This week marks the first PTO Kindness Week. A representative from the PTO, Margaret Wielenberg, helped to explain what this means to the school community. “Our goal is to create a kinder, more inclusive community,” she said. “ [We want to ] improve everybody's overall sense of well being, happiness and success at school and in the wider community.”
To accomplish this, there will be several things around the school that help encourage kindness among students. On the morning announcements, there will be messages that invoke students to think about how they can be more kind in their everyday lives. On Tuesday during lunch, students will be able to send their friends a Valentine's Day message, as well as give an encouraging note to anyone in the school. Thursday during lunch, the PTO will be holding a Spirit Day reward booth where students who are wearing anything that displays kindness are able to get candy and have the chance to win a gift card. If students do not have anything that meets this requirement, they are able to write kind notes to staff to also be entered into the raffle. The week will wrap up on Friday with encouragement for students to perform at least one random act of kindness.
In the younger grades, being kind and helping each other is a very prevalent part of the education system, but it tends to fade out as students get older. “Talking with the elementary school PTO groups reminded me of how much emphasis is placed on being kind at the lower levels and completely disappears by the time kids get to high school, when it is perhaps needed the most,” said Wielenberg. Kindness Week will hopefully become a tradition to help combat the difficult time that most students face during high school. “Unkind behavior is hurtful and can be very destructive for everyone involved,” she said. “Especially at a time when teen mental health is at an all time low.”
Story by Reagan Zmijewski