FILE PHOTO: Kids sit close to a counselor during an activity teaching kindness at Saugus High School's Students Matter Club's Sunshine Day Camp at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School on Friday, April 7, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Saugus High set to host fourth annual ‘Pass It On’ event

Organized by the members of the Saugus High School Students Matter club, the fourth annual “Pass It On: A Path to Kindness Event” is set to promote compassion and empathy among younger students Saturday.

Students Matter faculty adviser Normita Meza describes the hosting club as an anti-bullying organization that five years ago thought up the idea to hold the event. Set to include games, food, activities, dancing and more, the program is designed to teach elementary school-age students the importance of compassion and empathy for others.

“Our leaders wanted to do an elementary school outreach because, when they were those kids’ age, they were either the victims of bullying or bystanders to a bullying incident,” said Meza. “And in that moment of being a victim or a bystander, you feel helpless and sometimes events like this will help you get over that hurdle and make you feel better.”

During the event, Meza said, there will eight stations, with each of the stations representing one letter in the word “kindness.” At each station students will create two craft items — with the help of Students Matter club members — that involve kindness, where the first will be for them to keep and the second will be for them to hand out to a friend.

“For instance a bookmark, that has the fish Nemo on it that reads keep on swimming,” said Meza. “We encourage them to make a second one of that so they can give it to someone because it feels good when you’re sharing that kindness.”

Meza added that it’s important for kids at the kindergarten through sixth grade levels to be exposed to these ideas early on, because, from her and her students’ experiences, bullying doesn’t start in high school.

“There are kids being targeted and maybe we can just give them a little bit of strength,” said Meza, adding that she told her students it is their “legacy” to try and prevent what happened to them from happening to a younger generation.

In years past, Meza said she’s seen growth in attendance every year, and this year she hopes to see at least 60 kids attend. The event is open to all elementary school kids and their parents.

The event is free and is scheduled 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18.

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