Students learn kindness is contagious, pass it on

EMT firefighter Colton Philips, from Ladder 10, holds “thank-you” cards created by West Riverside Elementary School students.

EMT firefighter Colton Philips, from Ladder 10, holds “thank-you” cards created by West Riverside Elementary School students.

Over 300 students at West Riverside Elementary School participated in a Valentine’s Day Kindness event, sponsored by the American Civility Association. After entering a Kindness Cheer Tunnel created from blue and white balloons, and getting “high fives” from parents, faculty and first responders, the students enjoyed a “Pep Rally for Kindness,” in the auditorium.

Principal Shawna White and DJ, the Duval County Public Schools mascot, led the children in a “Kindness is contagious…let’s pass it on” roar, then members from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department’s Ladder 10 company and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were presented with Kindness Super Hero Capes by the American Civility Association. Second- and third-grade students also created “thank-you” cards for the first responders.

The Kindness program is in its second year at West Riverside Elementary and White said after the first year there was a 66 percent decrease in discipline referrals. “Everyone focuses on finding the positive and it’s made a big difference in the classrooms,” she said.

Amy Barnett, founder of the American Civility Association, said West Riverside was a pilot school in Duval County and would like to see the program in every school. “It’s a culture developed over time,” she said. “As time goes on, grades go up.”

It costs about $5,000 per school to add the program to the curriculum, so Barnett said financial donations are greatly appreciated. Visit americancivility.org for more information.

Students at West Riverside are extending kindness beyond their own walls by holding a battery and water drive for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Dual Language teacher Maria Laguna works with the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and was part of a supply drive last fall after Hurricane Maria hit the island. If you wish to help by donating new batteries of any type or size, or bottled water, drop supplies at West Riverside Elementary School, 2801 Herschel St., by March 15.


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

You must be logged in to post a comment Login