Students and staff in the Milford School District are partnering together to proactively prevent bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month. During lunch last week Milford High School students kicked off the Students for a Million Acts of Kindness (SMAK) campaign in an effort to promote kindness among students, staff and the Milford community.
Driven by Wellness Center Counselor Suzanne L. Chafin, students are encouraged to start or continue daily kind acts or join a school club or group in doing large acts. Each act will be entered by students, staff or guardians through the Milford School District website where a SMAK tally will be kept.
“I have wanted to start a kindness event going for several years at the schools,” commented Ms. Chafin. “Working with the schools I noticed that most kids do the right things but we tend to focus on the bad things that some kids have done. I want to place more focus on the kids that are making the right choices.”
As the kindness acts are tallied through the year, students will receive awards for reaching milestones on their way to collecting one million acts. At 500,000 acts of kindness, several teachers at the Milford High School will wear maroon and gold tutus for the day. If the one million goal is reached by this spring, MHS will have an assembly of monstrous proportion where Ms. Chafin has stated she will shave her head.
“We have been thinking of crazy things that the staff can do to motivate the kids,” commented Suzanne. “The High School students have become very involved and will lead the district-wide effort.”
In addition to seeing a school counselor shave her head, other staff members have stepped up to promote kindness including Counselor Karen Sundquist who will allow the students to duct tape her to the field goal post if they reach their goal. Single acts of kindness can be everyday acts such as holding the door for someone or picking up trash. Acts of kindness performed on a larger scale by groups will count for several points depending on the size and scope.
“The project will promote a healthier, happier climate in our schools,” commented Chafin. “For the kids I hope that the project will highlight the kindness that is already instilled in them and that the seed of compassion and empathy can grow.”
Ms. Chafin believes that the acts of kindness will continue to grow and expand to the communities in which the students live. By using this proactive approach she hopes that the future generations will focus on the good happening around them.
“Hopefully this will allow them to become good citizens,” commented Suzanne. “I hope this is how they will live their lives, I hope they are more kind to themselves and others.”
The Students for a Million Acts of Kindness program is still searching for new ideas to enhance the project as individuals are urged to call the MSD Wellness Center to help support the program.Students can start or continue with daily kind acts by entering them on the district website at www.milfordschooldistrict.org. Simply click Kindness Project, click SMAK Tally and enter.