It doesn’t take much to be kind.
At Charles Street School, kindness is not just a week-long celebration during February but something to display throughout the school year. By just walking down the halls, students are constantly reminded by signs saying things such as “Be the I in Kind.”
Each month, Principal Christopher Tracey holds an assembly where he recognizes the accomplishments of several students. On Feb. 6, Tracey honored students in 13 different categories, including winners of the spelling bee, mathematics, positive attitudes, most improved, productivity, remarkable leader, creative writing and helping hand.
Despite honoring students in all of these categories, the overall message at the assembly was kindness.
“My favorite part about doing this is how the kids treat each other,” said Tracey. “They’re happy for each other when one of them gets presented with an award.
“It creates a good atmosphere.”
“I tell them all the time that we’re often unkind to the people who are closest to us,” Tracey added. “If they just take a second before they say something unkind or do something unkind, it can make all the difference. You can see the difference when you see them celebrating with each other.”
Throughout the assembly, Tracey not only recognized several students, he also mentioned several acts of kindness he noticed from his students. In one story, Tracey talked about a first grade student who saw another student eating alone at lunch. She then asked Tracey why the other student was eating alone and without him having to say so, the first grader had lunch with the other student.
Another story Tracey shared involved a recent spelling bee where he noticed students encouraging others by hugging them and giving high fives.
“I was an assistant principal at the high school for a few years and I have a high school background, so I kind of see where they’re heading,” Tracey noted. “I want to remind them of what it means to be a good person. It might help them with the struggles they may face in middle school and high school.”
As he recognized students for their hard work during the assemblies, Tracey felt everyone deserved a pat on the back.
“We always tell kids that this is their job to be in school, so I think it’s important to recognize them. We’re not recognizing the best of the best, we’re recognizing the effort and I think that’s important. Some kids may be below where they need to be, but they’re showing growth.
“My biggest goal is to make them feel like they are part of something that’s bigger than they are.”