Students promote random acts of kindness
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The hallways and classrooms at Glenwood Springs middle and high schools have been filled with a little more kindness than usual for the past two weeks.
And the student members of the GSHS Key Club and the GSMS Builders Club hope it’s a movement that will carry on among their peers.
The “10 Days of Kindness” was organized as a way to encourage students to be more kind to one another, as well as to their teachers and others they come in contact with.
“We came up with a theme each day and tried to have something that everyone could participate in,” said GSHS junior Diana Banks, this year’s Key Club president. “That way, people can be kind of their own accord and it’s not too organized or facilitated.”
It all began 10 days ago with “Traveling Roses Day.” A dozen roses traveled separately around the school from person to person, each with a note card containing a special message to brighten that person’s day, and explaining what the project was all about.
“I think I saw just as many teachers with roses as students, so that was really cool,” said junior Erica Arensman.
Each ensuing day was devoted to a particular theme. Today is Banner Day, where students will write down some of the kind acts they have shared throughout the past two weeks.
The banners, reading “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” will be prominently displayed in the two schools.
The high school Key Club and middle school Builders Club are the junior affiliates of the local Kiwanis Club.
The daily themes were the same for the middle school students, except that sixth-graders were substituted for freshmen on “Be Kind to Freshmen Day.” On that particular day, older students were not allowed to call out seniority on their younger schoolmates.
“The ultimate goal was to spread acts of compassion throughout the community, allowing students to be aware of all the little things that might make someone else feel loved and supported,” said GSMS teacher and Builders Club sponsor Beth Wysong.
Club members spread the word about each of the day’s themes on Facebook and other social media, and announcements were made at the beginning of school each day, Arensman said.
“It really became a discussion, and as more and more people heard about it, the more likely they were to participate,” she said.
Another GSHS junior, Pablo Gorra, referred to a quote by Cuban statesman, poet and journalist Jose Marti, “He who gives of himself grows …”
“One of the most basic acts of selflessness is to be kind to people,” Gorra said. “This was a great way to help students work at doing kind things for each other.”
Compliment a Stranger Day was maybe the most difficult assignment, Banks said.
“Especially some of the younger students, we walk by them all the time but never really say ‘hi,'” she said.
Banks was also looking forward to doing something nice for the school janitors, like picking up paper towels in the restrooms or putting a sign on the trash cans just saying, “Thanks.”
“If the janitors weren’t here for a week, I think everyone would really notice,” she said.
Banks said High Five Day was her favorite, though. “Anyone can give a high five to someone,” she said.
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