by Marissa Lorenz
Kremmling saw the Kindness Crew, a group of West Grand 5th graders, hand-delivering large festive bags to many of the town’s frontline workers on Friday, February 26, recognizing the everyday efforts of those citizens and spreading kindness across the community.
The group is made up of about 15 students who have been participating in various ways with the AeroLab Program, meeting after school and on Fridays for homework assistance and other educational boosts and support, says classroom teacher Courtney Frazier.
But… “Ms. Frazier and Ms. Vance came up with the idea to do something more and to put kindness out in the school,” relates Kindness Crew member Vivian Edson.
“We wanted to do something around the school,” says Harmoni Wolverton. “Cora and Vivi came up with a bunch of ideas.” Such as “writing kind notes to students and staff,” continues Bailey Cook.
Initially, explains Devon Mahorney, “we made similar appreciation packages for West Grand Staff members.”
“We gave care packages to teachers,” says Edson, “and they started emailing, telling us ‘Thank you,’ and asking for more information about what we were doing.”
“It was Cora’s idea,” clarifies Mahorney, “and she started crying when we started hearing back from teachers.”
Wiping tears from her cheeks upon thinking of it, Cora Osborne explains, “I am so happy we could do it. It just feels good.”
And the group soon added more regular and more ambitious goals, including reading a daily kindness challenge on the announcements–which can be as simple as a prompt to “tell someone that you appreciate them and remind them that they’re not alone,” says Amara Miranda–or “letting local businesses and first responders know that we appreciate them,” according to Brooke Terryberry.
“Sometimes people can be rude to others,” observes Tasha Springs. “We wanted to spread kindness instead.”
“When the [kindness] goal was presented to students, they took off with the idea!” says Frazier. She notes that, where she used to see one or two students after school and four of five on Fridays, there are now three or four students after school and about a dozen who will show up on any given Friday. “It has really motivated more students to be involved. They’re excited to be here!”
And last Friday, the students packed bags full of cookies, tea, candies, oversized thank-you cards, and other treats to distribute to “the Post Office, Fire Station, Police Station, EMS, and Cliffview,” explained Jack Burton.
But the students’ ambition doesn’t end there. Next up are ideas for a Facebook page and a rock-finding project that would pass on kind messages and which would allow community members to track the rocks’ movement around town. And within the school, “It would be nice to do something for our special needs kids,” recommends Bella Lawrence.
“And we are planning a sled day with hot cocoa for the whole community,” says Edson.
“The mission of the 5th-grade Kindness Crew is to spread kindness in whatever way possible,” notes Frazier. “The students understand that a little bit of kindness can go a long way, especially in today’s world.
“We hope to continue to reach out in the community and make a difference. The students want to see people be inspired to spread kindness to all those who they come in contact with.”
But kindness often isn’t free. Frazier and a donation from her family members have been paying for any supplies used so far. The group hopes to solicit other donors or sponsors to keep its mission going.
To learn more or to donate/offer sponsorship to West Grand’s 5th-grade Kindness Crew, contact Ms. Frazier at [email protected]