Seniors at Gilbert High School hold 'power lessons in kindness' on National Walkout Day

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A group of seniors at Gilbert High School elected not to walk out of school on Wednesday.

Instead, they will talk with fellow classmates about the impacts of being kind to others and the positive effects it can have on grades and overall school climate.

The 15-minute long "power lessons in kindness" will take place in several classes at the high school. During them, seniors will talk about the impact of acts of kindness they say is often overlooked.

Nichole Carson is a senior at Gilbert High School and was instrumental in the creation of Kindness Day. She helped create lesson plans for several CREW classes offered at the high school, encouraging students to work together on projects promoting kindness.

"It's a pay it forward kind of thing," she said. "If someone is kind to you, you're more likely to be kind to someone else and it just snowballs from there."

In Carson's CREW class on Wednesday, students constructed a kindness box meant to hold positive notes about their teacher, Mr. Cooke.

"The plan is to read these notes every Friday aloud in class," she said. "Then moving forward, we'll write kind things about each other and read those aloud. Sometimes it's the simplest things that can make the biggest impact on someone."

Carson said she hopes the senior class is able to leave a legacy of kindness at Gilbert High School and is encouraging underclassmen to help create change after they're gone.

"We want this to continue long after today, even after we're gone," she said. "Taking the time to do something kind is so easy and it fosters more happiness, better grades and an overall better experience in school."

Wade Cooke teaches the CREW class and said the senior's decision to create a kindness day is much more effective than a walkout.

"I think this is a more productive way and the kids get more out of it than simply walking out of school," he said. "We're keeping them in class, talking with each other and promoting something as basic as kindness."

Several hundred students at Gilbert High School did take part in a voluntary sit-in at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to recognize those lost to gun violence.

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