Theresa Dardanell

Staff and students at the Catoctin feeder schools joined together for a week in January to promote kindness.

Sabillasville Elementary

Students at Sabillasville Elementary watched a video that showed them how easy it is to be kind to others, and they received a copy of The Great Kindness Challenge, with suggestions for random acts of kindness that they could complete. Every class received a “Secret Mission” packet, along with a spy pen for keeping track of kind acts by students (secret agents!), who secretly served others by performing acts of kindness. Each day, when students arrived at school, they were invited with the help of peer mentors to complete a link for the “kindness chain.” According to School Counselor Stacy Bokinsky, the students enjoyed being kind to others.

Lewistown Elementary

Morning announcements during Kindness Week at Lewistown Elementary began with student peer ambassadors reading from the book, Kindness Counts by Bryan Smith. Students had “kindness coins” that they gave to classmates who performed kind acts. On Thursday, teachers were given a “kindness class button” that they wore. When they saw a considerate act performed by a student, they gave the button to that student. The buttons passed from one student to another during the day, as students showed kindness to one another.   On the first day, they took home a copy of The Great Kindness Challenge, so that they could continue their random acts of kindness at home.

Thurmont Elementary

The playground at Thurmont Elementary school was decorated with messages of kindness written in sidewalk chalk by the students. Students also participated in the “Kindness rocks project” by decorating rocks with caring messages and distributing them around the school and the community.   Students showed kindness beyond just their school; they read to children from a local daycare, visited the senior citizens at the center across the street from the school, made blankets to donate to a local charity, or wrote letters to students in other countries.

Emmitsburg Elementary

Students at Emmitsburg Elementary sent messages of caring and encouragement to members of the military and to children in hospitals, and wrote thank you letters to teachers and school staff. They showed that “kindness rocks” by decorating rocks with caring messages and then giving the rocks to someone. School Counselor Sarah Fawley said,  “The students were so excited about performing acts of kindness for others.”

Thurmont Middle

Students at Thurmont Middle were greeted each morning during Kindness Week by the Mayor and police officers from the town of Thurmont, along with the students in the Rachel’s Challenge group, the Leo Club, and the Art Club. School Counselor Rebecca Krauss said, “It was a lot of fun giving high-fives and starting the day on such a positive note.” Students created positive posters with the theme, “Kindness matters” and made gratitude cards for the custodians, secretaries, nurses and cafeteria staff.

Staff and students at Sabillasville Elementary wore “kind words” clothing one day during Kindness Week. Pictured with the kindness chain, created by students, are: (from left, front row) Lillian Coles, Hope Rice, Brynn Eyler; (middle row) Ava Clester, Katelyn Anderson, Isabelle Coles, Valerie Sexton; (back row) Mrs. Shari Austin, Zoey Green, Jersey Ryder, Elizabeth Hahn, Lilah Dorsey, and Ms. Konnar Miller.

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