AVON - At 5 years old, Will Voikis digs his role with the Kindness Club at the Avon Early Learning Center.
As a member of the club and its Kindness Crew, the kindergartener is a greeter at his school. Donning a vest, Will greets students with a high-five in the hallway as they arrive to begin a new day.
"It's the best," Will said. "Being a greeter is my favorite thing.”
The Kindness Club started at Avon Learning Center in November and involves about 40 kindergarteners. The club is overseen by Avon Learning Center Principal Colleen Mudore and teachers Rachel Kelly, Julie Wilmer and Meghan Hennies. The club's mission is simple: Be nice to everyone and spread acts of kindness to others. The club participates in a new project every six weeks.
The Thankful to Turkeys project was the club’s first. Members made turkey toys, drew turkeys and supported everything turkey surrounding Thanksgiving. The club’s new project: Being kind to animals.
"We often tell the students if you can be anything, be kind," Mudore said. "This program helps gets the kids involved in something fun, something they can all do together. We also have a Kindness Elf, who sometimes shows up and presents a challenge to the club. It encourages the kids to come up with their own ideas."
The school board recognized several club members, Mudore and the kindergarten teachers at its Dec. 17 meeting. The students spread their acts of kindness at the meeting by making dog toys with board members and Avon Lake City Schools Superintendent Michael Laub. The toys will be donated to Moose’s Mission an Avon nonprofit that provides blankets and toys for dogs in shelters and rescues.
"This is probably what I love most about my job," Laub said. "This program goes beyond reading, writing and the classroom. It's helping our kids become better people."
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