Donations set the tone for ‘kindness week’

Second grade teacher Shireen Zamani helps Julian Servantes, a transitional kindergarten student at Spring Grove School, make a card to give away Feb. 9-15 as part of the Kindness Club's participation in International Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Spring Grove student Audyn Diaz wrote carefully on the giant, red card.
This heart-shaped paper sported the phrase “You Rule” and was headed for the hands of someone who wasn’t her friend.
Diaz, 7, was one of many students who put pen to paper Friday as part of the new Kindness Club, which started last month. The challenge was to make cards to give away this week during International Random Acts of Kindness Week.
“It’s not part of the curriculum or standards but it is part of life,” said Julie Neff, the teacher who founded the club.
Neff began incorporating discussion of good deeds into her lesson plans three years ago when she started the Kindergarten Kindness Project. She encouraged students in her kindergarten classes to do random, nice things for others and to share them with the class or through a group Facebook page.
Last month, Neff started a school club and opened the invitation to the whole campus. In weeks, the number of members had jumped to 70 students.
Neff keeps a Facebook page announcing the club’s activities. A recent post about the club’s desire to gather donations for Calaveras School—which lost its playground to arson last month—caught the eye of someone with the Hollister Firefighters Reserve Association.
“The school suffered a pretty big loss,” said David Lopez, the public information officer for association. “It was nice of the Kindness Club to step up and get involved.”
The association donated $1,000 worth of balls, Hula Hoops and Frisbees to the club, which will add these to other donations and transport the gifts to Calaveras School.
Those joining Lopez included John Camera, the president of the association; Brandon Winters, the vice president; Josiah Garza, a reserve firefighter; Mike O’Connor, the fire department chief; and Joe Rivas, the assistant principal of Calaveras School.
Over the years, Neff has heard so many stories of good deeds that she struggled to name a favorite. 
“Really, it’s about all those little actions that set people in motion,” she said.

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