1,500 acts of kind­ness

Acre­man El­e­men­tary stu­dents set big goal for good deeds

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Acre­man El­e­men­tary prin­ci­pal Pa­tri­cia Collins-Yet­man wanted to share a pos­i­tive mes­sage with her 150 stu­dents to start off 2016. And she knew just the way to do it.

The kinder­garten to Grade 6 stu­dents at the Green’s Har­bour school were given a chal­lenge when they re­turned to school af­ter Christ­mas break, one that has so far been suc­cess­ful.

The chal­lenge was for the stu­dents to com­plete 1,500 acts of kind­ness over 10 weeks.

It seemed like a lot of good deeds, but Collins-Yet­man had high hopes they could com­plete them by March 18.

“We have 150 kids, and 10 weeks,” she told The Com­pass last week. “That’s one per week ( for each stu­dent).”

So far the re­sponse has been over­whelm­ing, with bus driv­ers and staff mem­bers shar­ing the good deeds with the prin­ci­pal to put in the to­tal tally.

“It’s be­com­ing a nat­u­ral act for some of them,” she added.

The idea came about be­cause Collins-Yet­man wanted to give the stu­dents a boost in pos­i­tiv­ity, hop­ing the re­sult would re­flect in their at­ti­tudes and school per­for­mance. So far, she be­lieves it’s work­ing.

“I wanted to show them em­pa­thy and re­spect for oth­ers.”

Some good deeds

Stu­dents in the school have been more aware of their sur­round­ings and those around them ev­ery day, Collins-Yet­man ex­plained.

Some ac­tiv­i­ties they have taken part in in­clude as­sist­ing with the break­fast pro­gram, hold­ing doors for peo­ple and help­ing out younger stu­dents with work.

But one act that stands out to the school prin­ci­pal is the puppy shower some of the stu­dents threw her. She and her hus­band, who is a re­tired teacher, are adopt­ing a puppy. The stu­dents thought it would be a nice ges­ture to host the puppy shower for them.

“They’re think­ing of oth­ers,” Collins-Yet­man said. “They’re re­ally de­vel­op­ing lovely man­ners and re­ally good at­ti­tudes.”

One of the ad­di­tional things the kids will par­tic­i­pate in, be­sides learn­ing re­spect for oth­ers, is shav­ing the head of Collins-Yet­man’s hus­band. But only if they meet the 1,500 good deeds.

“When the stu­dents see him around the school (he of­ten still vol­un­teers there), they say, ‘buzz, buzz,’” she laughed.

The stu­dents are on par with meet­ing their goal, hav­ing 350 acts of kind­ness com­pleted by Fri­day, Feb. 5.

The school will hold an as­sem­bly and cel­e­bra­tion to shave the prin­ci­pal’s hus­band’s head on March 18, and stu­dents will be se­lected from each class to take part.

Collins-Yet­man wants to see the chil­dren thrive in, not only the school en­vi­ron­ment and with their peers, but also at home, on sports teams and in any other en­vi­ron­ment. But mainly, she wants them to take the lead on re­spect­ful treat­ment and be­ing help­ful.

“Some of them are nat­u­ral born lead­ers,” she said.

Acre­man El­e­men­tary stu­dent Jenna Green ties the laces of a kinder­garten stu­dent as part of the 1,500 acts of kind­ness chal­lenge be­ing com­pleted by all 150 kids in the school.

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