The Full Story

The Cost of Kindness – Character Development Lessons for Inner-City Youth


In Mrs. Sarah’s first grade classroom at The Leadership Academy (TLA) of Urban Youth Impact, students learn about kindness. To open up the topic, Mrs. Sarah asked her students to turn to the person next to them and discuss the question, “How much do you think it costs to be kind?”

Many students thought it cost lots of money, maybe even millions of dollars, to be kind to someone. A few students thought it would cost other acts of kindness. And finally a student said, “It costs nothing.” He continued, “You just need God and love.”

That is exactly the cost of kindness!

Mrs. Sarah went on to read “Charlie’s Be Kind Day”, a children’s book about sharing kindness with others. The students listened with agreement as Mrs. Sarah read, ‘I bet being kind will not only make your brother happy, but it will make you happy, too.’

At the end of the lesson, the first graders made cards for the residents at Lakeside Health Center just down the street. A week later, they delivered the cards, putting their lesson into action. The book was right… it did make everyone happy!

The Leadership Academy (TLA) is helping children succeed in life by providing the academic, social/emotional, physical, and spiritual enrichment lessons through their formative years. Monthly, TLA team leaders provide character development that are merged within all activities, both direct instruction and “enhancements”. According to the “America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty” (Afterschool Alliance), character development classes often result in increased attendance, increased comfort with goal setting, improvements in behavior, and even increased graduation rates.

Research from the University of California, Irvine, CA, shows there is a positive impact associated with participation in afterschool programs, including academics and social/emotional outcomes. Afterschool programs can endorse meaningful change by encouraging children to explore different interest areas to find their passion, finding new and creative ways to keep kids excited about learning, and addressing misconceptions children may have – such as, how much it costs to be kind.

Urban Youth Impact loves, equips and empowers inner-city youth to see their God-given potential. Children, like the ones in Mrs. Sarah’s first grade class, are learning character development lessons and showing great progress from the positive experience that leads to student success.

You can be a part of helping more inner-city youth have access to after school programs. Get involved today!

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