South Mesa Elementary completes second year of Acts of Kindness – St George News

ST. GEORGEWhile staff and students at many schools hope to leave some aspect of their 2020-21 school year in the past, South Mesa Elementary School has been so successful with a new fundraiser last year that it has brought the program back to the second round.

Students at South Mesa Elementary School have rendered service in a variety of ways as they strive to perform acts of kindness, Date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Sara Patchett, St. George News

Rather than selling something door to door or hosting a community bake sale, South Mesa students spent weeks providing service in their homes, neighborhoods and classrooms.

Through the online fundraising platform Raise Craze, students reported their acts of kindness and asked for donations from parents, family friends and distant relatives.

Heidi Sorensen, whose daughter Elsie attends elementary in fourth grade, said she was happy to see fundraising return because of the effect it has on her child’s habits.

“I love that we have a fundraiser that benefits the community and families instead of parents donating their money and getting cookie dough or something like that,” Sorensen said. “It pulls the kids out of their egotistical behavior – instead of thinking about themselves or what they want to do, they start to think of little things they can do to help others.”

South Mesa Elementary teachers, administration and staff dance and applaud to celebrate fundraising success, St. George, Utah September 16, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

On Thursday, the school held a closing assembly to celebrate the end of the fundraiser. Students at South Mesa Elementary raised $ 21,783 and performed 1,414 acts of kindness, far exceeding last year’s totals.

Students who topped their score in terms of total giving or acts of kindness were recognized at the assembly, and classrooms that raised money or services were awarded with a movie day / a popcorn night.

Since Tessa Wieland’s third-grade class led both categories, her students opted to donate one of their parties to the runner-up in a final act of kindness.

Funds raised will be used to purchase more soccer goals and set up benches on the playing field for students to sit and eat outside. The remaining money will be used for after-school programs and for small things like a popcorn machine and cotton candy machine that the school will use in celebrations or as a reward for the students.

Students Who Performed the Most Acts of Kindness in Each Class Recognized at Closing Assembly, St. George, Utah September 16, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

The fundraiser was overseen by the school’s parent-teacher association and led by Sara Patchett, PTA President for the Primary School. Patchett said that no act of kindness is too small or too big – the point is simply to motivate children to be kind.

“The kids were so excited to do their acts of kindness, and they would come in every day and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t do an act of kindness yesterday, but I’m going to do it tonight,” “Patchett mentioned. .

A total of 283 students signed up to participate through the Raise Craze platform, and over 1,442 emails were sent by students to request commitments or to share their experiences with the service.

Ginny Nobis, director of South Mesa, said she saw many examples of kindness from students, many of which were aimed at people who are usually not in the spotlight. Nobis recalled his favorite example from this year’s fundraiser:

I was at the office and our postman came in and said, “What’s going on here? I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and she said, “I get mail from your kids all the time. I get thank you notes telling me how grateful they are for everything I do and bring the mail rain or shine. I’ve never had anything like it, and it’s been my week! ‘

Proud as she is of the hard work and charity of the students, Nobis said she was very pleased with the tone that has been set for the new school year and the principles that the fundraising has strengthened for the children and the parents.

“I think we had so much success with it because it had a message, and the message was kindness,” Nobis said. “I think we can all use a little kindness.”

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