Students Matter, a Saugus High School club, held its annual “Pass It On” event on Saturday morning, aimed at teaching younger kids the importance of kindness.
“The role of the club is anti-bullying, but it’s also prevention, and one of the ways we tackle prevention, is to promote kindness,” said Normita Meza, club advisor.
Every local elementary school was invited to attend the free event, which centered around eight lettered craft stations that spelled out “kindness.” At each station, kids would create a craft focused on being nice to others.
Milan Mulpuru, 5, attended the event with his older sister, Navya, and said his favorite was the maraca-making station where he was able to take plastic eggs, fill them with beans, add spoon handles and “shake it to sound fun like maracas.”
His mother, Dhelma, was impressed with the event, and said the crafts were incredible and the music was the best.
“When I was in elementary school, I always wished I had someone to look up to, so it’s really cool that I’m able to provide that opportunity for others,” said Hayden Trowbridge, junior in the club. “If I can instill that message in a younger age now and get that seed planted, it’s helping prepare them for high school.”
The kids were told to create two crafts at each station, one for them to keep to remember the event and a second one that they can give to someone who could use a random act of kindness.
“This outreach is an opportunity to create a ripple effect, and is our way of hoping that the community will change,” Meza said.
Kids also had a sheet that spelled out “kindness,” and once they finished a station, they got a sticker with a positive quote to add to their sheet. Then, when they had completed every station, they received a certificate that had their name on it, showing that they had “completed the path to kindness.”
“Little kids don’t get it yet, so if they understand now that they need to be nice to people and that it’s wrong to bully, then they can then go on to show their friends and when they get to high school they’ll understand and hopefully we’ll have overall nicer campuses,” said Makenna Galbreath, senior and co-president of the club.
The event also included a raffle and “brain break activities,” which included dancing and chalk art. Breakfast was provided by Western Bagel and lunch was provided by Jersey Mike’s.
The Students Matter club, also known as Safe School Ambassadors, recognizes that bullying doesn’t start in high school, it starts young, so they do various community outreach events throughout the year targeted at elementary school aged children.
“In a world where we have this negativity, it’s really important that we instill that sense of kindness in people and really let kids know that they need to value their friendships, pass on kindness and just embracing being nice to other people,” said Ashley Calkins, senior and co-president of the club.