Acts of Kindness at U-32

This article was written by Biruk Alfarone, a senior in the U-32 Journalism class.

 

With the school year coming to an end, individuals recall acts of kindness they’ve witnessed here at U-32.

 

Meg Allison, a Teacher Librarian, thinks of the time she and George Cook, the Financial Literacy Teacher, collaborated on a project in 2016 with his business class-INC (Incorporated): Rabble Rouser, a chocolate and craft company that partnered with U-32, helped George’s INC class create chocolate bars called the Zoo Bar.

 

George’s INC class sent out a survey to teachers, staff, and students of U-32 on who they nominated to be recognized as kind and be given the Zoo Bar. The survey was called the 32 Acts of Kindness because only 32 people would be chosen. “We got 152 responses…, some people were obviously named multiple times,” said Meg.

 

The 32 acts of kindness survey questions were as follows: Who are you nominating, what grade are they in, what qualities do they possess, and why does this person deserve to be recognized for being kind.

 

Meg noticed a trend in the responses of students. “Either someone wanted to nominate their friend, or someone was just admired in the class as doing kind things.”

 

These acts of kindness partly inspire how Meg interacts with students and colleagues. “For students, I always try to have a smile to present them with, and like a genuine smile not superficial,” said Meg.

 

Meg helping a student. (Biruk Alfarone/U-32 Chronicle)

 

Jill Abair, a Teacher Librarian, notices that students are often really kind in the library. “A student came in one day and gave me this crocheted flower that she’d made,” said Jill. She believes kindness doesn’t require this specific example, something as simple as saying hello works too.

 

Students that come into the library can be expected to have a warm welcome, “I think that’s a huge part of my job, the sense of belonging in the school, which we’ve tried to build,” said Jill.

 

Jill believes that her kindness towards students involves pointing out things that people may not notice. “I’m an observant person, so if somebody’s wearing a nice outfit, or got a haircut, I feel like paying attention to those things,” said Jill.

 

George mentions Karen Liebermann, the Branching Out Coordinator, as a person who goes out of her way to help others. Whether it’s a student who needs something or there’s a problem that needs to be solved.

 

George thinks that an act of kindness he sees on a daily basis for students involves upperclassmen taking care of the younger students. Additionally, in the past at the end of the year, U-32’s seniors would go out and help members of the community. Senior Community Outreach Project (SCOP) is what George referred to where seniors would stack wood, move boxes for the elderly, mow lawns, etc.

 

How George brings kindness to his interactions with students and colleagues is he makes sure to look at people for who they are and not judge them. “I enjoy interacting with people from all different walks of life, I consider myself as someone who’s pretty upbeat, and for the most part positive,” said George.

 

George Cook, U-32 INC class teacher. (Biruk Alfarone/U-32 Chronicle)

April Davis, a Food Service Worker, sees students carrying lunches for other students, often times when one of them has crutches.

 

April is inspired to be kind to others and does this by helping people with change at the grocery store, or remembering students’ names which she believes makes a form of connection. “I also try to be just kind to everybody,” said April.

 

April Davis working in U-32’s kitchen. (Biruk Alfarone/U-32 Chronicle)

 

Avery Cochran, a senior, thinks doing good deeds has to do with setting good intentions and having a good impact, and that these two aspects should combine in order for it to come off as doing something good. ”I think there’s a bit of a blurry line between where somebody has good intentions and a negative impact,” said Avery.

 

Avery ties some negativity they see to the gossip culture at U-32. “I try to cultivate kindness, but don’t think I’m necessarily afraid to acknowledge if I did something poorly,” and, “I think every one of those mistakes has led me to being a better person for this community,” said Avery.

 

Additionally, Meg ends this article with a final thought, “It’s the little things, some people think it’s so complicated, we don’t always know how an act of kindness can impact someone’s day.”

 

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