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Local middle school students encourage positivity

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POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — Poland Middle School students are teaming up to encourage positivity in the community.

It’s called the Kindness Club and was first created in 2015. Kristi Martin, a fifth grade math teacher at Poland Middle School, was in her second year teaching at the school when she decided to start it.

“I saw the need for a club that every student could be part of. It didn’t matter if they had athletic ability, high academy achievement, it’s for everybody,” Martin said.

Many students jumped at the opportunity to join, like fifth grader Isabella Falasca.

“I wanted to join the club because I wanted to help people feel better if they were having a bad day,” Falasca said.

The Kindness Club has grown quickly. In its first year, there were about 40 students. Now there are about 150 students across fourth through sixth grade that have teamed up to spread kindness.

“As an educator, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do is help kids to feel that they can make a change,” Martin said.

The club works on different projects each month. They recently wrapped up a hat, scarf and glove drive for students at another school.

“I think it’s fun helping other people that might not have as much as us and encouraging others to do the same,” said member Maddox Purins.

Wendy Butch, a Poland Middle School counselor and one of the club’s leaders, said kindness is essential because you don’t know what someone could be going through.

“Sometimes on those rough days, that’s what I hold on to is just knowing that we made a difference in somebody else’s life through the participation and what we’re teaching our children,” Butch said.

Butch said the club allows kids to feel and see the difference they’re making.

“It’s important that we spread kindness because then other people will spread kindness and it’s kind of like a ripple effect,” Falasca said.

The Kindness Club meets twice a month. Its project for January will benefit Akron Children’s Hospital. Members will be making tie-knot blankets for patients.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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