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YOU'RE INVITED: Kindness Rally features carnival, dinner, awards, and more!

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Coming up on Friday, April 29: The fourth annual Marion Community Schools Kindness Rally will celebrate the power that kindness has to change our schools, our community, and the world! This event is open to the entire community, and we hope YOU will join us!



A scene from the 2015 Kindness Rally. 

Highlights will include the Chain Reaction Ceremony; the annual Student Kindness Awards and (new this year) the Staff Kindness Awards; the Kindness Chain Parade (where representatives from each school march in with paper chains, with each link representing an act of kindness noticed throughout the school year); a chicken noodle dinner; and a carnival with bounce houses, photo booth, food, and more!

The Kindness Rally is set for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2016, at the Marion High School gym. Tickets to be used for the carnival attractions will be four for $1, and proceeds will fund continuing anti-bullying efforts throughout the school system.

Chicken noodle dinners will be available, including mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, a drink, and a cookie, for just $4!

The Chain Reaction Ceremony is set for 5:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:15 p.m.) The ceremony will feature:
  • MHS JROTC presenting the flag.
  • Performances by the MHS and McCulloch Junior High School choirs.
  • Presentation of Student Kindness Awards, which honor one student from each school who embodies the spirit and kindness and who consistently exhibits it to those around them.
  • Presentation of Staff Kindness Awards (new this year), which honor one staff member from each school who embodies the spirit of kindness and who consistently exhibits it to those around them.
  • Messages from district administrators.
  • The Kindness Chain Parade.
The carnival will begin immediately after the ceremony.

MCS is also especially grateful for the support of our community, specifically a grant from the Community Foundation of Grant County that helped fund this year’s Kindness Rally, along with a donation of baked goods from Café Valley for our cake walk.

The Kindness Rally is a culmination of the focus we have year-round of intentionally encouraging our students to think about kindness and the impact it has on those around them at school and in the community. Lessons are facilitated by our school social workers and counselors, utilizing materials from Rachel’s Challenge and often partnering with organizations such as Family Services and Grant-Blackford Mental Health. This is right in line with the Community Foundation Youth Grant program that promotes philanthropy, which includes the idea of promoting the welfare of others.

We like to emphasize that it doesn’t cost anything to start a chain reaction of kindness, because it’s important to empower children to do good and make a difference even if they face struggles themselves, but these classroom-based efforts often do result in volunteer time or monetary donations to good causes, with ideas often coming directly from the students themselves.

Some specific examples from this school year include:

• Kendall Elementary School’s Kindness Kids Club, which has done two community service projects this school year, including a book drive and a visit to Lutheran Children’s Hospital in Fort Wayne to deliver the books and spend time reading and doing crafts with some of the patients, along with a visit to a local nursing home to deliver cards and care packages.
• Justice Intermediate School’s Kiss the Pig fundraiser challenge which brought in $900 for the Marion Community Schools Champions Together program, a partnership between the IHSAA and Special Olympics.
• Justice Intermediate’s faculty/friends vs. students basketball challenge, which raised money and gathered food donations and household items to help Justice families in need over the summer.
• Justice Intermediate’s food drive for The Salvation Army’s local food pantry.
• Marion High School’s food drive for St. Martin Community Center.
• Tucker Career and Technology Center culinary arts program’s work with local organizations for fundraiser food sales (such as cheese balls for Psi Iota Xi and apple dumplings for Kiwanis), as well as catering for meetings within the school system and in the community as well.
• TCTC’s welding program’s work on small projects throughout the community.

The idea of helping meet a need is the foundation of philanthropy, and students who learn to think of others and the impact their own actions can have on the world around them are set for a lifetime of giving in many forms.

All schools participate in the creation of the Kindness Chains throughout the year, but each school also has various other ways of recognizing and encouraging students and staff who display kindness and have an impact on others. At some schools, this includes cards or other rewards given for specific acts of kindness. At others, it involves recognition in a bulletin board display. The Student Kindness Awards are a natural outgrowth of this recognition process. One student from each building is selected by their administrators. We believe that simple acts of kindness have the power to change our classrooms, our schools, our community, and the world. Because of that, we truly believe the Student Kindness Awards are some of the highest honors we can bestow.

Marion Community Schools is proud of our students and staff who are starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion and making positive changes in our schools and community. We hope that students of all ages and their families, along with community members, will come and help us celebrate at the third annual Kindness Rally!