Kindness is a Gift that Keeps on Giving

Riverside County students and educators create books to help others.

Dan and Eisley Brandt with County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White.

Student author Eisley Brandt and her dad Dan wrote the book My Friends that are Not. It’s a thought-provoking book designed to help children observe, challenge and replace negative and destructive thoughts.

“The timing is more than perfect in this age of bullying and negative peer pressure,” commented Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judy White.

Dr. White has personally met Eisley and said the two represent a powerful father and daughter team as they examine the types of things we say to ourselves. Their writing helps the reader to reflect on character development and the power of choosing one’s voice purposefully.

Currently, complimentary copies of My Friends that are Not are being distributed to students across Riverside County. The book has the potential to impact youth and encourages them to replace destructive thoughts with positive, empowering thoughts. The book is illustrator by fellow student Harmonie Hagen.

The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) initiated the Million Deliberate Acts of Kindness campaign to increase awareness while promoting and inspiring a positive school culture and healthy communities. Highlights of the initiative include:

  • A website for students, staff, and community members to report their benevolent deeds in the journey to achieve one million acts of kindness (rcoe.us/kindness)
  • An original song entitled One Million Hearts of Kindness featuring Riverside County students has been written and recorded by Clay and Tami Drayton to support the initiative and is downloadable for free at rcoe.us/kindness
  • A social media hashtag #KindnessRivCo to influence others to share their acts of kindness
  • Monthly activities and promotions to increase participation in the initiative within schools and the community
  • Partnering with community-based organizations and schools to further advance the effectiveness of existing kindness programs

Teacher of the Year Dr. Angel Mejico with educator and author Jane Moore.

Another book, Walks on Two Legs, written by retired educator Jane Moore and illustrated by The Art Academy at El Cerrito Middle School in Corona-Norco, tells the story of the animals living on the savannah and the small groups of people sharing that same land. State Teacher of the Year Dr. Angel Mejico leads the Art Academy.

When individuals purchase the book, 100% of the purchase price is donated to build and support schools in Tanzania. Since 2017, the organization Pencils and Dreams has been supporting two schools for Maasai children.


RCOE is a service agency supporting the county’s 23 school districts that serve 430,000 students—more than the student population of 17 individual states. RCOE services include administrative support to districts, programs for preschool, special education, pregnant minor, correctional, migrant and vocational students. In addition, the organization provides professional training, support and resources for more than 18,000 teachers, administrators and staff throughout the 7,000 square miles of Riverside County. Learn more at www.rcoe.us.