I can't wait to see the difference it makes to our next generation in terms of their development, growth and resilience.- Kath Koschel
Kindness is free to give and priceless to receive.
It's a lesson that takes some of us years to learn, but children at 80 schools across the country will have the benefit of a head start as ACM partners with the Kindness Factory to support students' mental health and wellbeing.
It comes at a critical point, when the demand for mental health support is at an all-time high, ACM managing director Tony Kendall says.
"Our journalists have reported on mental health issues throughout regions of Australia for a long time, and it's evidence we need to do more as a community," he said.
"With this initiative we hope to provide some tools to help reverse what is a very worrying trend among our youth."
Established by not-for-profit the Kindness Factory, the Kindness Curriculum brings the power of positivity into the classroom.
It gives kids the tools to grow into happy, confident and well-rounded adults.
If kindness saves one life, then Kindness Factory founder Kath Koschel said her mission was working.
"The feedback we've received from participants has driven us to create a second iteration that will give schools even more support on their kindness journey.
"I can't wait to see the difference it makes to our next generation in terms of their development, growth and resilience," Ms Koschel said.
The pilot program launching in 2022 provides teachers with the know-how, kind conversations webinars, act-of-kindness action days, a presentation from Ms Koschel and access to the One Small Act podcast where kids from around the world talk about how choosing kindness helped them.
A Kindness Factory study showed that even in difficult times, Australians want to live a life of kindness.
More than a third of people are more consciously kind as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one-third are sensitive to other people's challenges and more aware of the effects of loneliness.
It's why ACM staff jumped onboard, with more than 150 nominations flooding in to push for their local schools to take part.
The initiative has been fast-tracked thanks to the partnership with ACM, Kindness Factory chief executive Rachel Troy said.
"The work they do in the regions to keep communities strong is admirable, and we are delighted to partner with them on this journey," she said.
Participating schools have been invited to take part in an information session in March.
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