed with a large family of young children. We asked if the children wanted anything, or if there was anything we could do. She said that what the children really wanted most, was just to be left alone and allowed to feel normal again, rather than being constantly specialed out. People have different ways of coping, and not everyone wants to be befriended by a lot of people.

Maybe I'm basing my response too much on my own experience, but I was always a loner at school (and still am). Every so often someone would decide to come and be friends with me, which to me meant the loss of a few breaks being polite to someone who had almost no common interests with me, other than being at the same school. I tended to breathe a sigh of relief when they gave up and went back to their own friends. From that background a class project to make friends with x and then write it in a little book for a prize sounds very unappetizing.

It sounds a nice idea, but there had to be someone on the spot making sure that it really is chesed, not just fluffy ideas about what you think someone else ought to want.
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Post  Sun, Feb 16 2020, 7:51 am
Yes. Please be careful when asking children to befriend other children. When I was sick with cancer, one of my children was in second grade and more than one child told her “my mother said I should be extra nice to you.” 🙄
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