Our Kindness Counts Chief Leschi tackles bullying with Our Kindness Counts Initiative

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHIEF LESCHI

Walking into the Four Seasons cafeteria, it won’t take long to notice the massive signs hanging on the walls in bold letters stating, “Our Kindness Counts, Reaching for a Million!” The sign has been a running record of a new initiative. As a way to combat bullying within our schools, Chief Leschi’s counselors have created “Our Kindness Counts” Initiative. With every random act of kindness, students are rewarded with a blue ticket.

The initiative began after Christmas break, where students were called to a meeting to introduce them to the idea. Since then, it has become an interactive and a quick reward for students to see that their kindness matters. Within the first two days, there was a total tally of a little over 6,000 random acts of kindness. Currently, over 100,000 random acts of kindness have been made. The goal is to reach 1 million by the end of the school year.

Staff at Chief Leschi have seen an increase in number of students volunteering to help around campus, fewer disciplinary incidents, and students’ selflessly acting kind. A first grader has even created his own version of the blue tickets and has started handing them out to adults within the building. “I think it’s a good idea and a cool thing,” Honor McKeney, a senior at Chief Leschi, says. “I think there has been some positive effect on students.”

This initiative is based upon an idea titled the “Growth Mindset,” a term coined by Stanford University’s world-renowned psychologist Carol Dweck. The idea is built on that one’s basic abilities can be developed through education, dedication, and hard work. The talent and intelligence someone already has are just starting points for their true potential. By developing this, the growth mindset creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments. The main significance of this idea is that everyone has the ability to attain this mindset of growth. By teaching the growth mindset to our students, we create an environment where motivation and productivity are cultivated in their young minds and lays the foundation for potentially positive improvements in their school work and in relationships.

Chief Leschi Schools’ staff is currently looking for ways to involve our community and demonstrate the “Our Kindness Counts” initiative out in the community. Every month now, the staff works on ways to challenge the students in showing their kindness, and every week there is an inspirational video that is shown to students. This way, students are actively reminded and encouraged to spread their kindness. As Honor McKeney says, “Showing kindness makes you feel good and makes others feel good.” Chief Leschi hopes to continue to encourage students to be kind to others.

High School and Middle School Students of the Month

Left to right: Gaston Dillon, Neissa Satiacum, Brianna Pederson, Erica Dumais, Gaby Lopez-Buena, and Jallina Diaz-Bradley. Not pictured: Kaylee Curtiss and Jenna Murphy. PHOTO TAKEN BY PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER JIM WARK.

Chief Leschi honors students that embody positive traits. Each month, one student from middle and high school is chosen for each trait: responsibility, effort, pride, and respect.

From the Wolf Lodge, Gaby Lopez-Buena was nominated by Ms. Ivers and Mr. Peterson for responsibility; Jallina Diaz-Bradley was nominated by Ms. Frederick for effort; Gaston Dillon was nominated by Ms. Reeves for pride; and Neissa Satiacum was nominated by Ms. Ivers for respect.

From the Cedar and Eagle Lodges, Brianna Pederson was nominated by Ms. Altaras for responsibility; Erica Dumais was nominated by Ms. Kelley for effort; Jenna Murphy was nominated by O.G. for pride; and Kaylee Curtiss was nominated by Ms. Kelley for respect.

Photographer of the Month

“[Stacia Henry] is very bright,” says photography teacher Jim Wark. “She always wants to know what’s next and what to do.”

Stacia, a new student this year and senior at Chief Leschi, is the February photographer of the month. She discovered she had the ability to take beautiful photos during Mr. Wark’s 6th period photography class.

“My sister takes photos for her university so I became interested,” Stacia says. “I just take photography for fun now.” Stacia especially enjoys taking photos in black and white.

“She has the qualities of a great and successful student,” Mr. Wark proudly states about Stacia. “She always turns in her assignments on time, and she produces fantastic work. She works hard and she studies hard. If I ask for five pictures from her, I get 10.”

Stacia will graduate from Chief Leschi this year. She plans to attend college nearby, and has applied to University of Washington, Central University, and University of Oregon. She is not sure what she wants to study, but hopes that attending college will help guide her to a career path.

“I’ve been to two other high schools and Chief Leschi is my favorite,” Stacia states with a small smile. “It has been an interesting experience and I enjoy encouraging other students to apply for college.”

PHOTOS BY STACIA HENRY

Now till the end of the year, every month we will be honoring a student photographer. If you want to see more of Stacia’s work, please visit our website at www.leschischools.org.