From Stafford County Schools:
Students at Stafford Elementary School (SES) recently completed a two-week, kindness-focused fundraising campaign named Raise Craze. During the fundraiser, students showed their appreciation to donors by completing Acts of Kindness for others. At the end of the campaign, the students completed more than 630 acts of kindness and raised more than $16,000.
“Students completed a variety of kindness acts, from picking up trash in their community to writing special letters to teachers at Stafford Elementary School. Some students even made blessing bags for the homeless,” said SES Principal Stefanie Sanders. “In addition to individual acts of kindness, the school hosted a community Chalk the Walk at the school to spread kindness messages and art.”
During the campaign, students signed their name on various sea life and applied it to the Dolphin Kindness Wall after completing an act of kindness. “Kindness is an important part of good citizenship, and we all can learn a lesson from these students about supporting one another with kindness,” said Dr. Stanley B. Jones, SCPS Interim Superintendent. “Every small act leaves a ripple of joy in the community. I encourage all of us to go out and do something nice for someone today. You never know how large an impact one small act, such as a letter of support to a child’s teacher, will make.”
As the culmination of the campaign, school administrators, with the support of the SES PTA, created a surprise Magical Celebration day on Friday, November 19. With support from the SES PTA, each grade level hallway was immersed in a different Disney movie theme. Teachers, administrators, counselors, and staff dressed as characters from the movie, enhancing the magic. “We wanted a fundraiser that meant something. The kids were so excited to complete their acts of kindness and see how being kind can make a BIG difference,” said Kathleen Meade, Stafford Elementary PTA President.
The students also were surprised with two kindness assemblies. The Stafford County Sheriff’s Department provided several displays from the special operations unit which included the SWAT Team, the K9 Unit, and the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Team. Guest speaker Lieutenant Diggs delivered an inspiring message addressing the importance of kindness. Stafford County Fire House 4 conducted the second assembly, providing a 100-foot fire truck. The students watched as Mrs. Sanders and Mrs. Hardman, the school administrators, were raised into the air above them to read “Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller.
“These two organizations are a large part of our community,” said Sanders. “They have always done kind things for us, so having them deliver a message about kindness was very powerful for our students. We hope our students remember how everything begins with just one small act, and that the message of kindness resonates with them all year.”
Photos courtesy Stafford County Schools