When a school custodian needed help, sixth graders at Scott Middle School donated more than two months worth of food for his family. The custodian’s wife had recently had surgery, putting the squeeze on the finances for him, his wife and two kids.
But the kindness movement was just getting started.
The students are now ready to hand out ‘Gallon Bags of Love’ to people in need. The items - sorted into sealable gallon bags - ranges from soaps to snacks and socks to hats, common goods that slip from essentials to do-withouts for the neediest.
And the movement won’t stop there either. A volunteer Kindness Club has started, the students conduct a monthly project to help, and it all fits in with the school’s annual Make-A-Difference Fair. The students research an issue, write a persuasive essay, and present (and help fundraise) the information about a nonprofit looking to cure a social problem.
Here’s an explanation of this ‘kindness movement’ from various Scott sixth-graders:
Alex Bjorman, on the original idea
“It originally started with a custodian in our pod that we wanted to help, and it led to doing something every month to help other people.”
Gabby Drought, on helping others
“It felt really good knowing that you are helping someone, and he seems to be doing better.”
Natalie Thomson, on building friendships
“The pods are separated and every day you don’t have classes with them other than PE or academic connection, but we are still friends. Now we did the drive, all the kids get to contribute, and now we each have a special connection that we can talk about and relate to each other.”
Darby Pankoke, on a future project
“We were thinking about old t-shirts and donating to the Humane Society as dog toys.”
Zoie Graham, on the academic value
“I think it helps with talking to your peers. It helps with presenting skills, not just in school, but from around the city. You have to be knowledgeable.”
“You learn how to write a persuasive essay, and also help through donations you raise.”
“It’s not just reading a book, but doing a project that makes a difference instead of doing something that has no purpose.”
“I think it’s good that we are doing theses things because (the schoolwork) is a requirement, but we do it in a kind way. I think we are taking something that we would have to do anyways, and we are making it more enjoyable to do and raising the bar a bit higher so we can easily learn.”
“I don’t think of it as an essay we have to write. It’s more of a project that we decide that we want to learn about.”
“By starting now, we realize it can do good and we can have fun doing it, and maybe we will enjoy doing more stuff.”
“Hopefully we can spread it out to do bigger things, even spreading it out to different schools and other grades.”
“We are not just talking about hunger, but actually doing something about it.”
“We don’t have to do this. We never had to care, but we chose to, and now we don’t want to stop, because we’ve realized what has been done in the past.”
Published: March 13, 2017, Updated: March 13, 2017