Skip to main content

Finding the Good: Students Caught Being Kind

NHA Communications Team  |  November 19, 2021
A social worker at North Saginaw Charter Academy (NSCA) is on a mission to catch students being kind in November and December, a fitting time that encompassed World Kindness Day on Nov. 13.
The goal of Caught Being Kind is to foster a positive, helpful culture in the school. A safe and comfortable environment is crucial for students to learn and grow.

“Students are struggling emotionally and behaviorally being in school after being virtual for so long,” said Chelsey Unsworth, social worker at NSCA. “We hope this program will encourage and reward random acts of kindness throughout the school.”

To kick off the program staff visited classrooms to teach students about kindness and get them excited for the challenge. Unsworth hopes the challenge will inspire students and stretch beyond the six weeks, believing it’s a great way to boost morale and help students gain awareness of their actions toward others.

“When students are kind to each other, it helps them feel safe and creates an environment that they enjoy being part of,” said Unsworth. “It feels good to be kind and when others are kind to you.”



So far, during Caught Being Kind, students have shown kindness in a myriad of ways, including helping a friend when they’re hurt, practicing good class behavior, and encouraging classmates. They can even earn tickets to exchange for prizes like snacks and tacos from Taco Bell.

“We want the students to leave this school every day with a positive attitude so they can go on and spread kindness through the community,” said Unsworth. “We also want to instill kindness as a value in our students, so they carry it with them when they graduate our school in the future.”

Caught Being Kind is a natural progression for NSCA, who practices NHA’s Moral Focus curriculum daily. Moral Focus includes teaching virtues like respect, gratitude, and perseverance to help students learn the importance of making good decisions and doing the right thing in life. It provides a strong foundation to help students develop the personal qualities that lead to success in school, at home, and as a member of society. Students learn that hard work and good character are essential components in all aspects of life. Unsworth believes kindness ties to almost every Moral Focus virtue because each virtue embodies what it means to be kind.
 
It’s not uncommon for NHA students and staff to intentionally infuse Moral Focus beyond the classroom. Check out Walker Charter Academy’s school-wide Intentional Acts of Kindness Challenge, where students left encouraging notes, created kindness reports, and celebrated World Kindness Day with coloring pages to gift to friends, teachers, and family members.

North Saginaw Charter Academy, a school in Saginaw, Michigan, is a partner school in the National Heritage Academies network of over 90 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.