Fifth grade students in Amber Mathews’ class at Duello Elementary were treated to an advanced screening of the movie “Wonder” at Town Square Cinema in Dardenne Prairie as a reward for being a “Certified Kind Classroom.”
The #ChooseKind initiative was born out of the bestselling children’s novel by R.J. Palacio that the movie is based on. Both the movie and the book tell a heartwarming story about Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences who feels as though he can’t blend in because he was born to stand out.
Ms. Mathews submitted her class in the contest earlier this year when they were reading the book together and began their own challenge at Duello to spread kindness. “Our class came up with our own precepts, or words to live by, inspired by characters from the book,” said Mathews. “We have learned great lessons from this book and it has led to powerful classroom conversations.”
The Certified Kind Classroom Program was a joint effort by the author, the publisher, Gap, Inc. and the filmmaker to encourage teachers and students across the country to promote kindness. The movie “Wonder” stars Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay and Owen Wilson and will be officially released on November 17. Ms. Mathew’s class, one of 392 classrooms across the nation to be selected to view an advanced screening, attended the movie on October 26.
“Teachers have embraced Wonder’s message to ‘choose kind’ in such a big and powerful way, by making it a rallying cry against bullying, social isolation, and the petty meanness that sometimes passes for normal in our day-to-day lives,” said Wonder author R.J. Palacio. “It has been a joy to watch classrooms spreading kindness, and I am honored to be a part of a program that will help champion and reward that message to schools across the country.”