While “kindness” can be sort of a catch-all term used in schools, a number of Marana Unified School District schools are using the concept as a way to reduce behavior problems. 

Kindness is a cornerstone of the district’s integrated behavior system, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support, which emphasizes the importance of respect, responsibility, accountability and kindness in all classrooms and areas of school. 

Last Thursday night, March 9, Estes Elementary had a fun-filled evening that also strived to reinforce the ideas of kindness. The event had a variety of booths and displays that shared resources and information on how to promote kindness as well as family activities, health and wellness checks, and displays on conservation, planet resources and animals.

“At Estes, we place an emphasis on demonstrating and promoting kindness,” said Principal Colleen Frederick. “We understand that when students feel respected, supported, and safe, they feel a sense of belonging and their overall academic experience is positive. We are pleased to offer this event to our community in order to share the important role we all play in promoting kindness.”

The school has held a number of events to promote kindness in the school. In February the school had their Kick-Off to Kindness Assembly, at which Ben’s Bells founder Jeannette Maré shared her message on the power of kindness. This message has been a core part of the PBIS program which utilizes “positive interventions and system changes to achieve socially important behavior changes.”

The strategy works best when students are taught respect, responsibility, and accountability from an early age. As part of PBIS, clear expectations for the behavior for the classroom and school as a whole are established and reinforced. 

“Through self-awareness, empathy, and kindness toward others, our students are determined to use their hearts and brains to spread kindness around their campus and they are eager to demonstrate this during their first Kindness event,” said Estes third-grade teacher Stacey LeFager-Maneval.

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