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Back to School: Be Kind program enters second year

Brainstorming a kindness plan. (Enterprise file photo)

Park Rapids Area Schools will again be part of the Josh Stevens Foundation (after implementing the program last year), by spreading the message of being kind.

The Be Kind program is funded by St. Joseph's Area Health Services, the Violence Prevention grant from the Mission and Ministry Fund from Catholic Health Initiatives, and a grant from the Itasca-Mantrap Operation Round-Up program.

Students at Park Rapids Schools are naturally kind and these students will be highlighted and recognized. Kindness will be encouraged at school, home and in the community.

The Josh Stevens Foundation and Be Kind Program's belief is that genuine kindness born in the heart of a child deserves celebration. The mission is to recognize and reward a child's heartfelt kind acts and to inspire more children to be more kind, more often. It's a simple way to "catch" a child and let them know that their genuine kindness can change the world.

To encourage the "Be Kind ... Make a Difference" in the schools - the teachers/staff will recognize a child that is "caught" being kind by presenting them with a Josh Stevens Foundation Kindness Card and bracelet. The card includes a poem about the importance of their kind act, Josh's inspirational story, and a silicone "Be Kind" bracelet. Each week these students will be put into a school level drawing for a Be Kind t-shirt. Two students from the Elementary, Middle School, and High School will be awarded a Be Kind t-shirt.

The organization aims to let children know that people really do appreciate their kind actions, even though most times they go unnoticed. The students who are "caught" being kind will also have their names on the kindness walls in the schools, and may also be recognized in the Park Rapids Enterprise.

In addition, every Wednesday Park Rapids Schools will be celebrating kindness by wearing Be Kind apparel. Students, parents, and teachers can wear their Be Kind t-shirts as a reminder to be kind to others. All students and parents have the opportunity to purchase a Be Kind t-shirt for only $10.

Look for the Be Kind booth at Century Open House on Thursday, Aug. 30 from 4:30-6 p.m.