Local author spreads message to be kind, while reading his new book to elementary students

A local author read from his new book Be Kind to a group of first-graders on Monday.

"Can everyone see the book?" asks Andy Gutman from the front of class. "Everybody needs a smile sometime - like one, two, three, it's so easy to be kind," he reads aloud. 

But for Gutman, he's soon realizing how much adults might be able to learn from children about being kind.

"In listening to the kids talk about what it means to be kind, I realize adults can learn a lot from kids," he said.

Gutman received his warm welcome from the young students at the Beechview Elementary School in Farmington Hills. The stop was part of his mission to share the message of kindness all around the state. 

From the first-graders' statements on kindness, it sounds like that message is infectious.

"I think kind means to care for other people and be there for other people when they need them," said Kayleigh Schmitt

"When someone is sad, I like to cheer them up," said Dominick Williams.

"You should go and say 'do you want to play with me?' so they wouldn't feel left out like at recess," said Kendall Johns

"To help other people if they fall down and get hurt," said Dean Bernard

The Beechville Elementary School principal said the students take the message of kindness seriously. Some have even started volunteering at a local food bank.

"We want our students to know, even at 5, 6, 7 years old, they can use kindness to make a difference in the lives of others," said Shawndra Hernton.

Gutman is bringing some gifts along with his readings - donating bins full of school supplies to the teachers for their classroom. But not only that, he's also extending his mission to the rest of the world, along with a request: nominate someone to be on the receiving end of one of his acts of kindness.

"We really are spreading the kindness message and we're trying to get out and do acts of kindness. We hope we'll get a lot of nominations, we've got so many going so far, but nominations are open until the end of February," said Guttman.

You can learn more about the book and its author at https://www.gutcheckpublishing.com/