April 18, 2013
It all started the first week in January when Christin Keirn's students watched a show called "Kids President," in which the students talked about doing something nice everyday for one year and gave examples on how people could do nice things for one another.
After watching the show, Keirn's students came up with an idea to start doing nice things for a particular person, group of people or a classroom around the school.
"They need to have a voice in the classroom," Keirn, a 2011 Indiana State University graduate who teaches at La Porte High School, said of her students. "When they thought of this idea, I took it and ran with it."
They decided to call it Kindness Campaign 2013.
Each week the students choose a target for a random act of kindness.
"My co-teacher and I plan and prepare on Mondays and give them time in class. Then on Fridays we let the students give their gifts," said Keirn.
For their first good deed, students walked down the hall to another teacher and complimented her on being nice. They have since bought donuts for the custodians, cookies for the lunch ladies, goodie bags for the secretaries. They also have, taped notes to teachers' door and put balloons inside their mailboxes. The teachers, faculty and even other students now want to help others.
"It has taught a lot of us to sometimes put others first and yourself second," said student Jordan Frazier, a sophomore at La Porte.
Coming from a diverse high school where everyone has their cliques, Chandler Watson has seen her life change.
"I never thought this would happen. I have seen quite an improvement with myself because I use to be one of the quiet kids in class. Then after a while I started to relax and open up and gradually got closer to other students," she said.
Both teachers have seen remarkable improvements in their student's grades and behavior.
"Starting this I think it has given students a chance to partake in something great and you just feel good when you do something nice," said Keirn.
"Students are now getting along, I have seen other classmates help people load their car with groceries," said Frazier.
Keirn credits her education at Indiana State with keeping her open to students' ideas.
"ISU's teaching program taught me not only to lecture but to get the students involved and listen to what they have to say and connect with them," said Keirn.
Other schools around the area have picked up this idea and are now participating in it.
"I think it is great to think that other schools are picking up a unique idea from the students and carry this out to their schools," said Keirn.
To see some of the students' videos click the links below:
La Porte High School class promoting random acts of kindness. Courtesy photo
Writer: Beth Pickerill, media relations assistant, Office of Communication & Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-237-3773.
Christin Keirn's class at La Porte High School started practicing kindness toward others and have changed their school.