- Gilbert Elementary
Spreading #TigerKindness ahead of Random Acts of Kindness Day
Gilbert Elementary students are choosing to spread kindness throughout our community ahead of Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17. The Tigers, along with their teachers, principal and parents hung handmade posters around Downtown Gilbert with the goal of inspiring others to do some good.
“Hopefully, a ripple effect will start with this one act of kindness,” said Jenni Feidler-Aguilar, an art teacher and co-advisor with the school’s Kindess and Service Club.
Feidler-Aguilar started the club with fellow Gilbert Elementary teachers Kim Figueroa and Reyna Fuentes. The club was inspired by projects that were already happening on campus, including kindness cards for first responders and acts of service on Cesar Chavez Day. The teachers combined their efforts and the club was born.
“We’ve hit the ground running. We’ve had so many good things happening this year,” Feidler-Aguilar said.
More than 30 first through sixth grade students make up the club this year. The students meet bi-weekly after school with their advisors to learn more about the importance of kindness and doing stuff for others. Activities include kindness exercises and scenarios, donation drives, campus art projects and making holiday gifts and cards for others.
"Now I see them just wanting to go out and help people. I think they are getting a better understanding of doing the right thing without being asked or when no one is looking," Feidler-Aguilar said.
Some of their biggest acts of kindness include doing a donation drive for AZ Hugs for the Houseless. The initiative started by Arizona State University students helps those in need in our community. The Gilbert Elementary Kindness and Service Club collected items, including socks, wipes, snacks, basic necessities and even a brand new tent. The items were dropped off at the organization and distributed throughout the community.
For the holidays, the students made handcrafted ceramic ornaments for seniors at the Gilbert Senior Center. They used ceramic clay and painted it with glaze. Scrapbook.com also donated cards to the club, which they distributed throughout the community to seniors and first responders as a way to spread holiday cheer and give thanks. The company’s donation also included kindness cards.
“My goal for the kindness cards is for the students to get two and give them away to anybody they want,” Figueroa said.
While the students are learning the importance of doing acts of kindness for others, they are also gaining another valuable lesson from the campus club.
“You can give and give until your cup is empty, but you have to be happy too,” Figueroa said, “We have to remember how to show ourselves kindness.”
The Gilbert Elementary Kindness and Service Club now has a website, where members of the community can support their projects and contribute to their donation drives. The posters in Downtown Gilbert include a QR code that directs viewers to the club’s website to learn more.