ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Along with Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies, the fifth-grade students at Wylie Middle School are getting a lesson in kindness.
“We started seeing this need for kindness,” says Stephanie Barham, a Science and Social Studies teacher.
It’s one of the reasons Barham organized a kindness campaign for the campus.
“I think we can all go back and relate and think of stories that someone said to us that was unkind or we got left out of a friend group,” Barham says.
The fifth graders are learning about being inclusive rather than exclusive, “We just want to teach kids that kindness is everything. It’s contagious,” she says.
They’re also striving for more than a message.
“It’s also put it into action in our community,” adds Barham.
Jillian, a fifth-grade student says, “We got to share some brainstorming ideas.”
Together, Barham and a group of students came up with the idea of creating “sunshine boxes” to support pediatric cancer patients.
Jillian adds, “I’m going to be making lemon sugar cookies because somebody in our class said that they can’t taste bland flavors. They need like spicy or sour flavors so they can actually really embrace the flavor of it. I’m going to do lemon and yellow for the sunshine.”
Jillian says it’s about making people feel good when they often feel bad.
“My aunt recently passed away from brain tumors. She had melanoma. That was really hard on my family. She was really close to me. I know what they’re feeling and that they need happiness and people to be kind to them as well,” she says.
Barham says, “I think it makes the kids more cognizant. Maybe I should think about this before I say, maybe I should be more inclusive, or show empathy when we can when we have a student or family going through something. How can we help them.”
It’s a movement already leaving a lasting impression on these youngsters.
“You just see the kids thinking a little bit more before they act and say something,” Barham adds.
Barham and the fifth grade students plan to come up with more ways to spread kindness on the campus and in the community.