Showing kindness to others is something that can easily be taken for granted. With that in mind, students at William Paca Middle School in the William Floyd School District wanted to make sure that their peers know that they are appreciated; so student leaders created Kindness Day, an event dedicated to showing kindness and respect to others. In preparation, students made a Kindness Day video, which was shown to all students and planned various activities to show appreciation, kindness and respect for others.
Students and staff worked together to create t-shirts with positive messages such as “Live Unique,” “Live Original,” “Live True,” “Live Strong,” “Be Confident,” “Be Bold” and more, which they wore throughout Kindness Day. They also put up posters with similar messages and signed pledges during their lunch periods to always show kindness to others. It culminated with each student locker receiving a post-it note with a positive and encouraging message.
“The idea for Kindness Day came directly from our student leaders. They wanted to be the change that they wanted to see among their peers and felt the best way to encourage this change was to spread kindness,” said Becky Kristiansen, William Paca Middle School social worker and event organizer. “It was powerful seeing students selflessly helping each other, complimenting one another and telling many of their teachers how much they appreciated their work. Our hope is to not only make this a monthly event, but a pervasive pattern of behavior among our student body.”
William Paca Middle School principal Ed Plaia agreed, “Kindness and respect are virtues that are embedded into everything we do, but sometimes we just need to recognize and reinforce it a bit more. Kids generally want to be kind to one another. This is just one activity where kids send the message ‘Hey, it’s cool to be kind!’ At the end of the day, kids were walking down the halls, reading post-it notes and smiling – they left feeling good about themselves, and that is what Kindness Day is all about!”