Dayton schools lead kindness campaign

Vice Principal Kevin Kranjcec has a message for his Dayton High School students: “Kindess is cool.”And he hopes it catches on around town. “We want to get the community and businesses involved,” he said. “In order for this to be successful, we want to get as many people involved as possible.”To do that, the high school is hosting a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to roll out the Be Kind program being adopted in October at all five Dayton schools and at Silver Springs Elementary School.The Be Kind initiative is part of the Josh Stevens Foundation, created after the 2008 death of 12-year-old Josh Stevens of Henderson. After hearing stories from Josh's friends about his kindness, his parents started the foundation to preserve his legacy.“Genuine kindness born in the heart of a child deserves celebration,” the foundation states on its website. The foundation's mission is “to recognize and reward a child's heartfelt kind acts, and to inspire more children to be more kind, more often.”Josh's father, Drew, will present the program to each of the schools, as well as to the public during the town hall meeting.Kranjcec said he appreciates the focus of the program.“It's not necessarily just an anti-bullying program,” he said. “It's much more than that. It's about being kind.”Teachers and staff will wear “Be Kind” T-shirts on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Students caught in acts of kindness will be rewarded with silicone bracelets, and then be eligible for larger prizes. “We need to recognize each and every person doing kind acts,” Kranjcec said. “We're trying to start something that makes those things more visible.” Students and other members of the community also will be able to purchase the T-shirts.“We hope they help people that before they say or do something hurtful, they think differently,” Kranjcec said. “Maybe someone walks into the 1st & 10 (Bar & Grill) after having a bad day. They see someone wearing the T-shirt. Instead of losing their cool, they'll remember the morals and values they grew up with.”


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