National Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated Feb. 17 in many communities and schools.
This year, Prairie Wind Middle School took the national day a step farther and made it a whole week.
A random act of kindness “can be as simple as smiling at someone in the hallway,” said Katie Grosz, Prairie Wind’s school counselor. Helping someone or doing a kind gesture for them.
“It doesn’t have to be a big gesture -- it doesn’t have to cost money," she said. "It can be as simple as you’re doing something out of the goodness of your hear for someone else.”
Students kicked off Random Acts of Kindness Week watching the video “Making Kindness the Norm.” Then, students and staff got to participate in message boards, send kindness grams and host a canned food drive.
The message boards, which started last year, were posters in the hallways where students and staff could place sticky notes with kind and encouraging messages to others. “It’s just been fun to see students and staff reading them and having a smile on their face,” Grosz said. Messages could be for friends, teachers or someone that they felt just needed a positive message that day.
Kindness grams were cards that students could buy during lunch or recess, two for $1, Grosz said. The students and staff wrote messages on the cards and then, on Friday, those cards were delivered to the intended person with some candy attached.
Random Act of Kindness Week was a school-wide event for the middle school. The students worked on being kind to those in the school and in the community.
“We are doing donations to the local food pantry (the Bridge Community Pantry),” Grosz said. “Each class in homeroom, they have a competition for who can collect the most nonperishable foods by the end of the week. The class who collects the most canned good will win a pizza party the following week.”
All the proceeds from the kindness grams will also be donated to the food pantry.
The purpose of Random Acts of Kindness week is to help create positive energy in the school as Grosz encourages social and emotional learning. “Kindness teaches compassion, which teaches good citizenship,” Grosz said.