Nancy Raciti tells Be Kind & Co. that when she was 5 years old, she was bullied and locked in a bathroom by her classmates. The traumatic experience has never left her memory and now she has created a character & book entitled “The Adventures of Carry Kindness” that teaches children the importance of being kind. Parents, students, and teachers have fallen in love with Carry Kindness and have begun to share pictures of Carry doing acts of kindness. We recently caught up with Nancy and she shared her creative journey with us.
Who is Carry Kindness?
Carry Kindness® is a character who is on a mission to carry kindness around the world. Carry’s mission begins with a paper cut-out based on the title character of the children’s book, “The Adventures of Carry Kindness”. It’s a story about how an act of kindness can change the world.
What lessons does Carry Kindness teach to kids?
Carry Kindness teaches kindness during children’s formative years, setting the stage for a lifetime of personal satisfaction and helping to make the world a better place. Carry is an interactive character who helps kids build their kindness muscle. She is being used in classrooms as a component of social emotional learning.
Teachers read “The Adventures of Carry Kindness” and then each student is given a black-and-white cut-out of Carry for them to color. Students learn how to address envelopes and mail Carry out into the world, asking their friends or relatives to help in three easy ways:
Take a photo with Carry Kindness and write down the Act of Kindness they did with her.
Send Carry to someone else to continue her mission to carry kindness around the world.
Mail a letter back to the student so they realize the difference their kind heart is making.
How did you come up with the idea of Carry Kindness?
Over 50 years ago I was locked in a single room bathroom by two of my kindergarten classmates. It was horrifying to me as a five-year-old and I still remember the incident vividly.
Thinking back to those days, I knew I wanted to create something positive that would encourage children to engage in kindness. I wanted it to be focused on what they could do vs. telling them not to do something (e.g., don’t be mean). I was also influenced by the research showing children learn kindness best by practicing it and, soon after, I created Carry Kindness. She is a fun and interactive way for kids to practice being kind. It’s about connection. It’s about teaching kids and reminding people of all ages to be kind.
How is the Carry Kindness book different from other books?
“The Adventures of Carry Kindness” tells the story of how a kind heart can change the world. The illustration of Carry Kindness at the back of the book allows children to immediately color their own Carry Kindness and help her on her mission to carry kindness around the world. Numerous research studies verify the benefits of kindness. Practicing kindness is valuable for everyone.
How are kids responding?
The Carry Kindness project spreads so much joy and kids love her! It’s so fun when they realize her name is a verb, “Ohhhhh, carry kindness.” One teacher said every time they receive a letter in the mail, her students are on the edge of their seats waiting to hear who it is for and what random act of kindness is described in the letter. An added bonus is they are learning geography while keeping track of Carry’s travels.
As a mom (and teacher) explained, “I use Carry as my reminder that being kind is one of the easiest and most important things you can do for yourself and for others.”
You want to send your book to children in Ukraine to remind them that kindness still exists?
When I found out more than half of the children of Ukraine have fled their homes for safety, it broke my heart. An estimated 4.3 million Ukrainian children have left behind their routines, friends, school, toys, and books. I wanted to do something to encourage them.
I’ve created a special Ukrainian edition of my book and launched a campaign to send 10,000 copies to the children who have been displaced due to the war. The gift of a brand-new book, in their language, will be a treasured possession to a child who was forced to leave everything behind and the story of how an act of kindness changes everything will remind them there is good in this world. Together, we will remind them of the kindness in people. And, through their lifetimes, they will know they were not forgotten.
To help raise funds for 10,000 books, check out the campaign via KindnessforUkraine.com. Each child will get a book, a box of crayons, and a bag to hold the book in.
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