Showing appreciation is a very simple way of expressing kindness. One school in Conneticut expresses their kindness with multiple appreciation days for different staff members at their school. Sharon Wade, at Turn of River Middle School, shared with Rachel’s Challenge exactly what her FOR Club does to express kindness to various staff members.
Sharon: In January 2018, for the eighth year, Turn of River Middle School once again continues the Rachel’s Challenge After School Program. Our entire school community is a very important part of the continued success of the program and the key to “passing the kindness” on. Each year, we have appreciation days for our crossing guards, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teachers, and security guards. To show our appreciation we give cards, a banner, and treats.
Photo: Annual Security Guard Appreciation Day
Sharon: Before we start any appreciation day, we discuss the positions these important people hold in our school community, and all that they do for us.
Rachel’s Challenge: How does your FOR Club decide on the dates to appreciate the different staff members in your school?
Sharon: We decide together at our meetings and our goals is to have an appreciation day each month.
Rachel’s Challenge: How long does it take to make the posters and banners?
Sharon: It normally takes one to two meetings to complete the banners and posters. There is another after school program “Community Heroes” who works with our students on the banners.
Rachel’s Challenge: What kind of treats do you give the staff members? Who pays for the treats?
Sharon: The treats we give them are cards, cookies, etc, and a gift card. The staff contributes as well as the students.
Photo: Annual Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
Rachel’s Challenge: Who signs the cards?
Sharon: The Rachel’s Challenge students sign the cards, and we also ask homeroom teachers to create a card.
Rachel’s Challenge: How are all these nice things presented to the staff members?
Sharon: We always present the recipients together as a group, with a BIG thank you.
Rachel’s Challenge: What are their reactions?
Sharon: The recipients are overwhelmed by the kindness and appreciation.
Rachel’s Challenge: What are the students reactions?
Sharon: The students react with smiles and happiness. After we present them, we sit down and talk about how they feel.
This simple act of kindness can be reproduced in any school. “People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” – Rachel Joy Scott.