Alima Ahmed and Shantala Mehta believe a little kindness can go a long way. And a lot of kindness? Well, that can do wonders.
The two Shaker High School Student Government ambassadors are now rising seniors, but last year as juniors they decided to expand the high school’s annual May Month of Kindness to include more events.
The “month” of kindness has traditionally been a week during which students could write kind notes during lunchtime that were then delivered to the intended recipients during homeroom the following day.
“We wanted to expand it to the whole month and plan more activities to get the whole school involved,” said Alima.
“We thought we could make bigger, so we worked with our Student Government advisor to come up with different ways to inspire kindness in kids and help out the community,” said Shantala.
Among the activities they planned:
- Spirit Week of Kindness, when students were encouraged to dress based on a theme each day, such as orange for anti-bullying awareness, black and yellow for “Bee” kind day, and in floral patterns to “let kindness blossom.”
- Breakfast for teachers, made possible in part by donations from local organizations and stores.
- The first-ever Kindness Court, where students were chosen by their peers and recognized for their kindness and compassion for others.
- Student Government members passed out pencils – conveniently timed prior to the start of final exams – that were imprinted with the message: Have the courage to be kind.
And, of course, there was the ever-popular note-sending tradition.
“Hundreds of notes are written during that week,” said Alima. “It brought smiles to a lot of people’s faces.”
Shantala said students enjoyed writing and receiving the notes. “A lot of people took pictures of messages and posted them on social media,” she said.
While the note-sending is popular, both girls cited “Pass It On” as one of their favorite activities.
“Student Government members wrote messages on popsicle sticks, like ‘You’re a fantastic friend,’ and passed them out in the hallway,” said Shantala. “If you got one, you would pass it on to a friend or someone else in the hallway.”
The pair are already thinking ahead to next year and would like to put greater emphasis on helping the community. For now, they’re pleased with how this year’s events turned out.
“I feel like we did positively impact the school. Even small things, like people pointing to a poster with a positive saying,” said Alima. “Making one person’s day made the whole thing worth it.”
Congratulations, Alima and Shantala, for being recognized as North Colonie Kids Care recipients for September. Keep on spreading kindness!