The world appears to be moving at a mile a minute these days and with access at our fingertips, it’s more important than ever to continue embedding acts of kindness, empathy, and compassion into our daily lives. One way to do so is by including mentor texts into your curriculum along with blended learning programs — here are a few of our educator network favorites for all grade levels!

Elementary School

The Jelly Donut Difference by Maria Dismondy

Siblings, Leah and Dexter, can be downright mean to each other but through the power of paying it forward and jelly donuts, they may find a way to get along and be kind!

I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoet

Inspired by true events, this story demonstrates how standing up to bullying through a simple act of kindness can change the culture of a school and community.

Lend a Hand by John Frank

This collection of 14 original poems provides ways that any person, no matter your age or situation, can be kind and it can all start with just lending a hand.

EVERFI Resource The Compassion Project

The Compassion Project is a first-of-its-kind national initiative to provide compassion education to elementary school students across the US through an online blended learning resource. With interactive activities and games that teach compassion, The Compassion Project provides invaluable resources for teaching empathy in the classroom.


Middle School

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Auggie Pullman is entering mainstream school for the first time as a 5th grade boy with severe facial deformities.  We hear not only from Auggie’s experiences as he navigates this new territory but also from his family members who are wondering about the true nature of compassion and kindness in a world of differences.

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Told by seven 5th grade students as they journey through the school year with a new teacher, Mr. Terupt, we see they are allowed to get away with just about everything until one day an accident changes everyone.

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

Lara thought she knew Christian after speaking with him in person but after his harsh comments on Facebook for all to see, the comments push her to a place that not even her best friends could imagine.

EVERFI Resources Character Playbook + HonorCode

Character Playbook is an innovative digital character education program that uses engaging social-emotional learning activities to educate students about cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships during their critical middle school years.

HonorCode is a digital blended learning resource that empowers students to become leaders in their school communities and prevent bullying in their school communities. Students are able to apply the social skills learned in each module by engaging in real life-based scenarios that challenge them in areas of courage, leadership, and resilience.

High School

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Told through the eyes of Charlie and his letters, we experience the rollercoaster that is high school years.  From school dances and heartbreaks to leaving for college, Charlie and his friends discover their confidence and where they fit in the world.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Born without arms, Aven Green loves to create fantastic stories on how she lost her arms so that people don’t feel bad for her.  However, when her family moves across the country she bonds with a boy who also faces his own disabilities. Together they find they can do it all no matter the circumstances.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder, Audrey has experienced bullying which has her hiding in her house with no connection to the outside world.  She meets her brother’s friend Linus who unexpectedly helps her gain confidence and find her voice.

EVERFI Resource Mental Wellness Basics

Mental Wellness Basics is a digital blended learning resource that aims to foster a mental health mindset in students to help them develop feelings of self-efficacy and skills that promote and model advocacy for self and others.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

-Scott Adams

Alyssa Mahramus is a Schools Implementation Manager for EVERFI providing support to Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia schools.  She is a former teacher of 8 years working both in the city of Pittsburgh, PA and Pinehurst, NC. When not reading about education or discovering new classroom tools, Alyssa loves running & playing with her dog Steve.


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