11-year-old turns a class assignment into a passion project to spread kindness

11-year-old turns a class assignment into a passion project to spread kindness

Spencer Middle School student livens up her neighbourhood for a class presentation

As far as Jason Chan is concerned, when it comes to being kind, Maddison Brooks goes the extra mile whenever she can.

Chan, a sixth-grade teacher at Spencer Middle School, said Brooks’ social studies project is “a good example of a student going above and beyond what is expected of them.”

The project, which encouraged students to make a difference in their own world in whichever way they can, empowered Brooks to spread kindness in her community in several different ways.

ALSO READ: Students donate 5,265 socks to Our Place

Over the years, students have raised money for charities with bottle drives and bake sales as part of the project. Brooks chose a much broader goal: making people happy.

At her mother’s suggestion, Brooks helped her neighbours shovel the driveway, and then did five more during a heavy snow week.

“I started out by doing little things, like I played with my upstairs neighbour’s dog because the upstairs neighbour couldn’t go outside because it’s too cold,” she said.

“He ripped apart my hat because he’s just so excited because he loves snow,” she said with a laugh.

Brooks asked some kids who were stuck inside if they wanted to come out and play. Not everyone said yes, but a couple of them agreed, she said.

ALSO READ: Shoreline Middle school celebrates 50 years of community-based education

“Now some of those kids are some of my best friends, which is nice,” Brooks added.

With her mom’s help, Brooks also baked some cookies and delivered them to firefighters. She walked around her neighbourhood to pick up any garbage she could find and ended up with two bags full.

“She just loves, I think, the feeling of giving,” Chan remarked.

Brooks has been giving treats to her class, such as gift bags on Valentine’s Day and Halloween and cookies and cupcakes for Christmas and Easter “for as long as I can remember,” she said.

“I like how much they enjoy it and their reactions to it makes me happy,” Brooks noted.

“I make trail mix for my teacher and he loves it,” she added.

ALSO READ: Shoreline Middle School students pitch in to clean school trail

“Valentine’s Day was extra special because she actually went to the dollar store and used her own money and bought every single student hand made gift bags,” Chan said.

The project was designed to inspire students to look outside their own lives, at how children are treated in other parts of the world, and highlighted the wonderful things other kids who are their age have done. “Everyone did their part,” Chan said, referring to his students.

Although Brooks faces challenges like many students her age, Chan said, he applauded her knowing kids are capable of “making positive change.” And local kids, it seems, have caught on.

When Brooks stood in front of the class to make her final presentation, “everyone was silent,” Chan said.

“They were just amazed, like, they couldn’t believe that she had done all of these things.”

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Architect’s rendering of the 7 Erskine Lane development, showing the view from the east and south. (VDA Architecture Ltd. image)
View Royal green-lights residential development on Erskine Lane

First of two developments near Victoria General Hospital will provide 71 housing units

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

A family of ducks that lives near Saanich Municipal Hall recently welcomed 11 ducklings and took them for a swim in the koi pond outside the offices. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Pair of ducks make Saanich Municipal Hall a nursery for 11 hatchlings

Family of ducks spent time in koi pond before heading down to Swan Lake

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Most Read