Osoyoos Elementary marks completion of 21 Days of Kindness

By on February 13, 2018

Students at Osoyoos Elementary School had a rally and lunch to mark the conclusion of 21 Days of Kindness. This group wanted to show off for the camera. In the foreground are Luke Tarasoff, Brody McLean, Nolan Antonello, Myla Sanderson and Taylor Valentine. (Richard McGuire photo)

A program that promotes kindness, generosity and respect has once again had outstanding results at Osoyoos Elementary School.

On Thursday, the entire student body of more than 320 students, teachers, senior administration, members of the Parents Advisory Council (PAC) and volunteers with various school programs packed into the gymnasium at the Sonora Community Centre at the fourth annual 21 Days of Kindness campaign.

Since school returned after the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, all of the students at Osoyoos Elementary School were asked to perform random acts of kindness for their fellow students, teachers, staff and visitors.

Following the end of each campaign, all of the students, faculty and staff gather at the Sonora Centre to celebrate the event, enjoy a meal and celebrate the literally hundreds of random acts of kindness that took place in January and early February.

Every single student is asked to show kindness, empathy and support towards their fellow students, teachers and to their family members and friends outside of the classroom, said principal Dave Foster.

Whenever a student performed an act of kindness, by opening a door, picking up a pencil, showing exemplary politeness or just sharing a smile or compliment, students were asked to write it down as part of a paper chain.

That “Kindness Chain” was spread out across the walls of the Sonora Centre gymnasium at the luncheon celebration as hundreds of paper slips has been signed by students, said Foster.

“Kindness is taught to you and modeled by your parents and here at school and out in the community,” said Foster. “For the past 21 days … you have engaged in acts of kindness like opening the door, picking up a pencil and saying kind things here at school.

“You have received the kindness of others and you have helped put a smile on the faces of your fellow students.”

Bev Young, the superintendent of education for School District 53, was a special guest at Thursday’s luncheon celebration and she was extremely impressed with what has happened inside and outside the classroom at Osoyoos Elementary School over the past four weeks.

“What a great idea,” she said. “What an incredible journey you are on to. This a great celebration of the great work you have been doing.”

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that showing kindness to others leads to an improvement in overall physical and mental health and students who are more engaged and happy in the classroom, said Young.

Teacher Julie Dias, who has helped spearhead the 21 Days of Kindness campaign at the local elementary school since it started four years ago, said this program has made the school a better place to learn, make friends and have fun for all of the students, faculty and staff.

“It’s my hope you will continue this kindness together through the rest of the year … it doesn’t just end when the 21 days of kindness are over,” she said.

Members of the Osoyoos Coyotes once again participated in the luncheon celebration and they handed out beans, salad, bread and dessert to everyone in attendance.

Osoyoos singer-songwriter Kansas Hatherly also took the stage to perform a couple of songs she’s written and encouraged students to be proud of their participation in this wonderful event.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

Students at Osoyoos Elementary School had a rally and lunch to mark the conclusion of 21 Days of Kindness. The event was held in the gym at the Sonora Community Centre. (Richard McGuire photo)

These Osoyoos Elementary School girls took a break from crayoning to pose for a photo. From left are Mackenzie Haggerty, Appy Bol, Beth Pyatt and Brooklyn Pires. They were marking the end of 21 Days of Kindness. (Richard McGuire photo)

The walls of the Sonora Centre gym were decorated with art by students at Osoyoos Elementary School promoting the value of kindness. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos Elementary School Principal Dave Foster speaks to students and guests at a rally in the Sonora Centre on Thursday to mark the end of 21 Days of Kindness. (Richard McGuire photo)

Bev Young, superintendent of School District 53, brought greetings to students and guests at an event marking the end of 21 Days of Kindness. (Richard McGuire photo)

Julie Dias, a grade 2 teacher at Osoyoos Elementary School, spoke about a long chain that students made with paper slips, each marking an act of kindness. The end of the school’s 21 Days of Kindness doesn’t mean students should stop being kind, she said. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Osoyoos Coyotes served lunch to students and guests at a rally marking the end of 21 Days of Kindness. From left are Daniel Paul, Brock Marple, Connor Onstein and Austin Cleaver. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos Coyote Austin Cleaver (right) serves a bun to Grade 6 student Malcolm Cuthbert. The Coyotes served lunch to students and guests at the Sonora Community Centre on Thursday. (Richard McGuire photo)

Nolan Antonello, Brody McLean and Luke Tarasoff, Grade 4 students at Osoyoos Elementary, had some fun with crayons at an event marking the end of 21 Days of Kindness. Asked if the picture represented kindness, Tarasoff replied: “Not at all. It’s just a work of art.” (Richard McGuire photo)

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