A student-led club of Saugus High School students is sharing lessons of kindness with elementary school children throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
The Students Matter Club at Saugus High School, known as Safe School Ambassadors at other Hart district schools, used arts and crafts and activities to teach the elementary-aged children about the importance of being caring and considerate.
“We try to encourage random acts of kindness. Our student leaders love doing it,” said Mita Meza, a Saugus High teacher and advisor of Students Matter Club. “It’s validation of what they would like to see throughout the whole area. These kids are taking time out of their spring break to do this so it shows their dedication.”
On Tuesday, member of the Students Matter Club went to Sunshine Day Camp at Valencia Valley Elementary for the fifth year in a row to lead the day camp’s “Kindness Rally.”
“Coming here is really fun because you get to work with little kids,” junior Makenna Galbreath said. “They’re really pumped about it because they hopefully haven’t witnessed too much bullying. It’s fun to show them how to be kind to one another and not be mean.”
During the Kindness Rally, the Sunshine Day Camp students rotated between different stations that promoted thoughts of kindness toward themselves and others, and facilitated conversations about how certain actions can help or hurt others.
In one room students created paper lanterns where they wrote kind words on the outside of the lanterns. In another room students created dream catchers where they wrote down their hopes for the future.
“We’re focusing on something to motivate them and look forward to in the future. We’re helping them know there’s happiness in the future and you have a choice of what you can do,” sophomore Sarah Edwards said. “The best part of it is walking out and seeing a smile on their faces.”
The camp’s students also carried around sticker charts to encourage acts of random kindness. The group that collectively received the most stickers was then awarded with prizes at the end of the day.
“I think the program is great, our kids are attentive and getting involved,” said Jamie Powell, director of Sunshine Day Camp at Valencia Valley Elementary. “They’re always trying to get those stickers and impress their friends and the SSA staff (Saugus students).”
All of the students also received Students Matter certificates that included lollipops, erasers and meal coupons for Lazy Dog Restaurant and Wood Ranch BBQ.
“Everyone gets certificates for participating and are told to pass on kindness,” Meza said. “They also get to bring home their craft as a souvenir and a hopeful reminder to continue to be mindful and kind.”
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