“One kind word can change someone’s entire day.”
This is the powerful message that assistant principals Vera Perkovic and Carla Hozebin plan to spread as they host the Kind Cowboys campaign at CCHS as a part of World Kindness Week – and CCHS did not miss a beat.
“We are trying to run a year-long, school-wide initiative focused on kindness,” Hozebin said. “Granted, you are supposed to be kind each and every day to whoever you are interacting with. But we wanted to promote that a little bit more. We want to get all of the clubs involved.”
CCHS clubs gathered together Wednesday afternoon for an IOC meeting to discuss how they can each participate in the kindness campaign. After brainstorming ideas, many club members are excited to play their part in encouraging kind behavior.
“We have worked with Hozebin and Perkovic to find a way that all clubs can make a difference regarding kindness around our campus,” SGA first vice president Isabella Tocci said. “If each one of our 50 clubs gets involved, then we can make a huge difference.”
The school is also taking part in the Capture Kindness challenge, which includes 14 themed weeks. Starting with World Kindness Day on Monday, week one’s theme was “Be kind to your community.”
Some clubs have already started their individual activities and fundraisers. The Round Up, CCHS’ yearbook, motivated students to practice random acts of kindness and post pictures of them on Twitter. The Round Up staff set an example for fellow Cowboys by bringing donuts and coffee to the English office on Thursday morning. However, one does not need to order baked goods and refreshments for teachers to make an impact.
“It [can be] as little as smiling at someone or holding the door for them,” Perkovic explained. “It does not have to be anything huge [but] a kind thing goes a long way.”
Along with small acts, CCHS is taking big steps to achieve the goal of spreading kindness throughout the school, community and the hearts of students. One of those significant steps is building a labyrinth in the school. A labyrinth is a path used for meditation and reflection.
“It is a place where kids can find a quiet place to be during lunch,” Hozebin said.
Kindness starts from within. By taking time to de-stress, students are beginning the chain of benevolence by showing kindness to themselves. This is especially important when students are grappling with an inner conflict.
“There are those times when students might not choose the best avenue or the correct behavior,” Hozebin said. “We want to instill the fact that, regardless of who you are talking to or what you are doing, you want to be respectful to others. When we do have those times when a student is deciding [between right and wrong,] they [will be] choosing that right behavior and that right action.”
As both the school year and the kindness campaign go on, clubs and students will continue to instill a stronger sense of unity and compassion in CCHS students. Seemingly insignificant acts can make an immeasurable difference.
“It takes so little to be kind but it means so much,” Perkovic said.
Photo by Benjamin Milgram