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Will the TTC be the kinder and better way,
during Kindness Week, March 1 to 6?

The Human Kindness Project is a non-profit organization, which, in collaboration with its flagship event, Kindness Week, provides education and programs that use kindness as a tool for developing positive social skills, compassion, resiliency and leadership among children and youth. Kindness Week is a program that also gives teachers the resources to teach kindness and students the opportunity to demonstrate kindness.

According to the organization, one in three adolescent students in Canada are bullied. One in two Canadian parents report having a child who is a victim of bullying. Higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression in children and youth are reaching epidemic proportions.

Science shows that kindness can serve as a preventative measure against student challenges by giving students the tools to develop stronger social connections and a greater ability to deal with adversity. A focus on kindness and compassion can complement existing health services, contribute to well-being and orient students for success. Ultimately, students who perform acts of kindness inspire greater kindness among their peers.

The second annual Greater Toronto Area Kindness Week takes place Monday, March 1 until Friday, March 6, 2015.

The group says that, by participating in Kindness Week 2015, students will increase their knowledge of the positive impacts of kindness on themselves and those around them and experience how giving leads to improved self-esteem and empathy.

One way they’ll be participating tomorrow, Monday, March 2, is during customer appreciation events on the TTC at Bloor - Yonge, Finch and Eglinton Stations. The student volunteers will be holding “kindness” placards and handing out treats to passengers.

To help you support the initiative, the TTC suggests several ways that you can make the TTC the kinder way:

  • Remember that priority seating is for seniors, people with a disability and expectant mothers. Be sure to offer up your seat to someone who needs it more than you.
  • Carry your knapsack by your side, not on your back, on crowded vehicles.
  • Keep bags on your lap or on the floor by your feet. Seats are for passengers.
  • Don’t block the doors - move right into the vehicle to allow others to enter.

In the 2013-14 school year, the Human Kindness Project, in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board, organized the first annual GTA-wide Kindness Week (May 5 - 9, 2014). More than 3,000 students across the city designed acts of kindness and performed them locally with support from the Human Kindness Project team, principals, teachers and guidance counsellors. In 2015, the project will expand to include from 10,000 to 12,000 students and an additional kindness curriculum will be available for teachers.