Teaching and rewarding kindness in the classroom is becoming more and more prevalent in schools. When students are taught the importance of kindness, they are less likely to bully other students, and they learn to be kinder and more inclusive adults. Freedom Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee, is making it a point to highlight kindness in their district. Cael Ripley was recently named a student ambassador of kindness for going above and beyond in his acts of kindness.
Freedom Middle School’s Be Nice Campaign
Freedom Middle School started a program called the Franklin Special School District Be Nice Campaign. Through this program, the school recognizes Student Ambassadors in each grade. Cael was chosen as one of three out of 150 students in seventh grade at his school.
After getting this recognition, Cael got the opportunity to walk in the local Veteran’s Day Parade alongside other Student Ambassadors from surrounding schools. Cael said, “It was fun and we all had a good time honoring the veterans who served our country.”
How Cael feels about Kindness
Kindness is a value that Cael has always held close. He believes in going out of his way to make everyone’s day more special. Cael loves helping others and also the feeling he gets from being kind. Freedom Middle School has a Spirit Week every year where they encourage students to be “extra kind”. Cael says, “In my opinion, there should be no reason to be extra kind when we should be extra kind in the first place.”
Making a Difference in Washington D.C.
Because of his kindness, Cael’s guidance counselor, Ms. Megan Ash, nominated him for a chance to go to Washington D.C. She recognized him as a “student with the scholastic merit, maturity, and strength of character needed to represent Freedom Middle School and the Junior National Young Leaders Conference.” This week-long conference is held to honor and inspire middle school students across the country. Here, students learn about how to become better leaders as well as learning to improve their communication, goal-setting, problem solving, and teamwork skills.
It’s incredible that just by being kind, Cael now has an amazing opportunity in front of him. Kindness truly does make a difference, and it can open doors for people. Now that more schools are teaching the importance of emotional intelligence, taking time to recognize students for their kindness efforts is extremely beneficial. Cael is just one student, and Freedom is just one school, but the effects of kindness can easily spread to other students, other districts, and the impact will continue to grow.
Cael believes that everyone should inspire kindness among each other. He believes that kindness correlates to happiness, and that we can be eternally happy if we just start by being kind to one another. Let’s learn from Cael and start being more intentional about kindness!
Cael walking in the Freedom Middle School Veteran's Day Parade