Middle school students in the hundreds take part in annual Kindness Walk
From positive magnets on lockers to cards for the teachers, North Attleborough Middle School is becoming the kindest place around.
On Friday, June 14, hundreds of students filled the nearby high school track for the annual Friends of Rachel Kindness Walk. Named in honor of Rachel Joy Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School massacre, the event was started in 2013 after students attended a presentation on the tragedy. The walk raises money through voluntary donations that are in turn given to a number of nonprofits in town. This year, the money raised will benefit the Kindness Closet, which offers clothes, food, and school supplies for students from low-income families. There is also a long-term goal of funding a memorial garden for Zoe McMorran, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 16.
Kathleen Carley is a seventh-grade Inclusion Teacher, as well as the adviser for Friends Of Rachel and Project 351. She said the Friends of Rachel group at the middle school works to spread kindness year-round. Recently, they wrote inspirational messages on magnets and affixed them to the lockers.
“We’re trying to keep up morale and spread positive messages and kindness,” said Carley at the Kindness Walk.
Nearly all of the school’s approximately 1,100 students took part in the walk, circling the track in three groups. Uplifting messages were posted throughout the track, and children and teachers enjoyed games and face-painting. Hannah Schmidt and Sarah Bartel, both eighth-graders, said Friends of Rachel has made a strong difference at the school.
“I haven’t heard many stories of bullying since I arrived here,” said Bartel.
Schmidt said she had joined a number of organizations at the school and has really enjoyed being a part of Friends of Rachel.
“It benefits everyone here,” she said.