Clay Local School District student puts up ‘Kindness Tree’ at school

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 12:31 PM EST
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CLAY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WSAZ) - A Clay School District seventh-grader has made it his mission to spread kindness by putting words of affirmation where students pass by every day and has called it the ‘Kindness Tree.’

“I am brave, the best is yet to come,” said seventh-grader Landen Puckett, reading some messages on the tree. “Some positive affirmations, such as I am beautiful, I am smart.”

These are the types of messages Puckett wants his friends to hear when they come to school every day.

“Check on a friend who is sad, bring a teacher coffee,” he said.

Puckett and his teacher, Angel Harris, put the kindness tree up on the main floor of Clay Local School District, full of nice messages and reminders.

“Landen came to me and he had seen a design similar to this on Pinterest, I believe, and he wanted to do something similar in the school,” Harris said. “So we got together and worked it all out.”

“I wanted to put it in the school because this is where kids spend most of their time,” Puckett said. “They spend eight hours here Monday through Friday, so if we can add this stuff into the school, we could have an influence on kids as young as preschool to 12th grade.”

Puckett wants to make school an even more positive environment. With the help and support of his administrators, he has a goal of putting an end to bullying.

“I’ve noticed over the past several years, possibly due to COVID, it seems like we don’t know how to speak to each other anymore with kindness,” Harris said.

“We’ve notice there are less social interactions inside of our schools and all around the world, actually,” Puckett said.

“We need to practice that. Practice being kind to each other, doing nice things, saying nice things, lifting each other up,” Harris said.

“By implementing this, into our school districts we can encourage students not only to be kind but have social interactions with one another,” Puckett said.

Puckett and Harris have already seen a difference in the halls.

“The kids come right through this hallway out to the buses every day, so when I’m standing out here I hear their comments, everything’s been positive,” Harris said.

“At least you’re trying, and you’re trying to be the change, and you see other kids also trying to be a change inside the school district,” Puckett said. “So if we can all come together inside Clay Local School District, we can all be a change.”

Landen and his teacher have been working on a website with anti-bullying resources for students, parents and teachers. They hope to get the site up and running soon.

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