Acts of Kindness Abound in the Area

Students at Broad Brook Elementary School shared extra “high-fives” during Kindness Week.

Sophocles said, “Kindness is ever the begetter of kindness.” One kind act does lead to another – as can be seen through courtesies practiced throughout the area. Whether it’s neighbor helping neighbor or the unexpected news that the stranger ahead of you at the drive-in window, has already paid for your coffee, a community gains as much as the recipient of the thoughtful acts.

Recently Broad Brook Schools took part in the national Great  Kindness Challenge by dedicating each day of the school week to an act of  kindness. At the elementary school students shared extra compliments, thank-yous, and high fives as the week progressed. Assistant Principal Matthew Ryan said this is the fourth year the system has participated in the national event, but he emphasizes that “kindness” is a year-round focus at the K-4th grade school.

“Kindness humanizes us,” says Mr. Ryan. A brightly decorated bulletin board in the school hallway proves his point. On backgrounds depicting the seasons, staff members tack individual notes about kindnesses their students have enacted or received. In the fall section the notes are leaf-shaped . In the winter section – paper ornaments and snowballs commemorate such deeds as “A second-grader helped clean up in the lunchroom when she was not even asked – “

“Kindness permeates the building – the teachers too,” says Mr. Ryan.

Across the river, the Windsor Locks Public Library encouraged patrons to inspire kindness in February with its Hearts of Kindness Program.  Library-goers of all ages were invited to decorate “A Kindhearthearted Tree” in the main reading room with red hearts, upon which they wrote compassionate messages.

Gloria Malec, director of the library, came up with the activity. “We wanted to help inspire people to think about others and themselves by writing a kind word or two.” She says she enjoyed watching young and old patrons alike ponder over the messages they placed on the tree. Each contributor received a surprise gift – a refrigerator magnet inscribed with “inspiring kindness, 177.7” – the Dewey Decimal System number used for cataloging books about kindness.

ShopRite supermarket in Enfield recognizes students from Enfield High School and Suffield High School who have been singled out for acts of kindness. Staff members at each school choose the recipients of the monthly ShopRite Kindness Awards.

Gabrielle Zeller and Kyle Englander were two recent honorees from Suffield High School. Principal James Blain noted that Gabrielle was the ‘go-to person’ in the school’s Toys for Tots Campaign a few months ago.  Art teacher Kerri Michaud-Bagley, nominated Kyle Englander based on his initiation of the World Language Honor Society clothing drive that sent donations to Mexico earlier this year.

According to the Enfield High School website Tina Lamontagne recently received the Kindness Award for “always being ready to invite students to work with her or her group and her willingness to move her seat from a group to sit with someone all alone.” John Perry was also recognized for being “honestly interested in what others have to say, and by extension, making the person feel valued and important.”

The Kindness Corridor at Broad Brook Elementary School displays in-house acts of kindness year round.

A Kindhearted Tree at the Windsor Locks Library was decorated with many a good deed in February.

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