Jefferson Primary School students are always prepared to step up for a challenge. The youngsters have rallied behind a “call the kindness” this year, embracing the campaign that has swept across Huntington UFSD.
“We began the 2019/20 school year with a kindness campaign, which encompasses engaging in creative ‘kindness gestures’ all year long,” Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide said. “The goal is to foster empathy and prosocial behavior among our young Jaguars, inspire them to be proactive and ultimately show them that kindness is contagious, feels good and easy to offer up to others. The campaign also connects both school and home in a very collaborative way.”
Jefferson rolled out its kindness campaign in September under the banner, “We Believe in Human Kindness!” It’s related to the hashtag #makeKINDNESSloud, an initiative that continues to grow across the country.
“In each of our classrooms, students select a ticket with an individual ‘act of kindness’ to do at school during the week,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “These kindness gestures are small, yet achievable and grand in the scheme of making kindness a natural part of a child’s spirit. Things such as, ‘I am going to… write a kindness note and put it on a classmate’s desk; say thank you to my bus driver when I get off the bus; draw a picture and give it to a classmate; say, great job to a classmate, are examples. Parents were asked to encourage and help their child fulfill their ‘kindness mission.’”
Each month, Jefferson School’s classroom teachers select several kindness gestures that the students discuss during morning “carpet time” and work on engaging in together. Then during monthly Jefferson Jaguar Spot assemblies, where students are celebrated for being safe, respectful and responsible, the display of “acts of kindness” will be another criteria for the Citizen of the Month Award.
“Kindness is certainly not new to Jefferson,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “From the creative PBIS initiatives, along with the Jaguar third grade leadership team, great things are always happening here. This year’s leadership team made quite an impact by leading the Thanksgiving Food drive, running the winter pizza and game night fundraiser to help victims of the California wildfires, working with the high school Interact Club to make and sell rafiki bracelets and working on a month-long empathy reading project with students in Jefferson’s kindergarten classes. The team has many more plans to assist with the Helping Hand Rescue Mission in Huntington Station.”
Students have completely bought into the campaign slogan, We Believe in Human Kindness!” It is making a difference around the building.
“We feel passionate about coming together to make kindness loud,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “Kindness is contagious, but the spark has to start somewhere. Why don’t we start here and why don’t we start now?”