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Students spread ‘Random Acts of Kindness’

Posted: February 18, 2016 8:38 p.m.
Updated: February 19, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

Students at Doby’s Mill Elementary filled a “Kindness Tree” by writing acts of kindness in paper hearts. School Counselor Christa Jeter collected and placed the hearts on the tree for students and teachers to see.

During Random Acts of Kindness Week, which comes to a close today, Kershaw County students got to spread acts of kindness to fellow students, teachers and family members. Random Acts of Kindness Week is observed February 14-20 and focuses on encouraging participants to do small acts of kindness for others.

“Random Acts of Kindness week is the week that we celebrate kindness,” Doby’s Mill Elementary School counselor Christa Jeter said. “We try to get the children to understand that doing something kind for others, you don’t necessarily need a reward or expect an award back from it. When you do something nice, it’s like a trickle effect. When someone does something nice for you, they want to do something nice for someone else. I always tell them kindness is free, you don’t have to have money to give it to someone.”

In celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week, students at Doby’s Mill were encouraged to complete acts of kindness such as playing with someone new, holding the door open for someone or giving a positive note to a classmate or teacher.

Students also contributed to a Kindness Tree.

“This week we are reading a book called ‘Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler,’ and from the story we have adopted one of the projects, the Kindness Tree,” Jeter said.

The Kindness Tree is in a DMES hallway; students give Jeter hearts to add to the tree

“When someone does something nice for you, you write it down and put it on a heart, then we put the heart up. It started with five hearts and it has blossomed … we want it to be full of hearts. Students can also look at the tree to get more ideas for acts of kindness,” Jeter said.

Lugoff-Elgin Middle School (L-EMS) also participated in the week.

“Our school motto is ‘Understanding Hearts and Positive Attitudes.’  We talk a lot about those aspects and what they look like … so this (Random) Acts of Kindness Week ties in very well,” L-EMS Principal Karen Bullard said.

She said school organizations such as the Beta Club and Friends of Rachel kept the concept of kindness going all year. Beta Club is led by L-EMS teacher Rhonda Horton and Friends of Rachel is led by L-EMS social worker Valerie Hite.

“Beta Club does service learning projects and our Friends of Rachel club focuses on acts of kindness. They (Rachel’s Challenge) come to schools and challenge students and staff to take Rachel’s Challenge which is to show kindness to others,” Bullard said.

For the past week, students and teachers at L-EMS have had a kindness activity every day focusing on being generous with compliments and being grateful.

Horton said she involved her students in an activity called “Caring Calls” on Wednesday.

“We encouraged our kids to send kind calls or kind texts. It was fun. I let them watch me send the texts to family members. In a little bit, I got a text back. It was fun for the students to see me get that response,” Horton said.

She also said she enjoyed seeing students’ faces when they got a kind note from another student.

L-EMS 8th Grader Kaitlin Tutt said she thinks other students were having fun participating in the week.

“The first day, we wrote down kind things to say to people and compliments and we gave them out. I wrote down quotes from famous people like Anne Frank and handed them out to people who looked like they haven’t had a good day,” Tutt said. “I felt like I was doing something good. If I was going through something, I would want someone to be kind, so I tried to do that for others … I saw a girl I didn’t know well and thought she might not have been having a good day. I gave her a compliment and she smiled and seemed happy, she said ‘thank you.’”

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