Spreading a little kindness in Spring Lake

Krystle Wagner • Jul 22, 2015 at 11:26 AM

When students arrived at school one morning, they were greeted with the nice messages on every locker.

The note work was driven by last week’s National Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Sophomore Skyler Gilchrist said they handed out half-sheets of paper for classmates to write the heartfelt messages before members of the school's Be Nice group placed them on the lockers. The notes resulted in many smiles and a positive school environment that day, Gilchrist said.

“It was the most heartwarming thing I think I’ve ever seen," she said.

Gilchrist said she believes that people can't be nice to others if they don't feel good about themselves, and the messages made an impact.

Students also made positive sticky notes and placed them on bathroom mirrors, Gilchrist said. One of the notes read, "Smile. It looks good on you." Another comment said, "The mirror doesn’t define who you are."

Students were also encouraged to make bookmarks with nice comments and place them in books for other students to find at a later date.

A group of high school students extended the weeklong activities by visiting Jeffers Elementary School to inspire the younger students to participate in their own kindness actions. One third-grader made a bookmark that read, “Please, whoever is reading this book, be thankful for who you are.”

Gilchrist said the Jeffers students got into the spirit and had many ideas of kind things they could do around their school and community.

“It shows you that every single grade was so affected by it," she said.

Gilchrist said she would like to see the activities become part of the social norm.

Jen Boodt, a special-education teacher and co-adviser of the Be Nice group, said being kind to other people doesn’t have to revolve around buying something. It could be as simple as a smile or asking others to sit with them at lunch.

“Reaching outside our comfort zone to reach out to others has an enormous impact way beyond what we think is possible,” Boodt said.

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