A day of fun, love, and most importantly kindness is on the agenda each year at Fairmont High School, as students are offered a unique opportunity to take time away from their academic classes to focus on a different type of content.
The goal for HumanKind day is to be even better than in years past. Nick Jackson, a motivational speaker from Speakers of Love will be a guest speaker this year. Students reached out to him through Twitter and they convinced him to come to HumanKind day.
Students who lead HumanKind day are members of Kettering Loves or Growing Peace Club. Many teachers and principals are involved in the day as well, including Matt Kesner, West Unit counselor.
100 people will be running the sessions, guiding kids through activities and monitoring conversations. The group of leaders from Kettering Loves and Growing Peace Club will meet six times prior to the event, in order to have a successful HumanKind day on Friday November 17.
The goal is to have about 300 students to be involved in HumanKind day. “HumanKind day will be our way of taking a big group of kids and helping them see that they’re important, that what they do here in the building is important,” Kesner said.
Students will not only work with people who they may have never worked with, they will also have the opportunity to be involved in something outside of their normal classroom environment.
The students who went to a conference last year about spreading positivity felt inspired to do something good for their school. “The reason we do HumanKind day is we went to the Anthony Munoz youth leadership seminar and that kind of got us fired up to do something productive in our school, or something meaningful in our school,” Kesner said.
This year will also be different because it will be more student led rather than teacher led. The students will have more responsibility and be able to take charge in new ways.
“The goal is to make this bigger than in years past but we don’t just want to sit and talk to kids. We want them to engage in meaningful conversations in how they can make an impact on our school,” Kesner said.
Tyler Alexander, principal at Fairmont High School, feels great value in HumanKind day. When he lets hundreds of kids miss class for an entire day, he makes sure that there is great meaning in doing so.
“Any time we pull students from class, we really look at the benefit compared to the negatives of missing class,” Alexander said. “I believe that this event has way more positives than negatives.”
Principal Alexander said HumanKind day is the day before students go on Thanksgiving break because that day is usually filled with assessments and end of midterm type work, rather than brand new direct instruction.
Alexander will be taking part in a skit. He feels that making the day more student led will be more valuable for everyone involved. Students hear him on the announcements everyday, but always enjoy seeing him out and about being involved first hand.
The day will be a unique experience because students get to take the whole day off to work with different types of students who all have one goal in mind: kindness.
“I believe that it is a great event because just like when adults and students are exactly the same, you tend to gravitate towards folks that are similar to you,” Alexander said.
Students may even end the day with a new friendship.“I want students to walk away from that day with students they are not typically around. I want them to walk around with someone new, maybe created a new friendship,” Alexander said.
The goal that students can take away from the day is how to work with students who they may have never worked with before or who may be different from their typical ‘friend group.’
“I believe this is a great way for students to see that there are other students that may not believe the same things, yet they will see that we’re really not that different, we’re still human beings,” Alexander said.
Senior, Caitlyn Wilkinson, will partake in her third year of doing HumanKind day this Friday.
She is most looking forward to listening to Nick Jackson, the creator of Speak Loves. He will be running the whole event. Jackson values getting more in tune with your feelings.
“It gives you a chance to get to know people. You really learn more about them than if you were to meet them in a classroom setting,” Wilkinson said.