It’s kindness season, and you can be a part of #BeKind21. Here’s how.

Photo above by Eye for Ebony used by permission via Unsplash.

Our team at Kidsburgh recently got a wonderful invitation: Would we want to help a lot of really nice people spread kindness throughout Pittsburgh and beyond?

When we saw the list of local participants (the Center for Loving Kindness, the Children’s Museum and Museum Lab, JAMbethkindkid, Inc., WQED and Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski, the authors of When You Wonder, You’re Learning) who are partnering with Lady Gaga’s national Born This Way Foundation for #BeKind21, we were glad to jump on board.

Here’s what bubbling:

What is #BeKind21? (and don’t you mean #BeKind22?) 

Although this project did start last year, the “21” signifies 21 days of kindness, which will kick off on Sept. 1.

The #BeKind21 21-day calendar offers three weeks of easy acts of kindness for kids and their families.

Last year, the #BeKind21 initiative brought together the JAM folks and the Fred Rogers Institute for a shared program called “Just The Way You Are.” Among other things, they offered a Kindness Calendar and profiles of local people promoting kindness in the Pittsburgh region. This year, the program has grown and Kidsburgh is excited to be involved along with other new partners like the Children’s Museum.

“We are thrilled to celebrate kindness with Remake Learning and all of the organizations participating in #BeKind21,” said Max Pipman, senior director of communications at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “Kindness is centered in every exhibit, interaction, and moment at the museum. Bringing so many partners together to highlight and encourage kindness, with thoughtful daily reminders, is such a great inspiration to us all.”

And that’s what this project is about — inspiring as many people as possible to think about kindness and act on that kindness this September.

How can your family get involved?

Each day from Sept. 1 through Sept. 21, we’ll be sharing a daily action that promotes kindness. (Sneak peek: Check out the whole list in the graphic above!) Your family can do them all or as many as you can, and you can talk with your kids about them.

If you want to post about the kindness you’re doing, or you “catch” someone expressing kindness and want to share the story of that moment, let us know here at Kidsburgh or post on social media with the hashtag #BeKind21. Last year we had fun spotlighting the many Kidsburgh Kind Kids our readers wrote in to tell us about, and we’re always up for hearing about acts of kindness. So reach out — we’ll be glad to hear from you.

We’re guessing this project will resonate with many Pittsburgh-area families. Although the Born This Way Foundation is pursuing this project nationally, it feels so suited for Pittsburgh because it ties in so directly with Fred Rogers’ messages about the importance of kindness in every neighborhood.

As “When You Wonder” co-author Gregg Behr said in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about #BeKind21, “the idea is just to put a little goodness into this world and make it easier for somebody, especially young people, to do good things for one another. It seems like a very Fred type of thing to do.”

All of these acts of kindness can be done by anyone, anywhere — even young kids. And in Pittsburgh, many kids are already familiar with this way of thinking, thanks to the growing #bethekindkid movement.

“The mission of JAM #bethekindkid is to use our creative talents to help others who need help more than we do,” says Maureen Frew, Avonworth School District teacher and JAM #bethekindkid’s original sponsor. “JAM students understand the power they have to help cultivate an environment of kindness wherever they may land in life.”

Stay tuned for more information on Sept. 1!