Holy Child Students Embrace 12 Days of Kindness

In remembering the true call of the Christmas season, third graders at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, NJ, embarked on their third annual 12 Days of Kindness campaign this week.

The campaign, which started Monday, December 7, was created by Patti Cepparulo, Oak Knoll’s coed elementary school drama and religion teacher, who saw a need for providing students an opportunity to embrace the example of Cornelia Connelly, foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

Four Cornelias
Cornelia Connelly

“The children have learned from our foundress that it is Actions Not Words, that really make a difference,” Mrs. Cepparulo said. “The students here are genuinely kind and they love spreading kindness, but giving them ownership of this campaign makes service toward the church and others more meaningful.”

Calendars containing each day of kindness through December 18 were handed out to students and teachers, encouraging the Oak Knoll community to be embrace kindness daily at the school and beyond.

The 12 Days of Kindness include:

December 7 – Give someone a hug

December 8 – Follow directions and be a good listener

December 9 – Cheer someone up with a smile or a joke

December 10 – Clean up litter outside or in the dining hall

December 11 – Surprise someone with a secret note

December 12 – Do an extra chore around the house to help out

December 13 – Be thankful for family and say an extra prayer

December 14 – Share something with a friend

December 15 – Give someone a compliment

December 16 – Ask a new friend to play with you at recess

December 17 – Make someone a card to tell them they are special

December 18 – You decide which act of kindness you will do today


As for the students, the message of Actions Not Words is resonating with them as they prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.


“Niceness is a gift to other people so it makes sense to do the kindness campaign during Christmas when we give gifts, because being kind to someone is a gift in itself,” said Lauren Buggie ‘25, a third grade student from Summit.

“This is important because we aren’t worrying about getting presents. We are doing kind things instead, and helping the world be a better place,” added Melissa Dardanello ‘25, a third grader from Mountainside.

Other students said the message of the campaign is also a universal one.

“The kindness campaign shows others that they should be kind no matter what,” said third grader Ava Reitz-Bouren ‘25, also of Summit. “You don’t have to be Christian – everyone should be kind.”

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