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Dorseyville Middle schooler promotes kindness

Tawnya Panizzi
herdmskindness040617
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Dorseyville Middle School student Simon Shiferaw initiated a day of kindness at his school to promote feelings of friendship and inclusion.

Simon Shiferaw’s project at Dorseyville Middle School had a simple message: Be kind to others.

For his sixth-grade “Genius Hour” project that encourages students to work on something they feel passionate about, Simon wanted to promote kindness at his school along Saxonburg Boulevard.

So he created a video to encourage the staff and the school’s 1,000 students to be spontaneously kind to each other.

“I can’t wait to see all the kind acts we can do at DMS!” Simon said in the video.

On March 21 — #kindness day at DMS — teachers showed Simon’s video in every classroom.

Every student got a #kindness bracelet and teachers and a few students wore #kindness T-shirts. The rest of the students wore blue in honor of Simon’s #kindness day.

Everyone was encouraged to come up with their own random act of kindness, or they could visit a bulletin board and pick from ideas — leave a nice note on someone’s locker, hold a door open or give someone a compliment.

By the end of the day #rak4simon (random acts of kindness for Simon) was trending on both Twitter and Facebook.

Simon plans to reward all the students with a popcorn treat and several small items to be raffled to celebrate the day of kindness.

Simon also took his kindness project on the road — well, actually just across the road – to Hartwood Elementary to share the idea with students there. Hartwood will have its own kindness initiative this month. DMS counselor Kristin Pollick hopes Simon’s project extends through the end of the school year.

“I am so proud of Simon. The theme really grew faster than we ever expected,” Pollick said. “We hope everyone keeps passing it on and doing as many random acts of kindness so that Simon’s idea keeps spreading.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at [email protected].

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