NEWINGTON - Donâ€™t let anyone bring you down. You have a purpose in life. Your smile looks great on you. Love yourself.
Those were some of sayings written on post-it notes throughout the halls of Newington High School last week to commemorate Kindness Week.
â€śWith all the things going on in the world you can never have too much kindness,â€ť Principal Terra Tigno said.
From Monday, Feb. 26, to Friday, March 2, students, faculty and staff participated in a variety of activates to spread kindness to one another.
Each day had a specific theme and encouraged the students to dress up.
On Monday they were encouraged to wear sweats because â€ścaring for others is no sweat.â€ť Tuesday each grade level was assigned a color to â€śstand together and support one another.â€ť Wednesdayâ€™s theme was â€śHave pride in what you doâ€ť so people either wore custom made KIND shirts or blue and gold. On Thursday people were expected to wear neon to â€śbrighten up your day with kindness,â€ť and on Friday they were to wear black to â€śblack out negativity.â€ť
â€śWe wanted to make it more of a school-wide event, rather than the adults planning it or just one group of kids planning it. We wanted everyone to have an interest and plan an activity,â€ť Marissa Morello, advisor for the student council, said.
Tigno and Morello reached out to class advisors and different clubs and organizations in the school to get feedback and ideas on planning this first-ever event of its kind at Newington High.
Members of the National Honor Society, Student Council, DECA (formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America) and world language clubs were some of the students who helped organize events.
Student Council Social Chair and DECA member Toni Laites said that while on a DECA trip to a conference in Philadelphia she was introduced to the â€śBecause I said soâ€ť campaign and was inspired to bring it back to her school.
â€śItâ€™s a promise that you make to yourself, your community or someone you know. Itâ€™s just something positive that you follow through with because you said you would,â€ť Laites said.
Setsuko Pigeonâ€™s homeroom students wrote things like â€śmake people smile moreâ€ť and â€śbe kind to people I donâ€™t knowâ€ť as some of their goals on their â€śBecause I said soâ€ť poster.
Other activities included decorating rocks with positive sayings or pictures, which would later be displayed at all the schools in town; writing motivational statements on sticky notes to allow students and staff to take a note they needed for the day; a bucket filling activity contest for students to write down kind acts that have been done for them; and compliment cards because â€śa compliment a day makes hate go away.â€ť
â€śThe idea is to not just have kindness be contained to this week, but hopefully it brings more awareness on how good kindness can make you feel,â€ť Morello said.
Junior Zachary Callahan said he has given out compliments to his peers and teachers to try and make their day better. He said receiving positive reactions makes you feel good.
â€śThereâ€™s lots of hate in the world right now. Starting on a small scale, one thing could change their day, month or even year,â€ť Callahan said.
â€śWe often look to teenagers to learn from adults, but when teenagers can step up and do something that adults can learn from is very impactful. To be able to learn from (the people) you are trying to teach, it makes it all even more meaningful,â€ť Lukas Houle, Student Council president, said.