Tongue River Elementary Seeks to Spread Message of Kindness

Tongue River Elementary School students participate in a meet-and-greet to promote kindness. (Photo by Pat Blair)

The faculty, staff and administrators of Tongue River Elementary School want students to know that academics are important – but kindness is even more important.

Annie Griffin, who's the school's principal, said that message was kicked off this week with a series of “Start With Hello” activities aimed at teaching children to reach out to other students and spread kindness.

Events culminated at 8 a.m. Thursday when all of the elementary school students gathered in the gym to sing and participate in a meet-and-greet concentric circle activity led by Griffin.

But Griffin said the effort to promote kindness will extend beyond this week and beyond Tongue River Elementary School.

Griffin said there will be Third Thursday kindness activities at the school all year long.

She said the school has partnered with the Union at the Montgomery in Sheridan, providing for t-shirts and buttons bearing the Katie Malin French motto, “But First, Kindness” to be handed out to students who are being kind to others.

Griffin said throughout the year, students who are observed in acts of kindness will receive postcards and “But First, Kindness” buttons. Griffin said part of the goal is teaching students that socially isolating other students isn't okay.

She said Tongue River Elementary looks forward to a year of making the school and the Tongue River Valley community better by spreading kindness.

Children shake hands as part of Thursday morning's gathering. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Singing was also part of the activity. (Photo by Pat Blair)