Kind­ness goes a long way

Cen­tral School club teach­ing em­pa­thy and kind­ness

South Shore Breaker - - Wheels - TINA COMEAU TRI-COUNTY VAN­GUARD

School has ended for the day and yet a group of stu­dents are still so happy to be here in­side a room at Yar­mouth Cen­tral School.

There’s a lot of chat­ter in­side the room by the el­e­men­tary stu­dents and some pretty se­ri­ous colour­ing with crayons hap­pen­ing.

“It’s pretty awe­some and it’s fun,” says stu­dent Natalie McGray. “I like it here.”

‘Here’ is with other mem­bers of the Cen­tral Care Club — a club that has been cre­ated as part of the af­ter­school pro­gram at the school.

The motto of the club is “Be­cause we care.”

And what the stu­dents care about are the feel­ings and well­be­ing of oth­ers, and ex­tend­ing thanks when it is de­served.

“The club is to teach kids about em­pa­thy and to care about oth­ers,” ex­plains Holly Hanf, the af­ter­school pro­gram leader.

Since the club was formed, the stu­dents have made sym­pa­thy cards for a teacher at the school who lost her dog and they’ve made get well cards for a teacher who was quite sick. They also made a ‘Wel­come Home Mr. Purdy’ sign for their school prin­ci­pal who is re­turn­ing to the school. They’ll also make thank you cards for Stephen Cullen, the in­terim prin­ci­pal who had been in the job.

“It re­ally makes them feel good to help oth­ers out,” Hanf says. “I do lots of vol­un­teer work so I told them, ‘you wouldn’t be­lieve how good it feels to help other peo­ple.’”

It’s a mes­sage and a feel­ing the stu­dents are em­brac­ing.

“What we do here is we help peo­ple feel bet­ter,” says stu­dent An­gelo Mcgray when asked about the club.

“We care for other peo­ple. When they’re down, we help them up,” says stu­dent Kohl Ar­cham­bault. “I feel good. I feel en­er­gized.”

And it’s not just the stu­dents who feel good about the kind­ness they are spread­ing. Those on the re­ceiv­ing end feel pretty great about it, too.

Rosann Clair­mont of Puro­la­tor Inc. sent a thank you let­ter to the club for the thank you cards they re­ceived from the club. The com­pany had held a Back to School Cereal Chal­lenge and do­nated cereal to Cen­tral School for its break­fast club.

“I want to let you and the children know how very much we ap­pre­ci­ate the thought­ful­ness and grat­i­tude that went into the thank you cards we re­ceived in re­turn,” Clair­mont wrote in a let­ter to Hanf and the club. “It truly warmed my heart to reach each one ... You are a won­der­ful source of in­spi­ra­tion.”

Hanf says she hopes to see the ini­tia­tive spread school-wide next year. And she also hopes as word spreads in the com­mu­nity it en- courages oth­ers to be kind to one an­other.

The stu­dents, mean­while, are happy about the role they are play­ing in the ini­tia­tive.

“I feel re­ally happy to be a part of the club,” says stu­dent Ari­hanna Young. “This is a time to be kind to other peo­ple when they have been re­ally kind to us.”

That’s just the kind of mes­sage Hanf likes to hear, say­ing about the stu­dents. “I’m so proud of them.”

Tina Comeau

Kolh Ar­cham­bault and Ma­son John­son work on their Cen­tral Care Club project at Yar­mouth Cen­tral El­e­men­tary School.

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