Kindness ran rampant through the hallways of St. James Collegiate this past week.
The high school celebrated Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week (Feb. 10 to 16), an annual international campaign which aims to get people to do acts of kindness.
According to the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) website (randomactsofkindness.org), the goals of this campaign are to inspire others to be kind, legitimize kindness as a way to improve society, and be a highly-regarded, visible social and emotional education program.
Two groups at St. James Collegiate, the Safe Schools student group and the peer mentor group, took the initiative in organizing this weeklong celebration of kindness at their school. One of things the staff and students did was tattle on their peers, in a sense — but instead of pointing out their wrongdoings, they were actually sharing news of acts of kindness.
"They handed out heart-shaped sticky notes," guidance counsellor Janet Frolek said. "When they saw a student engaging in a kind act, they take down their name and they write down the kind act."
The notes were sent down to the school office, which are entered in daily draws for prizes. Names of the students were drawn before lunch and before the end of the school day.
There is also a grand prize of two Jets tickets that will be awarded on Friday afternoon. Almost the entire school, with the exception of a few students, are clueless about it. The group of students that knew about the tickets kept it to themselves.
"They want to keep (the week) as genuine as possible," Frolek said.
"They wanted the students to continue being kind," another guidance counsellor, Christina Brophy, added.
Although RAK Week is coming to an end, the guidance counsellors are assured that they will have no trouble continuing the momentum of kindness throughout the rest of the school year.
"We have so many different students, and we have a student body that just welcomes you as you are," Frolek said. "We have immigrants, we have refugees, we have students with special needs and learning disabilities. The goal is inclusivity and safety and engagement. It’ll be fun to keep this momentum going."