1,500 acts of kindness

Acreman Elementary students set big goal for good deeds

Melissa Jenkins melissa.jenkins@tc.tc
Published on February 21, 2016
Acreman Elementary student Jenna Green ties the laces of a kindergarten student as part of the 1,500 acts of kindness challenge being completed by all 150 kids in the school.
Submitted photo

Acreman Elementary principal Patricia Collins-Yetman wanted to share a positive message with her 150 students to start off 2016. And she knew just the way to do it.

The kindergarten to Grade 6 students at the Green’s Harbour school were given a challenge when they returned to school after Christmas break, one that has so far been successful.

The challenge was for the students to complete 1,500 acts of kindness over 10 weeks.

It seemed like a lot of good deeds, but Collins-Yetman had high hopes they could complete them by March 18.

“We have 150 kids, and 10 weeks,” she told The Compass last week. “That’s one per week (for each student).”

So far the response has been overwhelming, with bus drivers and staff members sharing the good deeds with the principal to put in the total tally.

“It’s becoming a natural act for some of them,” she added.

The idea came about because Collins-Yetman wanted to give the students a boost in positivity, hoping the result would reflect in their attitudes and school performance. So far, she believes it’s working.

“I wanted to show them empathy and respect for others.”

Some good deeds

Students in the school have been more aware of their surroundings and those around them every day, Collins-Yetman explained.

Some activities they have taken part in include assisting with the breakfast program, holding doors for people and helping out younger students with work.

But one act that stands out to the school principal is the puppy shower some of the students threw her. She and her husband, who is a retired teacher, are adopting a puppy. The students thought it would be a nice gesture to host the puppy shower for them.

“They’re thinking of others,” Collins-Yetman said. “They’re really developing lovely manners and really good attitudes.”

One of the additional things the kids will participate in, besides learning respect for others, is shaving the head of Collins-Yetman’s husband. But only if they meet the 1,500 good deeds.

“When the students see him around the school (he often still volunteers there), they say, ‘buzz, buzz,’” she laughed.

The students are on par with meeting their goal, having 350 acts of kindness completed by Friday, Feb. 5.

The school will hold an assembly and celebration to shave the principal’s husband’s head on March 18, and students will be selected from each class to take part.

Collins-Yetman wants to see the children thrive in, not only the school environment and with their peers, but also at home, on sports teams and in any other environment. But mainly, she wants them to take the lead on respectful treatment and being helpful.

“Some of them are natural born leaders,” she said.