Students perform ‘random acts of kindness’ around community

Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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Students in Renee Martin’s second grade class at Clanton Elementary drop Valentines in each other’s mailboxes Feb. 13 during a class party to celebrate the completion of their Acts of Kindness project.

Renee Martin’s second grade class at Clanton Elementary has spent the last two weeks doing good deeds for people they know and for people they may never meet.

After reading NBC news anchor Ann Curry’s blog following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last year, Martin felt inspired to institute the acts of kindness challenge Curry wrote about in her classroom at Clanton Elementary School.

“Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for each precious life lost. An act of kindness big or small. Are you in?” Curry said in her blog.

Martin and her students were in.

“I did want to do something kind and from the heart,” Martin said. “For every time we did a project, we tied a card with it so hopefully they would pay it forward and do a random act of kindness for someone else.”

One of the class’ random acts of kindness was to donate quarters to people in the waiting room at Children’s Hospital to buy snacks and drinks from the vending machine.

Another act was to send cards to nursing home patients, and another was to send care packages to a soldier through a non-profit organization called Adopt A U.S. Soldier.

The class gave water and treats to Clanton Post Office, UPS and FedEx workers and paid for a book of stamps for someone in line at the post office.

Students donated enough money to give to a local restaurant to buy dinner for someone sitting alone.

They also brought dog and cat food for the Chilton County Humane Society, as well as canned food items for the food bank.

Martin said the parents of her students helped her collect and package items, send or deliver gifts and brainstorm ideas for different acts of kindness the class could do.

Tonja Crumpton was one of Martin’s dedicated parent helpers and said her son, Coy, was so excited about the project that he wrote “random acts of kindness” with a crayon on his wall at home.

“The kids really get into it,” Crumpton said. “It really leaves some kind of impression on the kids.”

Martin’s students also performed kind acts for their school. They picked up trash on campus and gave treat bags to teachers.

In an attempt to encourage their peers to perform acts of kindness, Martin’s students sent letters and treat bags to a second grade class at Thorsby School.

Martin said she has received positive feedback from some of her class’ recipients and gathered from her students’ eagerness to share their latest acts of kindness every morning that they enjoyed the project.

As a reward for their efforts and to cap off the project, students exchanged Valentines and ate pizza and candy during a Valentine’s Day themed “Kindness” party Martin held for them Feb. 13.

“They caught on,” Martin said. “They really got the message.”