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Celebrating Kindness With Music And Words At Hawley



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After a school-wide effort to focus on kindness, an assembly was held at Hawley Elementary School on December 20 as a culminating celebration.

Throughout December — as language arts consultant Patti Vitarelli, who oversaw the month’s efforts and the December 20 assembly with the school’s Kindness Committee, explained — Hawley students focused on kindness. Every Hawley student read author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’s book The Word Collector, which is an inspiring story about the transformative power of words, according to a description for the book. After reading the book, grade levels completed different projects combining the power of words with being kind, and students representing each grade presented examples of those lessons at the assembly.

Words the students found particularly inspiring were hung as decorations in the school’s hallways too. Ms Vitarelli shared that some of those words were “persevere,” “hero,” “teacher,” “love,” and “you.”

Each grade also took turns leading the assembly in singing songs that emphasize kindness.

First graders shared how they can use their words to change the world. As one student said at the assembly, words can “be positive if someone is being mean.” The first graders then led the assembly in singing Carole King’s song “Beautiful.”

The students sang out loudly, “You’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart.”

Third grade students turned words they selected from text into poems, and the group sang Colbie Caillat’s “Never Gonna Let You Down.” Kindergarteners selected words that they can use to make the world a better place and sang Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World.”

“Words have power, and words matter,” Hawley Principal Christopher Moretti said at the assembly, adding that words stay with people long after conversations are over.

Sharing videos of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, Lou Gehrig, and Dr Jane Goodall to show the students how each used their words to impact the world, Mr Moretti then told the students to “reach for your own words.”

“Remember to pick your words carefully, because words do matter,” Mr Moretti said.

Near the end of the assembly, Ms Vitarelli said even though Hawley’s month of kindness is over, “it does not mean kindness ends today.”

Then the entire school sang the song “Nothing More” by The Alternate Routes. Everyone clapped along as the assembled students and teachers collectively sang, “We are love. We are one. We are how we treat each other when the day is done. We are peace. We are war. We are how we treat each other and nothing more.”

Hawley lead teacher Jenna Connors assists student Emilia Lasaro at the December 20 assembly as she reads an example of one of the word projects completed at the school in the last month. —Bee Photos, Hallabeck
Hawley Elementary School Principal Christopher Moretti speaks at the December 20 assembly.
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