From sending a positive tweet to thanking your bus driver, any small act of kindness can make a difference in a person’s life.
In honor of the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, BHS has started “26 Acts of Kindness,” one act in memory of each person who tragically lost their life that day. A different action is assigned for each day; each is a small way to show kindness to others.
Mr. Troetti, BHS Principal, brought the idea to Bethel High School, but it originated at Notre Dame High School in Fairfield. Mr. Troetti explains that when the tragedy happened last year the schools in the SWC held a principal’s meeting, where Notre Dame suggested the idea.
“Notre Dame High School decided to do ‘26 Acts of Kindness’ and they shared it with us,” says Mr. Troetti.
Mr. Troetti, as well as Ms. Hook, secretary of the BHS Health Office, the C.A.T.S. Club (which she also advises), the Key Club, and the Student Government have contributed to this program.
Mr. Troetti believes that multiple schools in Connecticut are participating in the event, because many educators want to improve school climate as well as honor Sandy Hook this December. He adds, “There was a great response to it. I’m sure there are multiple schools doing it.”
Ms. Hook wrote most of the events for the calendar so that they were easy for a high school student to accomplish. She took into consideration the contacts high schoolers have as well as the best ways that they can give.
Ms. Hook discloses, “I had to think of who I’m asking.”
A few of the acts include donations to the Women’s Center and Family Children’s in Need, two organizations in Danbury. Ms. Hook refers to herself as the “hub for collecting”, but is happy to do it because she feels that the program is a great way to promote a positive school atmosphere.
“I’m a firm believer in being nice. You never know what people are going through,” Ms. Hook expresses. “It’s important to be kind to everyone.”
Mr. Troetti also agrees with Ms. Hook’s sentiment. He feels that small acts of kindness are rewarding for students. He says, “I think that not only does the person receiving kindness feel great, it gives the person doing the act a warm feeling as well.”
Sean-Hector Toland Matos ’16 has been trying to complete as many acts of kindness as possible. So far, he has called his mother to tell her that he loves her, as well as let someone go in front of him in line. He believes that acts of kindness in general are an important part of everyday life.
Sean-Hector says, “Doing acts of kindness shows consideration for others and appreciation for all of the things that you’re lucky to have.”
Also, Mr. Troetti and Ms. Hook hope that this program motivates students to “pay it forward” and do these small acts of kindness on their own. According to Mr. Troetti, “that’s the goal.”
Ms. Hook explains, “I think the calendar is a guide to jumpstart your own thought on paying it forward.”
The “26 Acts of Kindness” program is only the first of many initiatives to improve the school climate and spread kindness and compassion at BHS.
Mr. Troetti assures, “We’re looking to continue doing more things like this because I think it’s a great thing for our school.”