Hunting for Kindness: Kool to Be Kind Launches 2nd Annual Event to Raise Awareness of Bullying

On Thursday, Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. the Westport group Kool 2 Be Kind publicly launched their 2nd annual “Scavenger Hunt for Kindness” under their colorful banner on Main Street.

According to Sarah Green, one of the four Westport women who created the program, the idea is to spread kindness around the town. 50 stores are participating in the two- and -a-half-week long event and have “Ally Power” signs in their store windows for the participating 3rd graders.

“The kids go into the stores with the Ally Power signs and ask what they do for the community that is kind,” Green said. “It helps to show the kids that kindness is a community effort.”

Kool to be Kind, often-abbreviated K2BK, is an anti bullying program started by four Westport women: Cindy Eigen, Lynne Goldstein, Sarah Green, Mellissa Shein and Karen Varsano. In addition to organizing the scavenger hunt, the program also works with Staples High School students to teach lessons about kindness to Westport Public School 3rd graders.

“We go to the schools and have a lesson with the 3rd graders where we teach them about the roles of bullying and about being nice and its importance,” said Rachel Treisman ‘15, a participant in the program.

Jackson Yang ‘13, co-president of the Kindness Club, is a group leader at Kool to be Kind. K2BK is an extracurricular program, although it works closely with the in-school club. Both programs collaborate to prevent bullying at an early age.

“We’re starting at the third grade level, where the social awareness starts to develop, in an effort to promote a kinder and friendlier environment,” Yang ’13 said. “By teaching respect and tolerance at a younger age, we hope to change, if even slightly, the social environment and dynamic that these kids experience as they mature.”

Yang felt that the program had a strong foundation and a bright outlook. “With dedicated members spread out through every elementary school in Westport, I think there’s a bright future for the program and its participants,” he said.

This year’s scavenger hunt is just one way that the program is creatively teaching kids about bullying and kindness outside of school and throughout the town.

“We are just trying to make the community more aware of kindness and show that we are all in this together [as a town],” founder Cindy Eigen said.

The Scavenger Hunt for Kindness continues until Feb. 18 across Westport.