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Students perform random acts of kindness

Friday, February 13, 2009

(Photo)
More than 500 students from North Clay Middle School and Clay City Jr./Sr. High School took part in random acts of kindness during Christmas Break. Eight students were selected to talk to The Brazil Times, including (back, from left) Justin Stanley, Logan Mikles, Samantha Starr, Nic Yocom, Jennifer Bullock, (front) Elyssa Broeker, Hannah Dawes and Zene Colson. Kimberly Gleason Photo. [Order this photo]
Clay County students do "random acts of kindness" as homework, but it had a bigger impact than originally planned.

Last year North Clay Middle School sixth-grade English teacher Paul Harbour had an idea inspired by the book "Maniac McGee," by Jerry Spinelli.

Harbour assigned homework over Christmas Break, where each student had to complete one random act of kindness and then write a paper about the experience.

This year, Harbour wasn't the only teacher assigning the task, in total more than 500 students from North Clay and Clay City Jr./Sr. High School took part in the exercise.

"It was such a big success last year that other teachers wanted to incorporate it into their curriculum," Harbour said.

This year, the classes of Jennifer Mishler, Mary Winson and Teresa Wise, North Clay and Sarah Titzer, Clay City, joined Harbour's class.

"The 'random act of kindness' project is an excellent character building activity," North Clay Middle School Principal Jeff Allen said.

The acts ranged from picking up garbage to paying for items that people didn't have the money to pay for.

"I gave a woman $30 while I was standing in line at the grocery store," Hannah Dawes, 12, daughter of Susan Burns said. "She had a lot of kids with her and the items she bought went over her budget."

Samantha Starr, 11, daughter of William and Dawn Starr said when she tried to pay for someone's movies they gave her a funny look and asked why?

"My mom had to explain why I was trying to pay for this woman's movies," she said with a laugh. "The woman thanked me and walked away, after I had done my act of kindness I felt like I had made a small difference."

Justin Stanley, 12, son of Jerry and Stephanie Stanely bought a Spiderman action figure and gave it to a child in need in Terre Haute.

Other students just gave a helping hand to someone who was down on their luck.

"I helped a truck driver who was stuck on the road in ice," Nic Yocom, 13, son of Mike and Sheri Yocom said. "I gave the driver food and the dog that was with him some water."

"I took hot chocolate and cookies to the police officers directing traffic at my church's play," Logan Mikles, 12, son of David and Peggy Mikles said.

Elyssa Broeker, 11, daughter of Tim and Jennifer Mullinex picked up toys and trash at a church near her home.

"The people looked at me funny," she said. "When I told them what I was doing, they thanked me."

Jennifer Bullock, 13, granddaughter of Rita Wood, took food to a nursing home for their Christmas dinner.

Zene Colson, 12, son of Mike and Stacy Colson, delivered a meal to the homeless person in Indianapolis as well as picked up trash in his neighborhood and delivered candy and snack mix to three neighbors.

"I learned that you shouldn't do good things for just an assignment," Colson said. " You should do them all the time and try to make the world better."

Allen praised Harbour's insight into the project.

"This activity stresses to the students the importance of being a part of and making a contribution to the community because it is the right thing to do," Allen said.

Harbour's goal is, to have at least 10 percent of all the students continuing with the project into their senior year.

"Even if it is just a few kids it could be huge," he said. "Sometimes students do things that amaze me. Maybe by encouraging this behavior we can make this world a better place."

When asked about doing the activity again next Christmas Break, all the students agreed they would.


Comments
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Way to go kids! What a great assignment from Mr. Harbour.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Feb 14, 2009, at 2:52 PM

This is a great assignment to bad we couldnt get every child in CCSC involved maybe next year. Good Job kids.

-- Posted by kd323 on Sat, Feb 14, 2009, at 6:50 PM

What wonderful acts of kindness from these students. Their families should be very proud of them, and I'm sure they are! Maybe next year (or ALL YEAR), more students and adults can be involved in helping others. Have a wonderful day.

-- Posted by JaniLou on Sun, Feb 15, 2009, at 9:43 AM

GREAT JOB kids!!!!! You should ALL be very proud of yourselves! One day someone will return your act of kindness to you!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!

-- Posted by clgruener on Mon, Feb 16, 2009, at 7:41 AM


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