Monona students performing 10,000 acts of kindness Print
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Feb. 01, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

IHM Students
Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Monona students Parker Hagen, Jacqueline Ladik, and Aaron Lipski are taking part in the school's 10,000 acts of kindness project.(Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MONONA -- Immaculate Heart of Mary School is teaching more than reading, writing, and arithmetic -- it is teaching love.

The school recently launched its "Teach Love" campaign.

Principal Callie Meiller said Teach Love is a "showcase for students . . . not only preparing them academically; we want them to go out into the world and be ready, not only smarts wise, but ready mind, body, and spirit to take on the world."

"It's really important for us to know that we're sending people out and that they're going to be spreading love, gratitude, and kindness along the way," Meiller added.

A "lofty goal" Meiller set for the campaign was to have the students perform 10,000 acts of kindness from the start of the campaign through the end of Catholic Schools Week, Friday, Feb. 2.

In the first three days, the students were up to almost 4,000 acts.

"We are teaching our students that even little acts of kindness can make a big difference," Meiller said.

Performing acts of kindness

The 10,000 acts were put on brightly-colored slips of paper and put into an aquarium outside the school office.

When going past it, students grabbed a slip or two out of it, and performed that act as soon as possible.

When they've completed it, they put the slips into another aquarium, thus keeping track of the number completed.

Some of the slips contained the acts of: "Give a friend a pencil," "Sit next to or talk to someone who looks upset," or "Clean up, even if you didn't make the mess."

Sixth grader Aaron Lipski has been one of the students trying to do as many acts of kindness as he can.

He's smiled at fellow classmates and written cards for the area senior center.

"It feels good because I make other people happy," Lipski said.

"I 'fill someone else's bucket' and I feel happier, too."

Eighth grader Jacqueline Ladik said she did about 30 acts of kindness in three days, such as telling jokes to classmates and saying hello to others in the hallway.

"When I do it, I make myself happy, and then other people can carry it on to other people," Ladik said.

She added some act of kindness came her way as well, such as students holding the door open for her.

When sixth grader Parker Hagen performed his acts of kindness, he said, "It brings a good feeling to my heart to see other people happy and just to know that I made a difference."

"It's important because then it spreads kindness to our community, and it can make our world a lot nicer," Hagen added.

Spreading love to others

Teachers and staff are called to perform the acts of kindness as well.

"Teach Love is being able to have the kids be aware of all the acts of kindness that we can do for others, not just doing it when we're asked to," said fifth grade teacher Marianne Woock.

Woock, herself, has been doing acts like saying hello to middle school students she hadn't talked to in a while.

She added she's seen students grab more slips of paper as the days went on, so they could do more acts of kindness.

"It becomes a part of you if you do enough of them," Woock said, saying she hoped the students would continue spreading kindness to the outside world and in the future.

"It doesn't cost you money. It doesn't cost you anything, except maybe some time," she said.

"It's [all about] what you feel when you do it."


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