Students at Dayton Elementary School are often caught in the hallways, on the bus, playground and classrooms doing random acts of kindness. A colorful paper chain stretches down several hallways as proof of each kind act.
Student Services Coordinator Lisa Bacon says students came up with the idea to create the paper chain to recognize students who show kindness. When students or staff members see an act of kindness, they note it on a construction-paper link to add to the chain. Often, the kind acts also are shared on the morning announcements.
"Here is one for someone who held open a door," says fourth-grade student Tianya Warren as she reads some of the links. "This one is for helping when someone's backpack spilled."
"The best way to promote kindness and caring is to model those behaviors throughout the school, so students know what it looks and sounds like to be kind," says Bacon.
Dayton students, like fifth-grade student Nathaniel Teague, have accepted the challenge to see how many acts of kindness he and his classmates can complete. "It's being a good sport and helping others. And when you see someone alone, you go sit with them," says Nathan.
It is clear the students have connected with the kindness initiative. "It is amazing how contagious kindness can be," says Bacon. "We are adding links to the chain every day and we might circle the entire building."