Thursday, February 7, 2013

Real Acts of Caring (RAC) in the Tri-Cities Grows

Staff and students at Maple Creek in Port Coquitlam are making great efforts to spread kindness in their community. Students have requested the week of February 10 to 16th, 2013, to be proclaimed as RAC Week.  The communities which have passed proclamations in the Tri-cities are Port Coquitlam, Anmore, Belcarra and Port Moody.  Coquitlam (who doesn’t pass proclamations) is also very supportive of RAC.  Students from local schools (Maple Creek, Kwayhquitlum, Harbour View, Scott Creek, Panorama, Anmore and Mountain Meadows) made presentations to the local city and village councils. The idea is to spread RAC around the community and to have people thinking about doing kind things for others and not to expect anything back in return.  The goal is to make RAC a part of people's everyday life and not just a week within the year. 

RAC was started by a group of grade 4/5 students at Central Elementary, along with their counsellor, Harriette Chang in 2005.  It was originally called RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) but this name was copyrighted so students decided to change it to Real Acts of Caring.  These students are now in grade 11 and 12 and are still working hard to spread RAC around the community.  Students and classes around the district will be participating in RAC activities during February 10th-16th

It is amazing how the idea of doing something kind for others quickly spreads and the past seven years have presented many opportunities for the students to experience the domino effect of kindness. After students randomly bought strangers coffee they were very surprised to see what happened. “We saw adults start to buy coffee for each other and many donated back to the class so that we could RAC more people,” exclaimed Shayla Turner, a student at Maple Creek. “It made me feel really good to see it passed on and I felt like my job was done.”

This year Maple Creek students are doing an all day RAC field trip, which includes going to Glen Pine Seniors Centre on February 14th to sing songs and bring cards and flowers to the seniors. On the 15th the students will be starting off at Starbucks where they have raised over $200 per class, of their own money to buy strangers coffee. They will be doing crafts with Kindergarten students at Meadowbrook and Glen Elementary and then the students will be going out into the community to RAC fire stations, police stations, city halls, schools, hospitals, the mall, street corners and whatever comes to mind! “I believe the most important thing that I can teach a child is to be a caring, kind and compassionate individual,” says Melissa Burdock, a grade 6/7 French Immersion teacher at Maple Creek. “This field trip has them doing exactly that and they get to experience firsthand how wonderful it feels.”

For more information on RAC please contact:
Melissa Burdock 604-464-8581
Harriette Chang or 604-464-8581

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