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Scotchtown warms up for Spirit Week with Kindness Assemblies

School principal addressing student assembly

Scotchtown will be celebrating its second Spirit Week this school year, Jan. 27-31, with the theme, “‘Snow’ many ways to be kind.”

To make sure everyone will be “in the spirit” come Monday morning, today, Friday, students gathered by grade for Kindness Assemblies with special speakers reading to them from kindness-inspired children’s books.

Next week, faculty and staff will be on the lookout for random acts of kindness throughout the school, credit the kindness agents on paper snowflakes and hang them to the “kindness tree” painted on a main-lobby wall.

Kindness starts with kindergartners

Students sitting on floor listening to a speaker.“We want to show you what we believe, here at Scotchtown,” said Principal Henry Freedman in his opening words to the kindergarten group. “We treat each other with kindness, we are good listeners, and we care about our school.”Woman reading to student assembly.

Social Worker Mary Kay Jankowski read, “Kindness Starts With You” by Jacquelyn Stagg. Following a girl named Maddy through her day at school, the story shows children that no act of kindness is too small, and how easy it is to be kind because, “That’s what I want someone to do for me.”

Mrs. Jankowski shared a list of simple, age-appropriate  ideas for spreading kindness which teachers will use throughout Spirit Week.

First graders are “bucket fillers”

Students sitting on floor listening to a speaker.First graders enjoyed a special presentation involving some of their peers. Teacher Sheryl Lynch read the award-winning classic, “Have you filled your bucket today?” by Carol McCloud, while her helpers displayed “bucket-filing” messages.

The bucket concept is simple: when your bucket is full, you feel good and happy. When your bucket is empty, you feel sad and lonely.

Teacher holding children's book. Students holding signs with positive messages.

You can be a bucket-filler by doing and saying things that make you and others feel good. Bucket-dippers, on the other hand, think they can fill their own bucket by dipping into someone else’s with negativity.

Second-graders: agents of kindness, agents of change

Students sitting on floor listening to teacher speaking.Second graders were greeted with words of praise by their Principal. “I’m so proud of you for following our school rules and being kind to each other,” Mr. Freedman said. “This is the place where we make change in the world.”

Teachers Justine Diaz read, “Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller. The book asks, Two teachers presenting to a student assembly.“What does it mean to be kind, anyway?” and offers many relatable examples, from putting  dirty dishes in the sink at home to sticking up for someone at school when others aren’t being kind.

Teacher Anne McEnery reviewed the daily themes and activities of Spirit Week which include writing challenges, and taking steps to make others feel special and appreciated.

Why kindness matters

“With our Spirit Assemblies we want to promote positive behavior by focusing on kindness and the Scotchtown School Rules,” Principal Freedman said. “We have anti-bullying rules as well, but this is a more positive, affirmative approach to character education.”

The spirit of the assemblies also aligns with the Board of Education’s goal to foster a positive social, emotional, and behavioral culture in which students are encouraged to attain academic and personal success.

student holding sign with smiley face

Scotchtown Spirit Week

Marvelous Monday

  • We see you being kind to everyone.
  • Write down ways you can be kind to others.

Terrific Tuesday

  • Everyone is special.
  • Write a positive adjective on a snowflake.

Wonderful Words Wednesday

  • Snowball toss: Write kind words on your paper snowball and toss it to each other.

Thoughtful Thursday

  • Wear superhero clothing.
  • Be a superhero by helping someone today.

Friendly Friday

  • Wear your read, white and blue Gladiator gear.