Monday, September 27, 2010

Kindness Day

Today is one of the worst anniversaries a person can have.  It is the anniversary of the Platte Canyon High School shooting, and you can read all about my memories of that day here.  But, something wonderful has come from that shooting, actually a lot of something wonderful has come from that tragic day.  Kindness Day being top on the list.

I've got to say, I was really disappointed when I heard that the school was changing things up a bit and making Kindness Day voluntary for the teachers to participate in.  If they want their class to be involved in a community event then they could plan one, and if not today will be a normal learning day.  That was until I talked to my friend Tiffany who was there that day, and found out that she hates (Sorry T if that is too strong of a word, but you all know what I mean) Kindness Day, it brings back too many memories.  As a matter of fact, she doesn't even watch any news because she doesn't want to relive it again and again.  And I realized that we as parents may want to take this is a lesson to our children, but we didn't have to be there, and live the horrific experiences that these people have taken years to try to forget.

It also gave me a great idea as to what activity to do today for Kindness Day.  The educators at Platte Canyon High School and Fitzsimmons Middle School are some of the hardest working people I have ever come across in my life, and whether they like to admit it or not, it is because of that terrible day.  There is a bond that ties this community that I do not think is matched anywhere else in the world, except for maybe another small town community that has shared an experience like that.  Our children are kinder than others and our teachers, well they just seem to love their students a fraction more than most.

So, today I will take my Environmental Action class (like how I call it my class when I only co-teach one day a week?) and honor the staff at those two schools.  I am working on a poem (better get my poop in a group, it is today you know!) that the kids will use as a thank you card, we will attach them to the firestarters that we already made (my poem is about the fire within, get it?) and make sure that every staff member has one or two; so each time they light a fire, it will remind them of the acts of kindness they do each and every day.

The elementary school has really gotten into it as well, and this year they have come up with a winner.  They filled a school bus with all sorts of games and books that the children have been gathering from home for weeks.  Games that the kids don't use anymore, so to me, the "green" freak, this is a fantastic way of cleaning out PSwhatever cupboards all over the district!  We were also able to add in books and puzzles, board games and anything else game oriented we thought the children at Children's Hospital would think was fun.  Today the Student Council (blessedly my daughter is on the SC, so I will get to hear first hand about this experience) will ride the bus down to the Children's Hospital and deliver the "gifts" in person.

My challenge to you, can we make this a Nationwide day of kindness?  Let's hear about those random acts of kindness today folks!  What have you done lately to help someone in need?  Let's see, I know that lfhpueblo recently took in a sick pup, that is a wonderful act of kindness.  My dad is in Iowa trying to help out with harvest, if only the rain would hold off.  Mom, well you being there for Aunt Jaris' birthday I heard that made her day, so thank you for that random act of kindness.  Keep 'em coming folks!


Tiffany said...

It isn't that I hate Kindness Day - gosh that sounds awful... I am so sorry if it comes across that way. I believe in Kindness (you must surely know that is true), and I do want to honor Emily's memory, it's just that there are too many ugly emotions that infiltrate the day, that I can't stand to be a part of it. If it were truly about kindness and about Emily, I would have no problem. It is the rumors and politics, and the hurt and hurtful conversations you can't help but overhear and get dragged into. Everyone has their own baggage, and it all airs on that day. Or doesn't air, and then it gets shoved down into a deep and dark part of a person's soul, where it eats them up for a month on each end of Kindness Day. I needed to get away from it all, so I can come back tomorrow refreshed and ready to love my kids and this school again, and not be dwelling in my pit of self-pity. Please don't interpret it as hating Kindness Day. I just wish I could do it with ear plugs in.

And. Thank you for validating the horror we experienced. There are more that did and would have risked their lives that day besides just first responders. Let us also not forget the trauma the day put the parents through. I can not imagine the gut-wrenching agony it must be to have your kid going through this tragedy, and not being able to swoop down and rescue them. Totally helpless. Ug. I have to stop now. G'night and love...

Kelly said...

We've started giving our girls allowance and part of their allowance is dedicated to "share". We talk about places to donate the money and they choose the place. Their first donation was made last week to, a website that I had read about. The girls felt great about giving to people who don't have enough food.

lfhpueblo said...

Saturday was fall clean up in our community and we had a chance encounter with a very old, long white bearded man, with a very old truck. He saw us putting branches and kindling we'd cut out by the road for fall clean up, so the dump trucks could haul it out of the community to the dump. The old man wanted to know what we were going to do with the wood. We told him. Seemed he heats his home and cooks his food with wood eight months out of the year. So we offered him the wood. We loaded it on his truck for him. He said it wood almost heat his home for a whole month.
I don't know why I cut so much of the wood up into kindling other than I had a feeling someone needed this wood. I think this man was sent to us, because he was the one.