Kindness Essay

What does being kind mean to you? Kindness is a trait that need not be just towards others, it can be towards earth or environment, towards animals and most importantly towards self. Have you ever been bullied or seen someone get bullied and thought you wish you could change that. You now have a chance to stop bullying through Children’s Kindness Network and Moozie, the kindness cow.

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‘Moozie’ introduces human kindness to preschoolers

Carole Robinson
Ted Dreier grew up on a Kansas dairy farm. When he left he vowed he never wanted to see another cow - 40 years later he created Moozie, a life-size, talking cow who has become the main character in the Children's Kindness Network.

Moozie is a cow on a mission. Her mission is to spread the milk of human kindness by helping young children understand what being kind means and how to show kindness.

Moozie is no ordinary cow. She is a sweet, life-sized talking cow, a soft, cuddly puppet, and a character in several books that dishes out udderly sound advise.

Moozie came alive in 1997 in Ted Dreier’s Carlisle garage. She began as a simple project to “just build something” as an escape away from the corporate world that paid the bills.

“It was a pure fluke,” Dreier said. “I grew up on a dairy farm in Kansas. When I left I never wanted to see a cow again.”

Never say never.

That something he was building took on the shape of something familiar from his past – a cow, so Dreier decided, “It had to be more than a dairy cow.”

He added robotics to make the cow move and talk; then he made it portable enough to fit into a suitcase. During her creation, Dreier and Moozie bonded. When she was completed, the man and the cow became a twosome traveling to preschools entertaining young children.

The inspiration to introduce Moozie to young children came before she was completed after Dreier began visiting a 22-year old in jail for murder.

“If this young man had a Moozie in his life it may have made a difference in his life,” Dreier said. “Kids don’t just become a murder. They start out as a child throwing rocks at a cat, hurting animals.”

Just for fun, Dreier took Moozie to visit area preschool children where she “talked” about kindness.

With so much media attention and attention given in schools to bullying and violence among children, Dreier found his cow could reach young children while they were still impressionable.

It’s much less expensive to reach children when they are young and have minds like sponges, than when they are older – just like it’s less expensive to put a good foundation under a building than to constantly repair a poorly built one, he explained.

Since Moozie was introduced in preschools and kindergarten classes 14-years ago, research by students at Belmont University is bearing out the positive results testimonials teachers and parents are proclaiming.

“Social and emotional training with kids at a young age has a big effect on cognitive growth,” Dreier said.

Criminal acts by 18-year olds are reduced by 50 percent when kids are exposed to social/emotional values by age three. Such statistics have created an increasing interest in the curriculum and program.

The “Moozie project” took two years to develop. During that time, “While working with the cow, I began thinking like a cow,” Dreier said.

That thinking became three mini books filled with Cow Wisdom – “For Life’s Little Beefs,” “For Grabbling Life by the Horns,” and “For Loving to the ‘uddermost.’”

The little books are filled with insightful bits of wisdom like, “When you have been handed more than you can swallow, relax and chew your cud;“ “Take action. Expecting results just by talking is like expecting a cow to give milk by mooing;” and “Love is like a hoof print in the sand – it leaves its mark on the heart.”

Moozie was taking on a life of her own and, “We found the cow making a difference with kids,” Dreier said. “Children were listening.”

Carole Robinson
Ted Dreier grew up on a Kansas dairy farm. When he left he vowed he never wanted to see another cow - 40 years later he created Moozie, a life-size, talking cow who has become the main character in the Children's Kindness Network.
Moozie is also a soft, cuddly puppet young children love to love.

By 1998 the affect Moozie was having led Dreier and his wife, Karen to reevaluate their lives.

“I stepped back from corporate public speaking – being nice to adults,” he said. “Now we’re doing the same thing, except we’re talking to children.”

The couple put their efforts into building a climate of kindness and the nonprofit 501(c)3 Children’s Kindness Network, a network dedicated to producing programs and materials on kindness to assist early childhood teachers and parents.

All proceeds made on Moozie are invested back into the project, which is now being integrated into education programs around the country and across the sea.

The Moozie concept is growing and expanding into the lives of more and more children.

Moozie puppets are popping over the United States. They have even made their way to Australia.

Moozie robotic cows currently reside in Franklin; Charlotte, NC; and Vallejo, CA. In Vallejo, Moozie has become one of the main attractions at a three-acre teaching farm where children visit farm animals in the barnyard and then go into the barn to listen to Moozie talk about kindness.

“Moozie is becoming a household name,” Dreier said.

On an annual basis, between 25,000-30,000 children are exposed to Moozie’s message of kindness with the number growing annually.

“Moozie talks about being kind to each other,” Dreier said.

According to Dreier, a big heart on the cow’s side shows children how a heart can be made bigger by giving and stronger by eating and exercise. She asks them what they would do in certain situations and helps them identify feelings by asking them how they feel in situations.

“As they identify their own feelings, they can better understand the feelings of others,” Dreier said. “These small children want to make Moozie happy.”

Moozie the Miracle Cow

Initally submitted by Karen Corekin (2/09/2009)

She came to us quite by accident. The new school year was approaching and I was surfing the internet, looking for some new ideas to add to the kindness activities I was already using in my four- year-old kindergarten classroom.

Suddenly, she was there, black and white and red all over. She spoke clearly and simply to young children of the importance of treating everyone and everything with kindness. Her name was...Moozie!

With fate smiling on me, I had stumbled upon the Children's Kindness Network. and now Moozie's complete Kindness Curriculum is a vital part of my room at a Children's Center in rural Wisconsin. With our Moozie puppet, 20 hands-on lessons, books, music and supplies, each day my students learn new ways to treat themselves, others, animals, and the earth with kindness, caring and compassion.

I began the school year with a note home to the parents of my students, explaining the Moozie curriculum in detail. I was very surprised several weeks later when Christy, the mother of my student Sawyer, approached me one morning before school.

"Hey Karen", she said, "What have you done with my daughter?" "What do you mean?" I replied.

"Well, she has suddenly turned into the kindest, most cooperative child in the world!" As it turns out, Christy, the busy working mother of two children, had not read my note about Moozie. What she had noticed though, was the amazing change in her daughter's behavior toward the members of her family.

Not long after, Summer, with mom Gretchen in tow, came into the room one morning.

Gretchen immediately asked to speak to Moozie. Retrieving the puppet from her place of honor I brought her over to them.

"Moozie", Gretchen began, "I just wanted to say thank you for helping Summer learn to be such a kind person. Mornings at our house used to be very stressful. Now Summer is so helpful and cooperative, it makes getting ready just wonderful! I promised Summer we would come and tell you about it as soon as we got to school." Apparently, Summer often tells her two older brothers that Moozie wants them to be kinder as well.

Moozie also lives in our preschool classroom. The preschool teachers have dubbed her "Moozie the Miracle Cow". The changes that come with the simple wisdom of our bovine friend are nothing short of miraculous. In a world that sometimes feels devoid of gentleness and courtesy, our young students are trying to outdo each other in the kind deeds they can do for each other. Before Moozie, the children would immediately squash any insect that came into the room. Now, thanks to Moozie and her message of compassion, they can't wait to report how kind they were to animals by gently taking an earwig or potato bug outside. Instead of walking past a piece of trash on the playground, they tell Moozie that they were kind to the earth by putting it in the garbage can. When the inevitable disagreements rise between 4 year-old friends, Moozie comes to sit with them and suddenly the tension level drops as the children attempt to use what they have learned about kindness to work things out.

The Moozie philosophy is the single most effective tool for kindness education that I have found in 25 years of teaching. The Children's Kindness Network has hit upon a simple way to help both educators and families guide children to a new way of seeing the world. May we all learn to see it through the kind eyes of a cow named Moozie!

No Bull(ies): Cow Brings Children Moo-zical Message of Kindness

Initially authored by Jennifer Hambrick

It’s not every day that a talking cow and an orchestra of talking instruments share top billing with a litany of celebrity artists on a new CD. But that’s exactly what happened on Moozie’s Musical Adventures!, the first musical recording of the Tennessee-based Children’s Kindness Network.

All this bovine business was the brainchild of Ted Dreier, a former corporate executive and professional public speaker, and now the executive director of the Children’s Kindness Network. In creating Moozie the Cow, Dreier was doing what he knew best: he had grown up on a Kansas dairy farm and much later in life drew upon those experiences to fashion his own cow creation – just for fun.

Click here to read the full article and hear a sample...

Research shows how vital pre-K is in helping children be successful

The Tennessean

(2/13/2008) Tennessee Voices

A quality pre-kindergarten education is equally as important to a young child's future as a good foundation is to the future of a building. All generations of Americans must not turn a blind eye to the importance of pre-K education.

In a Jan. 3 Newsweek Interview, author David Kirp, professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley, explains the importance of a good pre-K education: "What's driving it is the good, long-term research that shows that if a child goes to preschool, they will have a higher income, are less likely to be involved in crime, more likely to graduate from college and have happier lives. There is also brain science that has shown the incredible importance of brain development in the earliest years." Advertisement

The High/Scope Perry Study concludes that the risk of becoming a chronic lawbreaker as an adult is five times greater for children who do not have access to high-quality pre-K.

Arthur Rolnick, director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, remembers telling a pro-education organization that while pre-K was certainly a moral issue, it was not a business matter. However, after conducting research on the subject, Roinick concluded that he was wrong. Pre-K is a business matter; today's children are tomorrow's employees and tomorrow's criminals.

In 1997, the economic impact of pre-K was outlined in a study by professor Mark A. Cohen of Vanderbilt University. Cohen estimated the nation could save $1.7 million-$2.3 million for each person prevented from adopting a life of crime.

An Aug. 9, 2007, Wall Street Journal article, "As States Tackle Poverty, Preschool Gets High Marks," said pre-K funding "represents one of the most significant expansions in public education ... since World War I."

Additionally, it is important to remember that pre-K is more than just the cognitive skills of reading and writing. With the implementation of No Child Left Behind and today's focus on academic studies, it is easy to overlook the social-emotional skills.

As reported in Scholastic Magazine, "Some research shows that the quality of a child's social skills by age 5 accurately predicts social and academic competence in later years."

The Summer 2006 Carnegie Results stated, "The most promising findings indicate that the real benefits come from nurturing non-cognitive skills — social, emotional and behavioral competencies that lead to success in later life — and that positive effects are stronger when programs begin early because initial improvements help students gain additional skills at the next stage."

By age 5, children's brains are 90 percent wired. Their brains are like sponges. It takes a team — parents, teachers and other concerned adults — to keep any sponge (child's brain) from going to waste. The team must ensure that these sponges are filled with the right stuff. We, Children's Kindness Network, believe that kindness values are a good place to begin.

Bordeaux Enhanced Option Elementary School

On Friday morning, February 26, Moozie the Cow, the ambassador of kindness for the Children’s Kindness Network (CKN), will be on the scene for Read Me Week at Bordeaux Enhanced Option Elementary School. Over 120 Pre-K and Kindergarten children will follow along in the book Moozie’s Kind Adventure as they listen to the CD of county music star Larry Gatlin narrating the story backed up by the 104-piece Arizona State University Orchestra. In addition, the Children’s Kindness Network is giving away 123 books with CDs, a value of $1,845. Moozie’s kindness message is “it’s all up to me,” making children aware of kind acts they can do each day. To receive the book, each child is asked to draw a picture with the help of teachers or parents, showing how they have been kind. After they receive the book, they are to write Moozie a thank you note, something the Children's Kindness Network feels is good training. This program being presented by CKN is one of the special programs selected and described in the recent “Character Education Resource Guide” produced by Alignment Nashville in the Mayor’s Office. Last Fall, an equal number of books was given to the Fall-Hamilton Enhanced Option School. Distribution of these books is made possible with private donations. Moozie’s Kind Adventure was also featured in the Nashville Symphony’s Pied Piper Children’s Concert on December 19 with WSMV news anchor Demetria Kaladimos reading the story as the orchestra played. This book can be purchased from Davis-Kidd Booksellers or at

Violence Among Our Youth Can Be Reduced

The Tennessean

Not jails, but regional cooperation can reduce violence among children.

I agree with Dwight Lewis when he says that building more prisons is not the answer for stopping senseless killings like experienced by the Johnson's family 16-old-daughter, Loren Michelle ("What makes kids today so mad they kill?" May 3)

There are many organizations and teachers who are quietly going about the challenge of reducing violence. But there are many others who just accept such violence as being a part of our modern-day society. Nonsense. What if the same attitude had been accepted about the blacks? The thought of having a black president 50 years ago seemed beyond imagination.

Young children have minds that are like sponges, picking up the violence from TV, video games, street talk. This needs to be counteracted with kindness teaching, adults showing interest in young children, supporting organizations that are focused on helping children make the right choices.

Recently, 125 Nashville Leaders visited Denver to study Denver's growth. They left Denver impressed with how regional cooperation and long-range planning have helped solve thorny problems - and Denver looked at projects that would have an impact over the next century.

Let's take on the challenge of reducing violence with everyone getting involved, regardless of where we live.