By Pam Dudding Contributing writer
The sentiment of showing kindness warms anyone’s heart.
McCleary Elementary celebrated the week of February 14 with the state of Virginia by participating in “Kindness Week.”
“We celebrated together with all the other schools all across the state of Virginia during this week,” said Counselor Dustin Persinger.
Additionally, during the week, the students brought in non-perishable food items to be donated.
“These will go to Craig Valley Baptist Church, as they provide food for our students to take home every week,” Persinger explained.
Persinger noted that last week was Counselor’s Appreciation Week and he received several notes and cards from the students that melted his heart.
“I decided to pay it forward this week and help our teachers feel the love of students as well by cutting out their names and letting their students write them notes,” he said.
The hall walls were decorated with each teachers’ name in big letters that had personal “thank you’s” as well as sweet compliments.
It seems to be paying off because students shared the sweetest thoughts to their teachers.
Some of the comments Lauren McAllister received read as follows: “You are my BFF,” “You are so sweet and kind, we love you!” “Thank you! You are helpful” “You are the best, you are the best teacher and are so cool.” Hearts, smiling faces and other doodles were also exchanged.
“When I first saw these, it made me cry because it really touched my teacher heart and made it full,” McAllister shared. “I had no idea that these were the things that they were thinking about me. You always feel like you are making them do work, work, work. Just to see that the little things you do for them really does make a difference. Just to know that you are loved means a lot.”
Persinger also shared that they were sharing with students of how we all can show kindness to other people and to our teachers.
He works with each class and “we brainstorm about things we can put on them and the letters are then decorated in small groups. Other teachers will have their names up and the kids will be also decorating them with the option of writing their comments of them.”
McAllister’s were already put up and her children were excited for her to read them.
During the week, the students participated in something different daily to help show kindness.
- Monday – Kindness makes the great grow – wear pink or red (Valentine’s Day)
- Tuesday – Peace, love, and kindness – tie-dye day
- Wednesday – Tip your hat to kindness – hat day
- Thursday – Don’t sweat the small stuff – wear your favorite sweatshirt or sweater
- Friday – Team CCPS values kindness – wear Rocket blue or school wear
The atmosphere was alive with “kindness” and as we walked the halls, Persinger was greeted by many students who ran over to give him hugs, which were so genuine as each child’s face gleaned up towards him to receive one back.
It really is true, “Love conquers all.”