A day to be kind
Christina promotes positivity with annual event
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.
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.
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.
Payton and Reagan Garnsey read to second graders at Wilson for Christina School District’s ninth annual Day of Kindness.