Boyne City Middle School students are proving that kindness can be contagious with a program entitled RAK Attack.
The RAK Attack is designed to encourage and promote random acts of kindness throughout the school and has been very successful thus far.
“We started the choosing kindness campaign here in Fall, it promotes choosing kindness over bullying,” said Mike Wilson, BCMS Principal. “We have speakers come in and talk to the kids and share how kindness has shaped their lives.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Bullying Statistics 2014, “70.6 percent of teens have seen bullying occurring in their schools. And, approximately 30 percent of young people admit to bullying themselves.”
“Bullying is a nationwide problem, and if it’s not addressed early on then the worse the problem can get, rather than hammer down on kids we decided to choose a different way,” said Wilson.
The students who are participating in the RAK Attack meet after school once a month, where they plan activities, and work on their goals of spreading kindness.
“The students create a SMART goal, and they work on obtaining that goal for the month,” said Pastor Jamie Woodall of Genesis Church in Petoskey. “For example, a student will take over the lunch line and help out in the lunch room. Some students have written encouragement notes. Other students open the door after school, and tell everyone who comes through that door to have a wonderful day.”
The number of students vary per meeting, but each of them is there to achieve one common goal, and that is to make Boyne City Middle School a better place.
“I think that it’s a good idea to have a group that spreads kindness throughout the school. It rubs off on other people, too. I think that it’s an overall good thing for the school,” said seventh-grader Eleri Giem. “RAK Attack is a good thing for every school to have because it brings people together so that they can recognize problems in the school and they can solve them.”
One of the projects that the RAK Attack has contributed to was writing 150 thank-you letters to the Boyne City Middle School secretary Mrs. Baker.
“My favorite project that we’ve done so far was writing the thank-you notes. She looked really happy when she got them,” said Giem “Sometimes we involve other kids so we get better results, but other times we’ll just surprise the person.”
Although the RAK Attack is not an official school-sponsored program, it does have the full support of the principal.
“I think that any time we have someone promoting kindness in a district and having kids make positive choices that I’ll support it,” said Wilson “A testament would be the kids and parents that come into our building and say that the kids are well-behaved and substitutes that come in and say they love teaching here.”
Wilson added, “The more help we have from parents and community members the better.”