MHS receives $500 in kindness challenge

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Being kind came with a big reward for Maplesville High School students after being selected as a winner in the Middle School Kindness Challenge.

Teacher Brittany Yeargan said each of the first 100 schools to complete the challenge, including Maplesville, was awarded $500 toward a Donors Choose project.

Yeargan has used the Donors Choose website in the past to collect donations for items for her classroom and heard about the contest on the site.

A team of teachers completed lessons and team-building activities with their students focused on kindness. Each lesson completed was checked off the list and submitted for the challenge.

Even though the challenge was designed for fifth to eighth grade, Yeargan said the whole school was involved. While the lessons were completed near the beginning of the school year, the school did not receive their prize package until late January.

The package included the $500 gift card and a trophy. Just how the school will spend its money is still being discussed, but it will likely involve improving the sound quality in the auditorium. The project would be posted on Donors Choose to collect the remaining funds needed.

Posters with positive messages and colorful reminders to be kind still line the hallway of MHS, demonstrating that even though the Kindness Challenge is over, being kind is still a focus for the school.

Yeargan said having these daily visual reminders makes the students more aware that “we love them and they are cared for here, but we also wanted them to see kindness continues throughout their different stages of life, not just here at school.”

“We wanted them to ownership and be responsible for our school and not just being nice to each other, but being mindful of our environment,” Yeargan said.

This was evidenced by students picking up trash when they saw it. Adam Hix’s fifth grade class completed a school cleanup project.

School staff found a way to support the kindness focus and complete technology training through “I love my selfie because …” Assistant Principal Erica Farnham said.

staff had students write about why they loved their selfie, then the answers were paired with the student’s selfies in Padlet, an online collaborative projects creator. Students will go back and add a positive comment about someone else’s photo.

“We just want to promote a positive vibe throughout the school and the community,” school counselor Janice Maddox said.

The emphasis on kindness will continue throughout the school year with projects and a Kindness Week planned for February.