The members of the Whittier Elementary Kindness Club are working hard to learn new things and to find ways to spread their message.

They recently had an afternoon where they practiced good manners while eating with friends in a session they called Friendgiving. Teacher Jessica Bartz reports, "We all said please and thank you, used our manners, worked on using a napkin and not talking with our mouths full. Thank you to Suburban Builders for their donation of pizza and soda!"

The members of the club then did a fun Google Classroom assignment where they wrote kind things about other members of the club.

"The group is now using Google Classroom to brainstorm ideas of how to promote kindness in the classroom, school and local community," she reports. "What a great way to brainstorm and share ideas!"

The Kindness Club started at Whittier some students in Ms. Bartz's sixth grade class decided that they wanted to start a group that promotes kindness and acceptance of all students.The group has now grown to include the members' siblings. There are currently about 30 students who meet every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and have a special assignment each week.

"Our club mission is to bring everyone at our school together in a cooperative, loving way and to teach and remind everyone to look for the good in people and praise it – all the time!" Ms. Bartz says. "Most importantly, we want every kid in our building to know that there is a group of students who are dedicated to be a friend and kind to all students at Whittier!"

The Club has already done several activities to promote kindness around Whittier. They include:

  • Drawing chalk art to welcome Dr. Durant and other guests to kick off the district-wide Stand Together initiative;
  • Decorating and putting up signs with inspirational quotes around the mirrors in the junior high bathrooms to promote a positive self image;
  • Creating handwritten signs to put on the doors of each teacher reminding them how important they are to all of us;
  • Making bookmarks and giving out small prizes to kindergartners and first graders for the Halloween parade;
  • Serving as tour guides during parent-teacher conferences.

Future plans are to decorate cookies for the cafeteria workers, prepare a basket of hats and gloves for the neighborhood crossing guards and create kind boxes for each classroom where students can leave notes of times when other students were kind to them.

The club members are also currently working on welcome packages for new students to Whittier which would include a note from the Kindness Club and some basic school supplies.

"We plan on doing some fundraising to reward those students and get group t shirts," Ms. Bartz said, adding that it is her goal is to eventually get some more teachers interested so that the club can branch out to include all grades.

Posted on November 18, 2016