A little kindness has gone a long way for Lanigan Elementary School students.
Caring hearts of hundreds of students and staff members at Lanigan led to the collection of a few hundred non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of Central New York, strengthened friendships and messages of positivity throughout the building.
The movement began with the book, “Wonder,” about a boy with a facial difference who just wants to be treated like other children.
Lessons of acceptance, love and kindness took on lives of their own, spreading like wildfire with students in grades kindergarten through six.
Librarian Jessica Somers said random acts of kindness have occurred throughout the school.
The food collection was spearheaded by students in Karrie Schremp’s first grade classroom who invited the entire school to participate.
Schremp had reached out to radio disc jockeys Amy Robbins and Ted Long of “Ted and Amy” on 93Q who promoted the #CuseKindness movement.
Once the pair heard about Lanigan’s efforts, they visited the first grade team before chatting with the entire student body about being kind to one another, always.
Robbins told the students that she moved a lot when she was in school and when she was the new kid, kind classmates made her feel at home again.
“Kindness is a choice; if everyone chose to be kind, how happy would this world be?” Long said.
Schremp presented the duo with kindness T-shirts, which a majority of the staff members wore for the special presentation.
During the visit, Robbins and Long read “We’re All Wonders” about empathy and kindness to all first grade students after they enjoyed a pizza party together.
While kindness, compassion and empathy are all a part of the first grade social-emotional learning, Schremp said everyone at Lanigan Elementary will benefit from the kindness movement.
“This took on a life of its own,” she said.
Tim Conners, former Lanigan Eagle and current AmeriCorps worker at the school, also presented Schremp with a copy of “No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon,” as a thank-you for her continued support of everyone and the joy she has in helping to spread cheer.