A PRIMARY school in County Cork has decided to do away with all homework for the entire month of December, replacing it instead with 'acts of kindness'.
Instead of spending the dark winter evenings memorising times tables or reciting the Modh Coinníollach, schoolchildren in Clonakilty's Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin will be spreading the true meaning of Christmas by performing acts of kindness for friends, family and the community.
It's the third year in a row the school has replaced homework with something unique-- last year it was gratitude, where the children and their families recorded all the things they were grateful for in a Dialann Buíochas (Gratitude Diary).
This year, the children are asked to record their acts of kindness-- either in writing or pictures-- in their Dialann Cineáltais (Kindess Diary).
The school suggests doing something nice for an elderly neighbour, or performing an act of kindness for a relative or friend who may be feeling lonely, but the act can be anything as long as it brightens someone's day.
As if the initiative couldn't get any lovelier, the school have also installed a Buicéad Cineáltais, where children can write kind notes about each other to raise everyone's self esteem, and which are read out at assembly each Friday.
And finally, each class will put their heads together and come up with a class-wide project which can help the community during the Christmas seasons-- ar fheabhas ar fad!
Vice Principal Íde Ní Mhuirí spoke of the idea behind the initiative via a statement on Facebook, saying:
“We are encouraging our pupils to think of the real spirit of Christmas, the spirit of kindness and giving.
"Unfortunately not everyone is in a position to be able to enjoy Christmas, some are lonely, some are sad, some might yearn for what they do not have and some might simply not enjoy the festivities. But there is nobody in this world who wouldn’t benefit from an act of kindness, and the joy of kindness is that it costs nothing."
She continued: "Our message to the children is very simple: they can be the reason somebody smiles today and they can definitely help make this world a better place for others and for themselves."