Butler Elementary Kindness Club Models Kindness In and Beyond School
By Abby Sehgal
Posted on November 13, 2017, November 13, 2017

Butler Elementary Kindness

A few years ago, Butler Elementary faced a challenge: students who were dropped off early for the day had time to kill before school started, and they weren't always being nice to each other during those unsupervised hours before the bell rang. But instead of imposing restrictive rules or doling out punishments, the school chose a different option: they started a Kindness Club.

Butler principal Stacie Humbles said the club, a supervised activity sponsored by the school counselor, encourages discussions among students about ways to show kindness at school.

'I think students understand what mean things do to others," Humbles said. 'We want to focus less on what the problem is and more on what the solution is. We want to teach kids the kind phrases to use and the kind acts they could do. We model kind acts and brainstorm together."

Butler students, faculty, and staff see real-time examples of kindness through recognition of their peers at school. Staff members who exemplify a specific quality receive a visit to their class from Humbles and pass along a special item that signifies the named quality. Students are encouraged to recognize acts of kindness they experience by writing down their story for their grade-level Kindness Jar. The stories are shared over morning announcements and winners are selected at random for a family lunch at Outback Steakhouse.

School counselor Tierra Rawal says that kindness is something she feels is ingrained in Butler students. 'During conversations I have with them during guidance lessons or even in my office, even our youngest students know what kindness is," Rawal said. 'More importantly, [they know] what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like."

Butler students even take their approach to creating kindness outside the walls of their school.

In addition to discussing and practicing kindness with their peers, the Kindness Club has monthly projects that benefit the community. This fall they held a Socktober Campaign for Mission Arlington and wrote notes to Veterans that were presented during a Veteran's Day program. During the months of November and December they will host an angel tree for Butler families, as well a toy and coat drive for Mission Arlington.

'Kindness is at the center of almost every single school-wide initiative we have," Rawal said. 'Our focus is on knowing our own strengths and using them to make each other stronger, better, kinder human beings in turn."

The City of Arlington is grateful for organizations such as Butler Elementary's Kindness Club for helping to make The American Dream City a great place to live, learn, work and play.

The City of Arlington, which is participating in the #ChooseKind City initiative, has been spotlighting acts of kindness happening throughout our community leading up to World Kindness Day on Monday, November 13.

Arlington encourages residents and visitors to participate in acts of kindness and share them through the City's free Ask Arlington mobile app, on the Acts of Kindness website, or by posting using #ArlingtonKindness and @CityofArlington over the next year.

Related articles:

  • Arlington Joins City of Kindness, Lionsgate and Participant Media as a #ChooseKind City
  • Ask Arlington: Community Relations Commission's Kindness Initiative
  • Spotlight Random Acts of Kindness in Community Through Ask Arlington App
  • Acts of Kindness: Arlington Water Employees Raise Money for Hurricane Relief
Acts of Kindness, Support Quality Education
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