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Forest Hill’s Elementary Random Acts of Kindness Club

Forest Hill’s Elementary School has a new club this year that is not academically or athletically driven, instead driven based off the age-old concept of kindness. The club is called the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Club, which was started by a third-grade teacher, Ashten Nettles. Nettles graduated from the University of South Carolina- Beaufort in May of 2017 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and began teaching at Forest Hills quickly after graduating. It was during her last year in college when Nettles had an experience that has since altered the way she goes through life. Nettles said she during her last year of college she was having a terrible day, was running late, and on top of everything she spilled her lunch all over her floor board. “I walked up to the school thinking, I have to get it together. There are kids depending on me,” Nettles said, “Right before I walked into the building, a little boy with big, green eyes, freckles and brown hair tapped me on my back. As I turned around, he handed me a Ziploc bag with two chocolate chip muffins. Inside the bag, there was a quote that said, “If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we might just set the world in the right direction.” This small random act of kindness changed the course of Nettles day and her outlook on how one small act can start a chain reaction. “Who knew he could change the course of my day by performing one random act of kindness,” Nettles said, “This child inspired me to spread kindness every chance I get.” Nettles began her random act of kindness that same semester of school while she was student teaching. One of the children at the school told her that her mother lived out of state and was sending cupcakes to her class for her birthday, but when the cupcakes never came the child along with Nettles was devastated. So Nettles decided to anonymously bake a cake for the child. “I watched her through the window when the cake was walked into the room by a faculty member,” Nettles said, “Her face was priceless. It didn’t matter that I had stayed up the night before until 4:30 A.M. doing school work and working on her cake. It mattered that I made a difference in her life.” The next day Nettles said she asked the child about her birthday and the child told her that she did not have a cake at home but that her mom sent a mermaid cake to school, this was the cake that Nettles had baked. “She was so excited telling me all about it and showing me the mermaid that was in the top of the cake,” Nettles said, “I had to leave the room shortly after to cry from joy.” This is Nettles first year teaching and from her experience during her last year in college, Nettles began the RAK Club in her classroom. “This year in my class we are performing random acts of kindness (RAK CLUB) in our community,” Nettles said, “We wrote letters to faculty and staff thanking them for what they do for the students and school for our first activity.” After Nettles shared her story of the random act of kindness that changed her day, her students decided they wanted to do the same in their community. Nettles said she sent home letters to parents, who sent in bags baked goods that Nettles and her students delivered to teachers along with a quote, the same quote that Nettles received from her first random act of kindness. This is only the beginning according to Nettles, “In the next few weeks, we are going to be pairing up with children in self-contained and special education classes for the students in both classes to read to each other. It was reported to me that some of these students do not feel united with the rest of the school. I want to make these students aware they are seen, heard and valued. All children are special and have several strengths. I would also like to pair my students with a “buddy” for the year in these classrooms that they can visit at lunch and send surprises randomly. I am so thankful for the support I have received from these teachers and their willingness to open up their classrooms to my students and me. I am so excited to see this in action! I am hoping to make a difference in many people’s lives this year and show them that there is still good in this world and that one person, one act of kindness at a time can change the world.” Nettles has a challenge to everyone who reads this article or hears about FHE RAK Club, “My challenge for YOU is to perform ONE random act of kindness daily, no matter how small, in hopes of making the world a better place, ONE random act of kindness at a time. What will you do today to make someone smile? Look for us on Facebook to see our journey this year and in a classroom or community near YOU SOON!”

Amye Stivender (218 Posts)