Kenwood Trail and McGuire middle school students were focused on spreading kindness and giving back to the community all day Friday, Dec. 22. Both schools had
each hour filled with an activity dedicated to kindness, generosity and serving others.
“Each teacher crafted something fun to do. The day was really about building those individual relationships the kids have with their teachers as much as it was about giving back to others,” said Dr. Joshua Alexander, principal at McGuire Middle School.
At McGuire, Student Leadership leads Give Back Day and was started last year. The event this year included 30-45 volunteers. Activities that took place at the school Friday included the school band playing holiday music and school choir singing carols throughout the day. There was also a photo booth where students could pay $1 for a picture and the money would be donated to provide a yearbook to families that can’t afford one.
Other popular activities included tying blankets that would be donated to Fairview Ridges Hospital. According to McGuire dean Becky Erickson, there will be approximately 300 blankets donated. Students also made dog toys that will be given animal shelters, including Safe Hands Rescue.
Kenwood Trail joined McGuire in Give Back Day this year, and the students started each class period with a kindness quote read by Principal Kate Eisenthal to set the tone. The students created bookmarks that will be donated to senior centers and libraries, as well as collages with messages about kindness that will saturate the building. They also watched an anti-bullying video and discussed how to not be a bystander and how to speakup. Students also filled blessing bags that were filled with floss, hand sanitizer, shampoo, and Kleenex, for example, as well as a special message that will be donated to Dakota Woodlands in Eagan.
“The day for us was about the kids really putting kindness into action instead of just talking about it. It was about us joining
together as a group or working together as a whole class on something that benefits somebody else,” Eisenthal said.
And, although each school did something different, there was some overlap.
Both schools wrote positive, uplifting letters or cards for soldiers. They also both had an activity where students could create something, such as a card or ornament, that they could give a friend or family member.