How a P.E.I. kindergarten class is helping others, one kind message at a time

The Friend Send, where children send a kind word or a nice letter to someone going through a hard time, has come to P.E.I.

The initiative started in Ontario and helps kids who are feeling lonely or have low self-esteem

Five-year-old Siarra Jadis is one of the students who recently participated in The Friend Send at Mount Stewart Consolidated. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

A kind word or a nice letter can make a big difference when you're going through a hard time. That's concept behind The Friend Send, an initiative that's come to P.E.I.

The Friend Send was started by an Ontario woman and her children and is now taking off in an Island classroom. Students from around the country send messages of hope and kindness to kids who've been bullied, have low self-esteem, or maybe just feel lonely. 

Not old enough to write, but old enough to learn

Vanessa MacDonald teaches kindergarten at Mount Stewart Consolidated and had her students participate in The Friend Send. Together, the class coloured kind words and pictures from a picture book.

The plan is to put those pictures together in a book, along with a class letter, and send it to a girl who has been going through a difficult time.

These are some of the pictures that the kindergarten class at Mount Stewart Consolidated plan to send in a book, along with a letter, to a girl who has been going through a hard time. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

"We want the girl that we're paired up with to know that she is strong and brave and beautiful and smart," said MacDonald. 

While her students can't write yet, MacDonald said it was important to her to get the class involved in the initiative.

"As a teacher, it gives me the opportunity to bring up the topic that sometimes people feel not enough — not brave enough, not smart enough, not funny enough — and that it's a normal thing and there are ways to boost your self-esteem," she said.

"Their behaviour and actions matter to other people and that they're in control of themselves."

'They're beautiful enough and smart enough'

Five-year-old ​Siarra Jadis is in MacDonald's class and said wanted to help make this little girl happy.

"I wanted to be nice and sweet," said Jadis.

"Be nice and sweet to give her these pictures and notes."

Teacher Vanessa MacDonald (left) and Siarra Jadis work on the class Friend Send. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

As for the message behind Jadis' picture, she said she hopes it makes the girl feel good about herself.

"They're beautiful enough and smart enough." 

More P.E.I. news: 

With files from Stephanie Kelly