In 21st century schools, the pressure, negative emotions, and challenges that a student may face seem endless. To combat those weary emotions, there has been a push for Ohio schools to implement the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Program (PBIS) which provides social, emotional, and behavioral support in schools.
Fairmont is trying build upon and maintain their positive environment for students with the implantation of PBIS. Kettering Loves, a club of approximately 20 students gathers once a month with one goal in mind: how to spread positivity and kindness through the halls of Fairmont High School.
Matt Kesner, West Unit counselor at Fairmont and the Kettering Loves adviser, said that the idea came from a conference at Xavier University.
“We went to the Anthony Munoz Youth Leadership Seminar at Xavier University,” Kesner said. “While we were there, a guy named Nick Jackson from ‘Speak Loves’ spoke about showing love.”
Anthony Munoz, former offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals has created a non-profit organization called the Anthony Munoz Foundation (AMF) in Cincinnati with a goal of impacting the lives of area youth mentally, physically and spiritually through eight impact programs.
That speaker at Xavier and the AMF inspired those Fairmont students in attendance along with Junior Class Council members to do something more positive in their school. With a combined effort, Ketterring Loves came to fruition.
With the school district’s push of PBIS and the club now in its second year, it has more potential than last year to impact the students of FHS in a positive manner.
“Right now, we’re trying to do many free activities that just spread kindness and love,” Kesner said.
Kettering Loves is also in charge of Humankind Day, a day at Fairmont that certain students attend to learn how to spread kindness throughout their community and their school.
Last year, when the students returned from winter break, they were greeted with notes on their lockers with kinds words and encouraging messages.
“The notes on the lockers was to try and randomly communicate a message of love and kindness to kids,” Kesner said. “We got a lot of good feedback from this.”
The overall goal of the club is to make students feel like they are loved and that Fairmont is a kind and welcoming place to be everyday.
“I think when some kids walk into the building, they hear that it’s a nice, safe and good place to be,” Kesner said. “But, there are a lot of kids that fall through the cracks and don’t get the attention or that feeling of love and kindness.”
Caitlin Wilkinson, a senior at Fairmont and a member of Kettering Loves is one of the founders of the rapidly growing club.
“I was asked to go to a leadership conference at Xavier University and the goal there was to create something in our community that’s positive,” she said.
The club members are hoping to create more of an impact each year as the interest and membership continues to grow. Kettering Loves is becoming a name around Fairmont that many recognize and are excited about.
“I hope the club continues because it spreads good things throughout the community,” Wilkinson said. “It positively affected me too because I helped create this at my school.”