Education

Gregory Students Spread Kindness; Give “Moore Love” in West Orange

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Sam Selikoff helped a cat find a new home as part of the "Give Moore Love" initiative at Gregory School. Credits: Leslie Selikoff
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Piper Stephens helped helped her neighbors shovel their driveway as part of the "Give MooreLove " initiative at Gregory School. Credits: Leslie Selikoff
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WEST ORANGE, NJ - Moore Love’s “Pass It On,” an initiative to teach children kindness and to build a kinder community, returned to Gregory Elementary School on Feb. 1 for the fourth year.

The initiative began in 2013, as a program to encourage kindness in schools, and throughout communities. The initiative demonstrates that “kindness is catching” by encouraging students to start a chain reaction with just one random act of kindness.

Moore Love develops programs in schools, communities and businesses to encourage positive acts that bring brightness to others, with the hope they will pass it on, according to the Moore Love organization. The organization is committed to fostering kindness with the belief that “kindness is catching,” and that kind actions by one individual can spread and create a kinder community.

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"We believe teaching our scholars to be caring, respectful, and responsible community members is as important as our academic endeavors,” said Michele Thompson, principal, Gregory School. “Moore Love has been an excellent tool in helping the children see the impact that kindness has both in the school community and beyond. Gregory School is proud to be a part of Moore Love!"

The program works as follows:

  • Students do something kind and pass on a “kindness card” to the recipient of the kind act.
  • Students log their random act of kindness and card # at moore-love.org.
  • Recipients “pass on” a kind act and log their acts and card #s at moore-love.org.
  • Everyone returns to the website to watch as their card # and kind acts are passed on and on.

Some Gregory students have already started to embrace the program.

Sam Selikoff’s act of kindness occurred at an animal shelter.

"I helped my mom give tours when she volunteered at the animal shelter, and I helped a family find a new cat to adopt, said Selikoff. “It made me happy to know that helped a cat find a good home, and I hope the family I helped will do something nice because I helped them.”

Piper Stephens helped her neighbors shovel their driveway. 

She said, "It was hard to shovel the snow, but I was proud I did it and helped. I can't wait to see what they do to pass it on."

According to the organization, the program honors Ella Moore, the foundation’s namesake, by furthering her mission to spread joy and self-worth.

“Ella was living proof that kindness can spread like wildfire,” said Betsy Stephens, Moore Love’s founder and president. “She provided the spark—even while battling a terminal illness.”

“The spark Ella started is now spreading kindness to West Orange—and beyond,” she added.

On February 1, each child at Gregory Elementary School received a Moore Love “Pass It On” card with instructions and a unique number that will allow them to track their cards. Once children perform a kind act, give their cards away, and log their acts on the Moore Love website, they will receive a blue wrist band signifying that they have created the spark of kindness in their community.

Gregory Elementary School Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist Sarah McIntosh said, “Moore Love is a great way for our students to learn how being kind and helping others not only helps the recipient of their kind act, but can help them to feel better about themselves and to build a stronger, more supportive community.”

Local businesses in West Orange are supporting the movement by offering rewards for students who come in wearing a blue wrist band. The rewards range from cupcakes to free bowling games. Participating merchants include: Supreme Bakery, Dunkin Donuts, The Essex House, 8 to 8 Barber Shop, Suzie Q’s, West Orange Bake Shop, GNC, Mike and Kimmie’s Nails, and Johnny’s Pizzeria.

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