GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Some elementary school students from Great Bend are putting their passion for kindness to good use.
“We love to pass out notes, and we loved making people’s days,” said Gentry VanSkike.
Gentry, 10, is a fourth-grader at Park Elementary. She and her friends enjoy a lot of things, including recess and making others feel important.
“We like to make people’s day, and we want them to feel happy inside and out,” said Brianna Lara.
Brianna, also a fourth-grader, Gentry, and two other girls started writing encouraging notes for their classmates earlier this year. Having felt bullied or judged in the past, they decided it was a way to knock out negativity.
“Brianna said, ‘Why don’t we make a group called the Encouraging Group?’ And I was just like, ‘Hey, yeah, let’s go with that,'” explained Gentry.
The Encouraging Group then expanded out of its classroom and into its school. The girls created posters and started handing out notes to other students and teachers.
“One day, one of the members of the group gave me a little note while she was waiting in line for lunch, and it was folded in a little paper airplane,” said Park Elementary Family Engagement Coordinator Rachel Keenan. “I opened it, and it said, ‘Don’t give up.'”
Keenan was so moved by the gesture she shared the girls’ story with KSN.
“Sometimes people don’t know what a little message can do for someone else, and they are making an impact in their lives, so I think it’s really amazing that they just decided to do this,” Keenan said. “I think having that message out there that just a little word or something you do can change someone’s day is a good message to keep spreading.”
The girls said they hope the people who receive their positive messages get as much joy from receiving them as they do from delivering them.
“It just makes us feel good that these little notes that we pass out are just making people’s day and make them feel good, and it feels good to us knowing that too,” Gentry said.