Kindness catches on at Stuttgart Elementary

By Geoffrey Morris
Stuttgart Citizen volunteer

Liam, a first grader at Stuttgart Elementary School, participates in a craft project in Mrs. Schmidt’s class. Photo by Geoffrey Morris, Stuttgart Citizen volunteer.

Piper Bowler and Madison Letot, two fifth graders at Stuttgart Elementary School, were playing on the monkey bars when they came up with a plan to spread joy instead of germs.

The girls said they wanted to cheer up their fellow students and promote kindness because this year has been difficult for many. With the help of their homeroom teacher, Mr. Greg Basgall, the Kindness Club was born.

The club founders visit other classrooms to present ideas and challenge their fellow students to think of ways to spread kindness, without spreading COVID-19. In order to do that, the girls take precautions like wearing masks, maintaining their distance and only visiting two classrooms per week, to minimize exposure to themselves and their classmates.

“The example that they are setting is exactly what we are going for with all of our students,” said Vice Principal Dr. Thomas Thomson.

“Just because we are wearing masks doesn’t mean we can’t be kind to one another;” said Letot.

The girls play games with the other kids and read kindness themed books in hopes of cheering up their fellow students up. They challenge those they visit to write down 10 acts of kindness that they have recently done.

Piper Bowler (left) and Madison Letot (right) present their Kindness Club to a class at Stuttgart Elementary School. Photo by Geoffrey Morris, Stuttgart Citizen volunteer.

On Oct. 16, the Kindness Club visited Kimberly Schmidt’s first grade class. Six-year old Peyton said she learned that kindness isn’t just toward people but also toward the environment. Liam, also six, said the presentation was what he remembered most from school that day.

At first, Bowler and Letot worried that presenting to their peers would not be effective so they only went to kindergarten and first grade classes. But before long, they were being requested by second grade teachers, too.

In a year of changes, the Club founders hope to encourage other students to make kindness a constant that can be counted on.