Despite this past hectic and odd December packed with COVID-19 worries and cramming in last-minute preparations for the holiday season, the WHS Student Council found a way to spread thankfulness throughout the school by implementing “Kindness Month” and “Keepin’ it Kind” thank-you letters.
“This holiday season has been rough for everyone–students and faculty both,” sophomore Student Council member Grace Marto said. “The Student Council is trying to spread a little kindness…a little holiday cheer some may say. One way we’re doing this is [with the] ‘Keepin’ it Kind’ letters.”
Last year, the Student Council touched on the theme of kindness with a Hot Chocolate Compliments fundraiser for the Save the Children foundation, but this year the Student Council wanted to dedicate the whole month to kindness in light of the pandemic.
“What makes this year different is the deliberate theme of kindness during the month of December, which includes ‘Keepin’ it Kind,’ where students are encouraged to write thank-you letters to their teachers,” Student Council president Elizabeth Zhong said.
Kindness Month also includes additional activities during weekly advisory meetings on Wednesdays.
“[There was] the kindness advisory activity on Dec. 16, where students could choose between giving meaningful compliments to other students in their advisory or write a much-needed thank-you letter to the custodial staff,” Zhong said.
When writing a Keepin’ it Kind letter, the Student Council wanted to make the process as easy as possible for students in order for a better turnout.
“The process can seem like a lot of work for students, which is why the Student Council has done its best to eliminate those obstacles,” Zhong said. “Students can ask for as many free thank you cards as they’d like during lunch. Once they have finished writing their letters, they return the cards by the end of lunch, and the Student Council will deliver those cards to their teachers for them.”
So far, the Student Council’s strategy has been successful.
“Over the course of the week, we’ve gotten much participation from students, resulting in over 120 letters,” Zhong said.
The large amount of student body participation was great because the Student Council’s goal for Keepin’ it Kind was to show as much appreciation and support to the school faculty as possible.
“I think everyone has at least one teacher they are grateful for, and it feels good to let those teachers know how much of a positive impact they have,” Zhong said.
Marto wanted to show gratefulness to teachers as well, especially because of the adjustments they had to make due to COVID-19.
“We wanted to show the teachers that we appreciate how they adjusted their schedules and rethought their normal routines for us,” Marto said. “It’s just a good way to show thankfulness.”
Even though the Kindness Month initiative was partly influenced by the pandemic, Zhong and the Student Council hope that this theme can become a tradition in the future.
“I certainly hope that December Kindness and all of the activities, especially thank you notes to teachers, stays as a permanent tradition at WHS, regardless of COVID-19,” Zhong said. “December Kindness is in its fetal form this year, but I know it has the potential to be much more.”