We all need more kindness, and it starts with our kids

W e’re so inspired to hear about initiatives in our schools that teach kids about kindness, working together and improving one’s self … and the right kind of behavior can go such a long way.

We all need to pay it forward. We all need to be respectful to others. We all need to be responsible for ourselves.

The #KeystoneCares campaign in Keystone Central School District is a great example of the right kind of things being taught in our schools.

In its second year, the campaign’s mission is to “focus on practices that will make life better for our children and families in Clinton County and our school district.”

Each month, Keystone provides a theme for the community, “asking all organizations, boards, boroughs, townships, government agencies, churches, community groups, and our schools to support our themes through citations/proclamations, activities, events, and programs.”

The district is taking to social media, newsprint, radio, websites and podcasts to promote the themes, their partners, and the importance of our children’s futures.

“The focus needs to be on education and the process demands partnerships, positive relationships, and collaborations,” the district says.

Some of the #KeystoneCares themes include: No Bullying Allowed, Attendance Counts, Emphasis on Family, Get Active (and) Be Healthy, Say ‘No’ to Drugs, and Charity and Giving.

Want to help spread the word? Contact Angela Harding at aharding@kcsd.us.

There’s also the “Because of You” video that allowed teachers in KC to tell students how much they’re appreciated.

Check it out on Keystone’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/KeystoneCentral/videos/?ref=page–internal.

And we’re inspired by Bellefonte Area School District’s involvement in “Rachel’s Challenge,” a real story of a young girl who was among the first victims of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School, Rachel Joy Scott.

In her short life, Rachel spread kindness and compassion to students, staff and the local community, touching the lives of many through her acts of kindness, including students who had suffered a loss, new students who had no friends, and bullied students who had been contemplating suicide.

Bellefonte recently held a “Friends of Rachel” training so students could share stories about how Rachel’s message has impacted their lives and to start planning ways they can help make the school, and even the world around them, a better place.

Bellefonte students have started a “Friends of Rachel” club at their school.

As the saying goes, “Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.”

All of us, no matter how we feel, are responsible for how we act.