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Camas, WA — The Camas DECA Club organized a successful “Keep It Kind” public relations campaign this week, begining with getting the City Council to declare November 9 as a city-wide “Kindness Day” and ending with the signing of 1,000 Kindness contracts at Camas High School.

The objective of the campaign, which encompassed six schools, was to remind people that kindness matters, especially in the wake of school shootings in Parkland, FL and so many other schools and locations in the United States.

“Personally, I learned how important kindness is to so many people our community,” said Skylar Becerra, a DECA Club leader. “It’s a universal concept and the overwhelming support from everyone we came across gave was astounding and how so many people felt it was missing in our society.”

Kindness activities included the following:

  • A red out (which ended up getting huge participation).
  • Be the Change Club (Becerra’s and Amie Beld’s random acts of kindness club) holding all entrance doors open and when students came in we told them good morning and gave them a slip of paper with a kindness challenge to compliment two people in the next 10 minutes.
  • At lunches club leaders walked around with contracts and bracelets and talked to people at tables.
  • Had a booth set up at lunches and people could come up sign contracts and spin a wheel for different prizes while we talked about kindness.
  • All the kindness contracts that were signed during the week were put on a wall, and people could go up and try to find theirs.
  • Throughout the week, DECA worked with another student to promote writing letters to deployed troops and got the three biggest clubs to help participate.
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“The Kindness Contract was a means to earn the Keep It Kind bracelets at the high school and in the community,” said Becerra. “At First Friday and all week at the high school during lunches we ran a booth and when people can up we told them what we are doing and a little about reminding them to be kind and had them sign a kindness contract to serve as a reminder to be kind and got the bracelet. We had 1,000 and ended up running out on Friday. We also had these hung on a wall at lunch.”

 

Camas, WA — As part of the Camas DECA weeklong Kindness public relations campaign, City of Camas leaders declared Friday, November 9 as “Kindness Day” in an official city proclamation Monday night.

The campaign is in response to the shootings at Parkland, FL and other schools across the country in an effort to remind people that “kindness matters.”

Skyler Becerra and Amie Beld from DECA received the proclamation from Camas Mayor Pro Tem, Don Chaney.

Chaney said this campaign “captures where we all want to be in our hearts.”

After receiving the proclamation both Beld and Becerra addressed the council.

”This campaign promotes kindness, and overall our goal is to be able to have a safer and kinder community within Camas for all citizens,” said Beld.

The DECA campaign is working with six schools across Camas.

”Each of whom are running a kindness day or kindness week currently, right now, to help encourage and impact younger students and help form habits that can impact them for the rest of their lives …,” said Becerra.

DECA member Caden Wengler handed out special bracelets to council members and those in attendance as a reminder to be kind.

Camas High School is penning letters to veterans and doing lunchtime activities to reach out to students in their campaign.

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THE OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION

”WHEREAS, our days are often filled with information regarding school violence, crime and disaster in the world, often causing feelings of sadness and fear; and

“WHEREAS, kindness is something that can be improved on at all ages and levels of life, it is important to act to create a kinder environment for everyone within the Camas community; and

“WHEREAS, the support of the community and government leaders know that citizen support is one of the most effective ways to improve kindness within our communities; and

“WHEREAS, the daily acts of kindness that occur in our community are largely unseen and ignored; and

“WHEREAS, by recognizing these acts of kindness, all members of our community will be made aware of the importance of being kind to others throughout the year; and

“WHERAS, the purpose of Kindness Day is to remember the simplest acts of kindness that allow our community to be kinder, and safer place to live our lives; and

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Don Chaney, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Camas, do hereby proclaim November 9, 2018 as:

“KINDNESS DAY”

“In the City of Camas, and urge all citizens to join me in spreading kindness, generosity and respect of others at all times.”

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Vancouver, WA — At their annual ESD 112 Principals’ Meeting, a group of Washougal students presented the results of their April Kindness campaign, which was done to honor victims of February’s Parkland shooting massacre, and to remind people to treat each other with respect.

The five students, who attend Washougal High School, representing the Unite! Washougal Youth Community Coalition, reported on the origins of the campaign, its activities, and its statistical results.

ShaylaRae Tyner explained the campaign’s origins, which are rooted in this writer’s relationship with Ryan Petty, whose daughter, Alaina, was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

“The editor [at Lacamas Magazine] had a personal connection with the Parkland incident, and he wrote an article, which later led our mayor [Molly Coston] make April the month of kindness, which brought kindness into our community and into our schools.”

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Leaders of the Unite! Washougal Youth Community Coalition reacted to the mayor’s proclamation and created a special kindness campaign that had significant local impact.

”We created a project called Kindness Week for our school and community to promote thoughtfulness and care,” said Amara Farah. “We created three major goals with this opportunity and we wanted to promote positive action and give people a reason to smile. We wanted to create some source of community after the Parkland impact, and our Mayor declared April Kindness month and we wanted to include the entire community by providing fun activities and random acts of kindness.”

Over the course of a few weeks, the group created a series of fun lunchtime activities designed to get people connected and to put kindness at the forefront of their daily lives.

”From the first day to the last we only saw an increase in participation,” said Rachel Lyall. “With our school principal saying in a time in our society when the norm is to criticize and blame, kindness week modeled the complete opposite.”

Chloe Connors said the activities included a compliment battle, and at Friday’s meeting the students showed the principals a brief skit on how the compliment battle worked, where students tried to out do compliments with each other. The also reported on their kindness boards where people wrote good thoughts. The team created hula hoop competitions that became quite popular. Students filled out smile grams to lift each other up — which increased over the campaign.

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The team honored the students and teachers who were killed and injured in the February Parkland, FL shooting.

There was great enthusiasm from fellow students about continuing these types of activities throughout the year. WHS does plan to continue these kindness campaigns, and Kurtis Villareal said they witnessed groups of kids who never spoke to one another start to open up and communicate.

Villareal reported on the statistical findings before and after the campaign.

”We sent out a survey at the beginning of our kindness week, and at the end because we wanted to know if our students at WHS thought we had a positive culture,” said Villareal. “When we sent this out most people didn’t think that we were so positive, but with the all the activities we saw a big increase in the school culture being positive, which is really awesome.”

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