Kindness Rocks at Frank Wagner Elementary

Kindness Rocks at Frank Wagner Elementary

Full article written by Kelly Sullivan at the Monroe Monitor.

Frank Wagner kindergartner Julisa Andrea Fraga Alcantar says she feels good when she is acting in a kind way. She was learning last week how being proactive about caring behaviors is so important, like getting to know others and doing nice things for friends.

Frank Wagner Elementary has been observing Kindness Week in conjunction with Valentine's Day in recent years as a way to spread awareness around a simple concept of being kind, which aligns with one of the school's core values, said Joanna Dittemore, school counselor and coordinator of the weeklong event.

Frank Wagner staff and students wrote nice notes, signed posters to thank local agencies for keeping the community safe, and recognized the children who have gone above and beyond to be caring during a school-wide assembly.

One classmate was recognized for their consistently respectful behavior, Dittemore said. They always show appreciation for their peers and teachers. Another was honored for expanding her friends group. A student who was always gentle with people's feelings was also acknowledged, and another child was voted as the kindest student by their entire class, she said.

The heartfelt work didn't pause, even during recess.

Thursday morning classes flooded the playground after finishing their lunch. Some headed to the jungle gym, others played jump rope, and small crowds rushed over to a corner of the asphalt where two stations were set up, where a rush of creativity was unleashed.

Groups were given cards and blank stones to decorate. Dittemore and other staff planned to cover ground in Monroe once the week was over and plant the finished Kindness Rocks for others to find. She hopes when people pick up the small ornaments and see the bold "FWE" lettering, they will know what kind of intention was behind the unique gift.

Second-graders Violet McReynolds and Andrea Serrano wandered over to the Kindness Rock station together on Thursday. McReynolds said she has learned giving other people turns is a way to be kind. Serrano said asking someone who has fallen if they are all right is a loving act.

The two friends agreed behaving in these ways can make them feel happy, as well as the person they are being kind toward. They said being considerate and gracious is a way to encourage those feelings every single day.

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