Like being kind? There’s A Club For That In Klamath County Schools
Shayla Carter and Jubilee Matkins
The students picked up pens. They had 400 notes to write and only 30 minutes to do so.
“If you came to school tomorrow, what message would you like to see on your desk?” asked Caitlin Hulsey, a Henley High School senior.
Hulsey started a Kindness Club at Henley Elementary School, and the inaugural meeting earlier this month attracted 19 third- through sixth-graders and a lot of enthusiasm. The 17-year-old was a member of the Kindness Club at Mazama High School before transferring to Henley for her senior year this fall and is expanding the program to other elementary schools as well. The first meeting for Stearns Elementary will be Dec. 6, Peterson Elementary will meet Dec. 11, Ferguson Elementary on Jan. 7 and Keno Elementary on Jan. 10.
“I think it’s good to start practicing kindness when they are young,” she said. “Elementary kids can be mean to each other. Maybe when these kids get to high school, they’ll want to start up a club.”
With the help of two Henley freshmen – her sister Jaidin and Kelly Armantrout – Hulsey plans to hold club meetings once a month. Members will receive sweatshirts with the slogan, “If you can be anything in life, be kind.” Plans are for Jaidin and Kelly to continue the club next year after Hulsey graduates.
In December, club members will make a kindness mural and paint kindness rocks. Plans also include a Toys for Tots toy drive. This spring, Hulsey plans for club members to volunteer at the Klamath Animal Shelter and clean up the school campus and the community. Students will read books to see how others
show kindness and by the end of the year, write their own book about kindness. She also hopes to find sponsors to help fund some of the activities.
“What does kindness look like?” Hulsey asked club members at the first meeting. “What are some ways you can be kind?”
Students were attentive and eager to participate in the discussion and eagerly came up with kind messages to write to their classmates.
Fifth-grader Jubilee Matkins finished writing, “You’re magical,” on a yellow sticky note. “I like being kind and helping other people,” she said. “And I’m really looking forward to helping the animals.”
She grabbed another slip of paper, pausing to think before writing, “Just keep swimming.”
After writing the messages, students put the notes on desks in classrooms throughout the school so their classmates would find inspiring and kind messages when they arrived at school the next day.
“I’m really glad I started this project,” Hulsey said.