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2014-02-13

Bandera ISD celebrates random acts of kindness

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Bandera ISD will again be celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week from February 10 through February 14. Students all over the district will be committing "random acts of kindness" in honor of this principle. The initiative is inspired by Rachel's Challenge, a non-profit organization established in honor of Columbine High School shooting victim, Rachel Scott.
At Alkek and Hill Country Elementaries, a "chain of kindness" will be created with each chain link representing one random act of kindness committed by a student. The goal will be to create a chain to wrap the school buildings in kindness.
At Bandera Middle School, teachers will be distributing "Kindness Bucks" to students whenever they see them being kind to one another. Students will be able to trade "Kindness Bucks" for treats provided by the PTO.
At Bandera High School, each advisory class will spotlight two paraprofessionals on campus and do something special for them. The high school advisory classes will focus on developing campus appreciation for the paraprofessional's work on campus. The High School teachers will also be awarding student RAKs with ice cream coupons that week.
Random Acts of Kindness Week is just one part of Bandera ISD's program to eliminate bullying on campuses. Bandera ISD supplies a district wide confidential phone line to report bullying (830-796-9580). Alkek Elementary presents a classroom education program, Character Counts, which includes six pillars of character. They are: trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship. Hill Country Elementary celebrates their "Bee Program" theme which emphasizes the character traits of "be responsible, be respectful and be safe." Classroom lessons focusing on supporting those social skills emphasize friendship and being kind to others.
Bandera Middle School is a "No Place for Hate" campus and has conducted several activities on campus this year to support that status. The Middle School theater arts students have created no bullying videos which are being shown to students during the lunch periods. Bandera Middle School's Bully Busters Club meets regularly to support students. The campus has had a Multicultural Day and the Library has sponsored a Peace, Love and Books celebration.
At Bandera High School, the Key Club sponsored an Anti-Bullying Week during October which focused on fostering good interpersonal relations between students, social media awareness and school spirit. The Key Club presented a skit during that week's pep rally on bullying and displayed posters throughout the school which targeted bullying behavior.
Bandera High School's administration and counseling staff provides coordinated support to anyone who experiences bullying and encourages all students to report bullying at any time.
Bandera ISD also utilizes a computer program called Ripple Effects, available to all students, which emphasizes social skills and gives students opportunities to work through modules dealing with specific issues like aggression, bullying and cliques. The Ripple Effects program focuses on building strengths, especially in core social-emotional abilities that are correlated with academic achievement and resilience.
Bandera ISD's "Students and Family" web page lists resources for parents on Internet safety and cyber-bullying. The procedures for reporting bullying are also posted on that same site. For more information on what your campus is doing to promote caring and eliminate bullying, contact Bonnie Hale, Director of Testing and At-Risk Services at 796-3313 or bhale@banderaisd.net.