A-O-K Team at Kastner Intermediate School

November 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The transition from elementary to middle school can be rough for some students. New teachers, new students ... A bigger campus-- all those combined can sometimes lead to fighting and bullying. But one Clovis Unified School is making that transition easier-- by promoting kindness. Every few weeks a special club at Kastner Intermediate School comes together for an important meeting. The A-O-K Team ... which stands for "Acts of Kindness."

Mallorie Gilbert said, "This is like an honor to be in this group because we get to find people that help each other out and be noticed ... and we're the people behind that."

The students were selected from each of the seven Elementary schools that feed into Kastner. Over the summer they went through leadership training ... and now their mission is to find students who do nice things for others.

Kordel Hoffman said, "I thought it was kind of nice cause we were doing good things for people."

Principal Johnny Alvarado came up with the idea with the hope that it would bring students together and help create a positive atmosphere around campus. He says acts of kindness impact everyone.

"The idea is quite simple--the person providing the act of kindness-- the person receiving the act of kindness and the person observing the act of kindness all have serotonin levels increase and thus feeling better about themselves and about others," said Alvarado.

Friday Alvarado surprised several students-- chosen by the A-O-K Team for their act of kindness-- with an award, and food and movie tickets.

Alvarado said, "So everybody please-- a big round of applause for Mr. Emmanuel Ponce ... good job Emmanuel."

Emmanuel Ponce returned another student's helmet ... 7th grader Kayla Bell tracked down the owner of a lost cell phone ... and Rachel Kesterke came to the rescue of a student who had tripped and fallen.

"I felt really bad for her-- it looked like she was about to cry... so I just wanted to help her up and get her out of the mud," said Kesterke. Just a couple of months into the school year-- Alvarado says he's noticed a change. "Definitely we do have measure points-- for me its how the kids feel when I walk into a classroom-- how the kids cheer for their peer ... the smile on their face," said Alvarado. Despite being one of the largest schools in the area-- with 12 hundred students-- Alvarado tells me they've only have one fight on campus this year. Just a couple of months into the school year-- Alvarado says he's noticed a change. "Definitely we do have measure points-- for me its how the kids feel when I walk into a classroom-- how the kids cheer for their peer ... the smile on their face," said Alvarado. Despite being one of the largest schools in the area-- with 12 hundred students-- Alvarado tells me they've only have one fight on campus this year.



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