It’s back to school time, and children everywhere will be returning to their classrooms for another year of education. One school in Long Branch is not only educating its students in the three R’s, but also recognizing them for just being nice to one another.
"Kindness Counts" is an off-shoot of the “Positive Power” campaign, which began several years ago and was the brainchild of first grade teacher Erin Smith. Started last school year, "Kindness Counts" celebrates students who are respectful to other students, teachers, and adults who visit the Amerigo A. Anastasia (AAA) School on Seventh Avenue. The intent of the program is to instill kindness as something second-nature into each students’ character.
Erin is partnered with speech language specialist Pauline Cieri in running "Kindness Counts" in the AAA school.
This is how "Kindness Counts" works: Teachers and staff members are given golden tickets that they can hand out to any student who displays acts of respect and thoughtfulness to other students and teachers during the school day. The yearly goal is for the teachers to hand out 10,000 golden tickets to the students before the last week of school.
Those acts could be anything from holding the door open for someone, to writing get well cards to kids awaiting treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Monmouth Medical Center.
Last year, the teachers and staff gave out 10,017 golden tickets to students, barely surpassing the goal. As a reward for reaching 10,000 tickets, all the students got to see Mrs. Cieri perform the chicken dance in a full-length chicken outfit on-stage in the auditorium at the school’s final assembly of the school year.
"Kindness Counts" not only shows students that being kind to one another goes a long way, but it also complements the district’s anti-bullying program, too.
So for all those attending the Anastasia School for the 2012-2013 school year – get ready to put your best foot forward and show how kind you can be to your fellow classmates and teachers.
(You can also follow Kevin Cieri’s blog on his Facebook page, “Jersey Shore Retro” as well as on Twitter at @jsretro).