Random acts of kindness blossom at WJHS

Post date: Jan 22, 2018 12:4:37 PM

Before the holiday recess in December, a wave of kindness began spreading amongst students and staff at Wells Junior High School. It originated with Ed Tech Jacqui Myers and Special Ed teacher Lauren Rivera brainstorming ways to get their Bridges students interacting and communicating more with other students throughout the school. They decided on a project for their students that would include random acts of kindness.

“It started because of the holidays and we wanted something more for the kids,” reflected Rivera about the kindness initiative. “We get so contained in our room and we really wanted to build that community connection and understand that things like this can spread and be good.”

The two began by having their kids make snowflake decorations and cookies to be discovered at random locations in the school. There were also certificates left around for teachers to discover with wording such as, “You’ve been selected for a random act of kindness.” The teacher certificates were redeemable for classroom clean-up services including floor sweeping, trash paper shredding and in-school mail delivery.

Soon, Myers and Rivera decided to expand their students’ reach by seeking community business support in the form of gift card or gift certificate donations thus allowing their students to randomly surprise other students and staff with an unexpected gift. By mid-January, eleven area businesses had contributed to what is now called The Bridges Room Random Act of Kindness Project.

“That was a big thing they did for us, getting this going,” commented Myers about the support and encouragement from the businesses. “I am truly amazed by how many donations we have received. What a wonderful community we have!”

As a result of the kindness project, the Bridges students have visited many classrooms, practiced and learned new skills, formed new friendships and gained confidence. Other students in the school have since “paid it forward” in various random acts of kindness of their own.

As the kindness spread out, Rivera and Myers observed multiple positive effects but chiefly among them an increase in communications and interactions between their students and others throughout the school. “It has been an absolute joy to watch,” said Myers who hopes this project will expand to the other schools in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD.

Kayden Hutchins presents 7th grade teacher Mary Rand with a surprise gift certificate.

After school was dismissed on January 11th, WJHS Ed Tech Jacqui Myers and teacher Lauren Rivera, on behalf of their students, presented the crossing guard at WOCSD schools, Frank Arcidiacono, a surprise gift certificate in appreciation of his work keeping students safe.