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Random Acts of Kindness prevail at Discovery

Students in the Kindness Society at Discovery Middle School wrote positive notes of encouragement that were placed on lockers. CONTRIBUTED
Students in the Kindness Society at Discovery Middle School wrote positive notes of encouragement that were placed on lockers. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – To promote a tone of optimism, the Kindness Society at Discovery Middle School declared Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Founded this school year, the Kindness Society’s main objective is to promote kindness at school. “When students are focused on being respectful to one another, it doesn’t leave room for negative actions,” computer science teacher and sponsor Laura Collins said.

Collins wanted to sponsor a club that would give students a chance to make a difference in both school and community. “Middle school students have so much to offer. There has been a great response from students wanting to become involved,” Collins said.

Any student can join. No fees are charged.

Collins decided to found Discovery’s club after her son’s school, Horizon elementary, conducted a ‘kindness week.’ After research, she found that February 17 was National Random Acts of Kindness Day.

“I asked Eric Terrell, Discovery’s principal, if we could devote an entire week (Feb. 12-17). He was extremely supportive and has been an advocate for kindness the entire school year,” Collins said.

Starting that week, students who previously walked past and barely acknowledged Collins started speaking and responded with their own, ‘Good morning,’ and a smile, Collins said. “I saw students holding open doors for others, helping one another, picking up trash in the lunch room and sharing compliments. I could tell it was making a positive difference.”

The girls and boys complimented each other, with comments such as “I like your hair,” “That dress is pretty,” “Where did you get those shoes?” and “You are so smart.” Discovery teachers also joined in and wore clothing that matched theme days.

“A school that puts a focus on kindness and respect will have a positive school environment that translates into happy students,” Collins said. “Happy students do not bully others; young people who are guilty of bullying tend to be very unhappy with themselves and insecure.”

Prevention is the key to eliminate bullying, Collins said. A focus on thoughtfulness to everyone will generate a ripple effect throughout the school and community.

“Discovery (is) like a family; we support each other,” Collins said. On Valentine’s Day, Discovery’s male teachers bought roses for all female teachers and staff. “Our young men (students) delivered a rose to each teacher’s classroom – giving the young men an opportunity to spread kindness and see how great it can feel.”

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