LANSING, Mich. — A group of Jackson Northwest High School students have created an after-school program that is making a big difference in their community, and it all centers on being kind.
The students meet every other Monday to develop ways to impact their school and community positively. Senior Kriztopher Bilby says it's a welcome addition to the school.
“One of the things in this group that we focus on is making sure that each of us is doing well, and we are there for each other,” he said.
Sophomore Destiny Zuniga says the weekly meetings attract 10 to 30 kids and each of them learn to spread kindness.
“I’ve made more friends and become more positive,” Zuniga said.
English teacher Marnie Hade co-founded the after-school organization and called it The Be More Kind Club. Hade says the group’s popularity grows yearly, even though it’s not your typical high school club.
“It’s very much out of many people’s comfort zones. None of what we do is on our phones. Everything is a face-to-face kind of communication," Hane said. "They write kind Post-it Notes for kids to see on their lockers. They greet kids in the morning as a surprise welcomed tunnel.”
The tunnels, as the kids call them, are one of their more popular activities. Sophomore Cadance Hemminger says it’s simple and impactful.
“There are always different reactions in the morning. Some students are tired, and they're just not into it. And others are like, 'Oh my God, thank you so much. I needed this.' Which makes me feel good too because at least I'm making a difference in someone's life for that day,” Hemminger said.
The Be More Kind Club also organizes community events, such as a day dedicated to honoring local heroes. Hemminger says the club also adopts local families in need.
“I love the family aspect of it. That’s amazing. We are like one big family right here, but we also help a lot of people out," she said. "I like that we get to make a difference in teachers' lives, even if it’s just small. We get a bunch of people to write letters to the teachers about what they appreciate about them.”
Club co-founder and teacher Becky Moulton received one of those notes.
“A student said, your positivity in the morning helps cheer me up and gives me a boost for the day. So, I mean, that gave me a boost. Sometimes teachers especially don't necessarily hear that positive thing from students, and that's heartwarming," Moulton said. "I am making a difference because you don't always know if you do!”
Hade agrees and says it's a joy to know you are helping to make a place better.
"That is infectious, right? The greatest gift you can give yourself is to gift of yourself,” Hade said.
We couldn’t agree more. Thank you to Jackson Northwest High School's Be More Kind Club. You are this week’s Good Neighbors.
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