Creating positive attitude

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 21, 2016

Club is part of school’s new indoor recess efforts

SOUTH POINT — South Point Elementary School has found a better way to make use of the school’s indoor recess time, and one group of students is taking advantage of it to spread positivity.

The school recently decided to devote the time period to hosting clubs for the students.

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On days when the children do not go outside for recess, due to inclement weather, they spread out through the building to attend club meetings in classrooms.

Some of the themes of the clubs include crochet, Zumba, chess and checkers, cartoons, board games, Legos, computers, puzzles and Play-Doh, arts and crafts, movies and cornhole.

Another, “homework help,” allows fifth grade students to serve as tutors to help the younger grades.

“The kids are loving it,” Debbie Moore, a fourth grade teacher at the school, said.

Moore said a student has told her that he likes the clubs so much, that he’s disappointed when they actually do get outdoor recess.

“It’s helping with absenteeism, behavior and attendance,” she said, noting that students only get to participate if they maintain good behavior. “The students are so much more focused.”

However, Moore has sponsored a special club, dedicated to making a positive difference.

The Kindness Club is dedicated to “spreading compassion and a desire to help others,” she said.

The group, which started just before Christmas, meets once a week in the school’s library. Members are selected by teachers, with two from each homeroom participating from the school’s third, fourth and fifth grades.

Sarah Stokeley and Kimrei Staley are fifth grade leaders of the group, which seeks to carry out good deeds.

Staley said one of the things the group has done is to create giant-sized cards for a student at Burlington Elementary who is battling health issues. Students from throughout the school were asked to sign the cards on display in the library.

Moore asks club members to keep a journal, focusing them toward good deeds, by documenting good deeds they perform.

Stokeley read from her journal for the last week.

“I picked up a pencil for a friend, I picked up a book for a friend,” she said.

Staley she compliments her friends, helped with homework and also picked up a pencil for someone.

One of the projects the club has been working on is a dollar drive to pay for “chemo comfy kits” for two retired teachers who are currently going through chemotherapy.

The students also sent Valentine’s Day cards to residents at nearby Heartland of Riverview nursing home.

Upcoming projects include a book swap, in which students at the school can bring in books and exchange them, and a toy swap, based on the same idea.

The Kindness Club will also oversee the school’s participation in a food drive for a local food pantry around Easter, a dog food drive for area shelters and will collect coloring books and word search books for nursing homes.

South Point administrative assistant Bill Christian said he pleased with the club and is looking forward to an upcoming project in which the group will “blitz” the building with Post-It notes of positive messages.

“I think it’s a great thing,” he said of the group’s efforts.

Stokeley said she has enjoyed working on the club’s projects.

“It’s really fun,” she said. “We do lots of stuff to help people and I love that.