High school students are paying it forward — a lot

9 Feb

Who says kids only think of themselves these days?  The students at Webster Thomas High School have filled an entire wall near their cafeteria with slips of paper that say different.

Each pink slip — and there are about 200 of them — has a simple phrase written on it, describing an act of kindness that student did for another.  They range from simple (“picked up a pencil for Joe”) to extensive and expensive (“donated $500 to the food cupboard”).  And more of them are being added to the wall every day.

The students are responding to the “Pay it Forward” initiative that was introduced at Thomas High School about a month ago by the school’s CARE Team. Students were shown Pay It Forward videos and were challenged to find their own ways to give back to their school and community. Filling out the pink slips is just one way they’re doing that.

Tomorrow, that challenge will be extended to the greater Webster community.  At Saturday night’s Webster Schroeder vs. Webster Thomas Staff Benefit Basketball Game, community members will be invited to take the Pay It Forward challenge themselves.  CARE Team member Catherine Smura explains,

 This is a great way to get the entire Webster community involved and provides an opportunity for everyone to make a pledge to pay it forward in their own way. The pink slips will be posted around the gym that night at the game and everyone will be able to see the great plans that others have created.

The slips say “My Plan To Pay It Forward Is…,” and more than 2000 of them have been copied and cut, ready for the game. That’s a lot of slips. That’s a lot of kindness.

Which brings me back to the pink wall. I paused there yesterday for several minutes and looked closely at the comments students had made.  They were all very nice, usually simple and specific gestures.  Closing a mailbox. Helping someone learn to dance. Helping with homework.

But my favorite was not very specific. It simply said, “I made someone feel good about themself.”  What a better world this would be if we could all aspire to that simple life goal.

Hope to see you at the game Saturday night. It begins at 7 pm at the Schroeder High School gymnasium.  This is the game where three Webster educators are going to have their heads shaved at halftime. You do NOT want to miss that. Tickets are $5 each and should be available at the door. Feel free to print off the Pay It Forward skip below, fill it out ahead of time and bring it with you. Get a head start on kindness.

 

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