Efforts by Enterprise Middle School students and staff to establish a culture of kindness have earned the school a global award as well as a $6,000 cash reward.
The school has received the Class Act Award from RandomActs.org, a non-profit aimed at promoting random acts of kindness. RandomActs.org encouraged schools and student groups to apply for the award by submitting their acts of kindness, big or small, demonstrating how they benefitted their communities.
“The committee was blown away by our school-wide, year-long work at making kindness normal,” says school counselor Hans Appel.
Enterprise spent last school year encouraging students and staff to participate in its Award-Winning Culture initiative paired with lessons from the CharacterStrong program. Every student and staff member participated, and continues to participate in, the CharacterStrong movement.
“Students and staff give each other high-fives and greet each other every morning at the doors. The students have even begun to invite others to sit with them at lunch and say hi to strangers in the hallways. All these amazing and random acts of kindness effect everyone by creating a wonderful, positive, and connected community,” says seventh-grader Taya Greenup.
“At EMS, every staff member strives to love students by meeting their needs every day—and often that changes from day to day. We intentionally model positive relationships with one another, high expectations for behavior and academics, and use a common language with students to reinforce the importance of treating others with kindness and understanding,” says Principal Jennifer Klauss.
School officials say a committee of students, staff and parents will help determine how to use the award’s cash prize.
Tthe school won’t be resting on its laurels. Student leaders are already building on last year’s work, launching their Award Winning Culture podcast where students have discussions with authors, experts and others on topics ranging from leadership to community.