On the Lower Campus, grade 5 students are empowered and encouraged to serve as leaders to younger Mustangs. Through a partnership with Lower School administrators, like Elisse Hayes, these students are provided with different opportunities to grow in leadership.
One of their opportunities includes serving as play patrol on the courtyard during morning carpool. As students arrive at school, they have time to play together before heading inside the building. Grade 5 leaders help keep friends safe with safety reminders and mentor through coaching some of their favorite games. But when asked what they hoped to achieve during play patrol, they had one answer.
“Our main goal is to search for friends who need someone to play with,” shared a grade 5 leader. During this time, they hope to find students who are outliers and bring them in to play with other friends.
Keeping busy in the mornings, grade 5 leaders also serve as Preschool escorts, meeting our youngest Mustangs as they get out of the car at carpool and walking them inside to their classrooms, bridging the gap between our oldest and youngest students on the campus.
From these leadership opportunities, a special group of students was formed – the Kindness Crew. The five grade 5 students who make up the Kindness Crew were nominated by their teachers as leaders who show kindness in all circumstances, each and every day, already holding a reputation for being kind.
In October, the focus of Lower School Chapels was kindness. Leading up to World Kindness Day on November 9, the Kindness Crew spoke at Chapel, sharing ways that students can be kind. They then encouraged students to show kindness to others, write examples of these acts on a post-it note, and then add it to the kindness wall in the STEM hallway for all to see.
At the beginning of December, the Kindness Crew were back in Chapel, this time joining Lower School IDEA Coordinator Taryn Rumph as they shared what it means to be an upstander. At its core, being an upstander means being a peacemaker. The Chapel message was accompanied by Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
As a group, the Kindness Crew shared five norms for Lower School students to follow.
- Show Kindness
- Don’t Step on Other’s Words
- Listen with Your Heart
- Find Similarities, Celebrate Differences
- Be an Upstander
The five members of the Kindness Crew are Hulya Inel, Ella Medlin, Emma-Neal Medlin, Mason Tann, and Gabby Wojcik. When they were first nominated as part of the crew, they were asked if they had always been known as being kind. Mason shared “I think I developed it over time. I knew kindness was important, so it’s something I work on.”
“What I like about the Kindness Crew is that we can experience new things,” said Ella. “Speaking at Chapel and helping with leadership opportunities – I just like being nice to everyone.”
Outside of their own grade, the Kindness Crew have sparked a share-the-well mentality across the Lower Campus.
In grade 3, students are celebrating this season of giving and thankfulness by showing kindness to one another through a Kindness Calendar. Each student randomly chose the name of another student in their class, and over the next two weeks, students are encouraged to complete the act of kindness named on their calendar for that day. Their identities will be kept a secret leading up to the School break.
We can’t wait to see how students continue to share the well during this season of giving and beyond.