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Board Games Promote Kindness
The sixth graders at Cardozo Middle School participated in a game promoting kindness with Principal Kevin Bizzini engaging with students during game play. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

Random Acts of Kindness Week is celebrated in the month of February and Adelante High School’s leadership class created board games to promote kindness as a way to mark the occasion. Adelante students then shared these games with Ms. Sydnor’s sixth grade Academic Strategies class at Cardozo Middle School. Leadership advisor Kristi Santos and leadership students Ynez Venegas, Adriana Oropeza, Alondra Aparcio, Selena Martinez, and Jordan Dyrda walked to Cardozo with tools in hand to help the younger students combat bullying.

The leadership students volunteered to play these original games with the sixth graders, helping to promote kindness and focus on friendship.

Teacher Sydnor welcomed Santos and the AHS leadership students to her classroom and prepared her students for the visit from the high schoolers. The class broke up into four different groups to play the four different original games, including The Drama Llama, Solutions, Clout Chasers, and A Look Inside, with the leadership students overseeing the games and helping students learn the rules.

“Our counselor, Norma Ramirez, who works at both sites, put our project into a reality by coordinating between the sites,” stated Santos. “The sixth graders participated with great enthusiasm and honesty. They were very well behaved, and took the occasion seriously, playing each of the four games, learning to consider kindness, and what options one actually has if being bullied.”

Using their leadership skills the high schoolers were able to engage with the youngsters with the hopes of making a difference.

“I believe that everyone involved benefitted: Adelante students and Cardozo students, and all the adults, who basically just observed, as the Leadership students presented the project, started the game process, then closed the project with a feedback session from Cardozo students who stated that the games inspired them to apply what they had learned to real life situations,” added Santos.

Cardozo Middle School Principal Kevin Bizzini ventured into the class and observed the games and the student interaction.

Santos explained that AHS leadership put a great deal of effort into each board game with research by interviewing other AHS students as well as Ramirez and learning the situations that may affect the middle schoolers.

“Adelante students got the satisfaction of seeing an important, relevant project developed and carried through from start to finish,” expressed Santos. “They were able to create an activity to support sixth grade students with kindness, and tools to deal with bullying behaviors from others. They thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the sixth grade students as mentors.”

Spreading kindness seems very important these days and AHS Principal Rebecca Evans accepted the challenge from the County Superintendent of Schools to participate in the Random Acts of Kindness week and so did the Leadership class.

“Kindness must be taught as a positive character trait that needs to be developed in every human being,” said Santos. “Being kind elevates a civilization, and the quality of life of its people. Kindness is also contagious.”

The project took six weeks for the older students to refine and develop with hopes to spread kindness and to make a difference.

“Our community should be proud of these teens, and our sixth graders who were so well behaved and positive,” Santos expressed with pride. “Our Riverbank students engaged in conversation about bullying, and how to be kind in spite of it. The general message delivered was for an individual to inform an adult, when witnessing bullying, to ask for help, and not to keep it to themselves. Talking about it takes away the power of bullying.”