How MINI Street Celebrated World Kindness Day
Posted on November 27 2019
On November 13th, in celebration of World Kindness Day, The MINI Street team, including our own minis, partnered with local favourites Justine Ma and LOVEPIZZA to host a hot lunch at St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary School! Together we served approximately 366 pizzas, and handed out tons of stickers while getting to learn about the work St. Teresa of Calcutta is doing to teach their students about respect and kindness!
MINI Street has always been dedicated to community-building. In February, we launched our Be Kind Initiative, in partnership with Justine Ma, Edmonton-based designer, hand letterer, mommy, and champion of self-love. Together, we created the mega soft Be Kind sweatshirt, which has expanded to tees, tanks, and pins. You can read more about the launch here. Proceeds from the sale of our Be Kind collection funded this year's hot lunch.
Founders of LOVEPIZZA, Gavin and Braede, pictured above with Milan, also joined us for what we hope will become a yearly Be Kind tradition!
Our amazing MINI Street volunteers enjoying some LOVEPIZZA after all their hard work!
An Interview with Kelly Laxdal, Assistant Principal at St. Teresa of Calcutta School
St. Teresa of Calcutta is a kindergarten to grade six Catholic school serving over 330 students throughout the inner-city community. Dedicated to providing education equity to underserved children and families, St. Teresa offers tons of programming centered around nutrition, creativity, and community-building. Assistant Principal, Kelly Laxdal shares more about the school’s top Be Kind programs below.
“We are entering our seventh year for the YONA Program — which has expanded this year to include students from grade one — offered by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. It provides students with group music lessons as well as access to homework help, nutritious snacks, and free-play every day after school for three hours.”
There are roughly 60 children that participate in the YONA program, inspired by the El Sistema program developed in Venezuela. There is no cost to participating families and transportation is provided for children to get St. Alphonsus, YONA’s secondary site.
“This program was made possible from the kindness of the Edmonton Symphony members who come to our school every day to be part of the children's lives.
St. Teresa also offers a mentoring program in cooperation with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Canada. Students in grade 1 through grade 6 are paired with an adult buddy, who spends an hour a week with the students in various educational activities.
“This is a great option for parents who may be struggling with after school care. We always ensure that we have set money aside from our yearly budget to fund this programming.”
St. Teresa also partners with students Austin O'Brien high school every Wednesday to provide one-on-one relationship building and support with children from Grades 2 to 6. There are also plenty of longstanding peer-to-peer programs taking place at the elementary every day like a lunch-time mentorship program, a recess big brothers and sisters program for differently-abled students, and Reading Buddies. Every Thursday morning, children from different classrooms and grades are buddied together to practice reading strategies. The same reading buddy is assigned throughout the year so students can celebrate their progress together!
We believe showing kindness to others shouldn't be limited to one day, and love the work St. Teresa of Calcutta is doing to ensure kindness is celebrated all-year-round!
“We have such a mixed culture of students at our school and our programs are focused on being kind, good citizens who appreciate and respect one another. Working with the MINI Street team, Justine, and LOVEPIZZA during World Kindness Day was such an amazing experience that all of the children loved. Some even took the initiative to collect thank you letters to pass long."
Join the Be Kind club today — shop our Be Kind tees and crewnecks here, for you and your mini!
Are you a principal, teacher, or parent who would like to host a kindness or community-related event with MINI Street? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea! We’d love to work together.