What is the Kindhearted Kids Program?
The Two by Two™ Kindhearted Kids Character Education Program is designed to teach ethics, values and formation of character through an exciting and memorable curriculum, which involves a child’s all-time favorite topic: animals. When it comes to teaching core skills and core values, animals can capture a child’s attention, imagination, and heart in ways that other subject matter may not. Children are immediately engaged when they receive a stuffed pet to care for during the Two by Two™ Kindhearted Kids Program. Throughout the research-based program, children learn how to be kind, responsible, and empathetic to all living things shaping them into good students and good citizens. According to the National Parent Teacher Association of 1933, “Children who learn to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just, kind, and considerate in their relations with each other…,” thus are stronger and more engaged students and community members.
How Does it Fit Academically?
The Two by Two™ Kindhearted Kids Program is a unique approach to combining both academics and character education into the regular school day. The curriculum integrates National Education Standards and the American School Counselor Association Mindsets & Behavior Student Success benchmarks, which are essential aspects of the Two by Two™ Kindhearted Kids Program. There are five, cross-curricular, hands-on lessons that incorporate reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, guidance, health/wellness, as well as music and art. Kids LOVE doing homework when presented in this way!
What Does it Look Like in YOUR Educational Setting?
Throughout a five week (or five day) simulation, students care for a stuffed dog or cat. After each lesson, the children transport their pets from your educational setting to home in an adoption pet carrier, which also contains their Two by Two™ Kindhearted Kids Pet Journal. While the children document and reflect about daily experiences with their pets, they learn to live by the Two by Two™ Golden Rule: Treat all living things the way you want to be treated. Participants also learn to make good decisions for people, animals, and the environment by embodying the Two by Two™ Character Traits: fairness, kindness, respect, responsibility, empathy, cooperation, perseverance, and citizenship.
“The Two by Two Kindhearted Kids Program is so much more than a cute program about pets. The way this program weaves character education into highly motivating lessons is masterful. My second graders will carry these life lessons they have learned from Two by Two outside the classroom into their lives.”
DEA President, former 2nd grade teacher, District Instructional Coach and Language Arts Facilitator | Dubuque Community Schools, Dubuque, IA
“If you’re going to have a lasting impact in the area of character education where students learn how to care for all living creatures, you have to start with a child’s heart, and that’s what the Two by Two Kindhearted Kids Program does.”
Principal Dan Ratcliff
Cardinal Elementary, Maquoketa, IA
Kindhearted Kids Practice Kindness
- Character Focus: Kindness, Respect, and Responsibility
- Lesson Objective: Students learn how to become kind, respectful, and responsible Kindhearted Kids by caring for a stuffed dog or cat.
- Vocabulary: Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, Two by Two Golden Rule
- Interactive Activities: Flannel board storytelling, drama, pet journal writing and drawing. Optional faith based connection for religious settings only.
Kindhearted Kids Practice Responsibility
- Character Focus: Responsibility
- Lesson Objective: Students learn ways to be responsible while being a helping hand.
- Vocabulary: Persevere, People, Companion Animal, Wild Animal, Environment
- Interactive Activities: Reading fiction (also in Spanish), singing, pet journal writing and drawing, optional fiction/non-fiction books for group or individual reading. Optional faith based connection for religious settings only.
Kindhearted Kids Recognize GOOD Decisions
- Character Focus: Responsibility, Respect, and Empathy
- Lesson Objective: Students learn how to make good decisions using empathy.
- Vocabulary: Decision, Empathy
- Interactive Activities: Practice how to make good decisions in safe and unsafe situations, act out examples of empathy, calculate pet care costs, journal writing, singing, and drawing. Optional faith based connection for religious settings only.
Kindhearted Kids Become Empathetic
- Character Focus: Empathy and Cooperation
- Lesson Objective: Students learn how to be empathetic to all living things.
- Vocabulary: Empathy, Cruelty, Cooperation
- Interactive Activities: Participating in puppet story to listen for and recognize acts of cruelty and empathy, charting feelings and actions, working with groups to act out cruel and empathetic behaviors, pet journal writing and drawing.
Optional faith based connection for religious settings only.
Kindhearted Kids Become Responsible Citizens
- Character Focus: Responsibility and Citizenship
- Lesson Objective: Students learn how to be responsible citizens and demonstrate leadership.
- Vocabulary: Responsible Citizen, Overpopulation, Spay, Neuter
- Interactive Activities: Using math manipulatives, singing, pet journal writing and drawing. Optional faith based
connection for religious settings only.