Kindness is contagious and it’s needed more than ever in schools -- that's why a movement led by students at Lewisville ISD is spreading throughout campuses and inspiring other districts to do the same.
A group of students representing the five high schools in Lewisville ISD (Flower Mound, Hebron, Lewisville, Marcus and The Colony) decided to take a stand against teen depression, loneliness, isolation and bullying by creating the "Kindness Initiative" this school year.
“Some people don’t feel as if they are good enough to even be roaming the halls with other people,” The Colony High School senior Mia Hernandez.
The initial group of 25 students quickly grew into 900, reaching the entire student population and into the halls and classrooms of all the high schools as an official yearlong movement.
“Always having someone to sit with at lunch, always making sure that you have someone to walk the halls with; never feeling alone – every time having someone greets you at the door,” Lewisville High School Student Body President Braden Kajs said.
“Just acknowledging someone can make a huge difference in their lives,” The Colony High School student Nathan Vo added. “You can really see how practicing kindness changes not only the people that are receiving it, but the people initiating it.”
Banners dot the walls of the schools; reminding students about their worth. Students hand out messages of support and appreciation.
"Just to know that someone is watching out for them. Someone is looking out for them. Someone is making sure they are OK," Hernandez said.
At The Colony High School, students are wearing clothespins with compliments on them that are meant to be shared.
“You know, at first some may just shrug it off, but to some it really means a lot to them,” Vo said. “Outside the home they might not receive that care and support.”
Each week, a different student group or club take over the initiative with their own specialized ways to spread kindness.
They said hugs, handshakes and high fives are going a long way and anecdotally the initiative is already changing young lives.
“I actually noticed a lot of people last year sitting alone at lunch and we had actually invited someone to come sit with us and now they are like in our group of friends,” Hebron High School senior Jackson Harvey said. “They are with us now and if we wouldn’t have said anything they would have been alone the entire time.”
Now other school districts around the state and nation are noticing the positive aspects and are working to figure out how to start similar movements in their schools. Thanks to the effectiveness of the "Kindness Initiative," Lewisville ISD middle schools will launch their own version a little later in the school year.