A day to be kind

Christina pro­motes pos­i­tiv­ity with an­nual event

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By BROOKE SCHULTZ bschultz@ches­pub.com

If you put enough good into the world, Rea­gan Garnsey be­lieves, you can out­num­ber the bad.

“Just be­cause you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t make a dif­fer­ence in the com­mu­nity,” she said.

In essence, that’s what the Christina School District’s Day of Kind­ness sought to ac­com­plish. In its ninth year,

the day is for spread­ing pos­i­tive be­hav­ior to the stu­dents and staff in the build­ing, as well as the com­mu­nity be­yond, through ac­tiv­i­ties that em­body kind­ness.

Through­out the district last Fri­day, schools were im­mersed in kind­ness — from the as­sem­bly at Wil­son, to “plant­ing” unique rocks de­signed by stu­dents at Brader’s new kind­ness gar­den, to a spirit week at Gal­la­her Ele­men­tary.

Rea­gan, 11, and her lit­tle sis­ter Pay­ton, 7, are founders of Buck­ets of Love, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that col­lects do­na­tions for chil­dren who are in the hospi­tal or who are home­less. Their project is the win­ner of the 2018 LEAD360 Chal­lenge from the Jef­fer­son Awards Foun­da­tion.

The sis­ters, who are from Dover, were in­vited to speak about their project at Wil­son Ele­men­tary School as a way to in­spire other kids – some of whom are the same age as Pay­ton – and en­cour­age the stu­dents to do­nate.

In part­ner­ship with Buck­ets of Love and the Make-a-Wish Foun­da­tion, the school will col­lect a bucket full of toys and ac­tiv­i­ties for home­bound chil­dren through Nov. 9. The ser­vice project is the kick-off event for the No Place for Hate pro­gram.

“I thought it was great,” said Donna Mon­roe, a sec­ond-grade teacher who helped put the event to­gether. “We work to fos­ter kind­ness within the school, and we’re try­ing to ex­tend that out­side. This helps the stu­dents see they can do that as well.”

Fol­low­ing the Garnseys’ pre­sen­ta­tion to all of Wil­son, they read a story to the sec­ond graders while the stu­dents wrote notes to the fu­ture re­cip­i­ents of the do­na­tions.

“I thought it was re­ally fun,” said De­clan Barone, a sec­ond grader. “I liked hear­ing about how we can treat other peo­ple kind and nicely.”

Ayana Miller and Addison Righter agreed.

“It’s go­ing to be a fun day,” Addison said.

Ayana said that it was sad to think about the kids in the hospi­tal, but that she was all about spread­ing the love.

At Gal­la­her, stu­dents pledged to say or do a kind thing for some­body at school.

For Chris­tine Alex, a kinder­gartener, that was telling her friend she liked her uni­corn pa­ja­mas.

Be­ing kind, she noted, is im­por­tant “to make sure our friends are happy and to take care of them.”

Drew Burns, a fifth grader, added, “It’s good to be kind so when you need some­thing, they’ll be kind to you too.”

Us­ing words for kind­ness was one part of a spirit week the school hosted around kind­ness. The stu­dents were al­lowed to wear their pa­ja­mas to school and watch “Mon­sters Inc,” a movie that demon­strates the im­por­tance of be­ing kind, said Jen Az­zara, school coun­selor.

“Since they all did some­thing nice for me – by promis­ing to be nice to each other – my nice thing was that they got a movie day and pajama day,” she said.

Do­minic Cas­sell, a first grader, said that movie taught him “to show re­spect.”

“It’s im­por­tant to pro­tect our friends,” he added.

Through­out the week, stu­dents dec­o­rated pa­per hands to de­pict what kind things they wanted to do. The hands were dis­played as a re­minder to “hand out” their kind­ness.

Cheyenne An­der­son, a fifth grader, wrote five things.

“One of the five things I put was to not say mean words, al­ways use kind words,” she said.

Jiana Mon­zon, a first grader, used her hand to re­mind fel­low stu­dents to “be kind to oth­ers.”

Az­zara said that kind­ness is a big part of the cli­mate and at­mos­phere at the school.

“I hope they take away that, on this day, when ever yone went out of their way to do some­thing nice for some­one, it made it big a dif­fer­ence at school, that they could feel the kind­ness and the warmth and just felt re­ally good about be­ing here to­day,” she said.

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY BROOKE SCHULTZ

Gal­la­her Ele­men­tary stu­dents Do­minic Cas­sell, Jiana Mon­zon, Chris­tine Alex, Drew Burns and Cheyanne An­der­son pose in front of the wall of hands, each of which chan­neled the con­cept of kind­ness as part of Christina School District’s ninth an­nual Day of Kind­ness.

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY BROOKE SCHULTZ

Wil­son Ele­men­tary stu­dents write let­ters to the fu­ture Buck­ets of Love re­cip­i­ents as part of the Christina School District’s ninth an­nual Day of Kind­ness.

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY BROOKE SCHULTZ

Pay­ton and Rea­gan Garnsey read to sec­ond graders at Wil­son for Christina School District’s ninth an­nual Day of Kind­ness.

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