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Our Core Values: Respect | Hard Work | Integrity | Diversity | Communication | Excellence

January 3, 2017

Welcome to 2017 and back to school! While January seems to be a month of change (resolutions, anyone?), I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect on the district's core values, and recommit to fulfill them.

Adopted by the board of education and district over 5 years ago, our core values are the guiding principles of our daily interactions with students, parents, and the community. These values include: communication, integrity, respect, hard work, excellence, and diversity. This year, I'd like to add another one: kindness.

In an article published on New Year's Day in Parade, the author, Paula Spencer Scott, observes that we seem to be in "a bit of a kindness crisis these days." She continues with statistics: "only 25% of Americans believe we're living in a kind society", and "more than half said kindness has deteriorated in the past 10 years."

The good news? Being kind is free. It's easy. And it's intertwined with all our other core values, so it works with what we are already trying to accomplish. Another bonus - there are actual benefits to being kind:

  • Happier, bigger hearts. Kindness and compassion for others causes an actual chemical "feel good" reaction in our brains.
  • Better physical health. Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education says that when patients receive kind treatment from medical staff, they have less anxiety and pain and shorter hospital stays.
  • Tighter neighborhoods. Being kind/getting to know your neighbors creates a social infrastructure that can help in times of crisis – neighborhood watch programs, fires, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters are better supported with these infrastructures in place.
  • Emotionally intelligent kids. Our teachers can tell you, social-emotional skills are a better predictor of success than IQ. Kindness is also key to anti-bullying programs.
  • Better business. Imagine a business model where kindness (not the bottom dollar) were rewarded. According to Scott, "millennials are leading the way when it comes to seeking pro-social workplaces and goods."
  • A less fragmented, more connected world. The CEO of Kindness USA, Orly Wahba, says "Kindness is the tool to breaking down labels and barriers and seeing we're all exactly the same. In a world that sometimes shows you bad, kindness shows you so much good."

Read the entire article here: http://parade.com/534041/paulaspencer/lets-make-2017-the-year-of-being-kind/, and be inspired to do kind things and live in kindness by the below quotes.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call 609-748-1250, ext. 1016, or email: giaquintoa@gtps.k12.nj.us. Happy New Year!

Kindness Quotes

It's not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not.
We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even - or rather, especially -
when we'd prefer not to be. - Josh Radnor

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. - William Arthur Ward

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who
receives them, and they bless you, the giver. - Barbara De Angelis

Kindness is showing love to someone else. I believe that kindness is the cure
to violence and hatred around the world. – Lady Gaga

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." - Plato

"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,
but manifestations of strength and resolution." – Kahlil Gibran

"Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice,
but because you are." – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Annette C. Giaquinto, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Meeting the Standard of Excellence
giaquintoa@gtps.k12.nj.us
609.748.1250, ext.
1016




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