UNION, NJ – Lessons of kindness and respect topped the curriculum during Respect Week, Oct. 2 – 6, at Washington Elementary School.

School counselor Kimberly Marano planned activities for the week to help students and staff members promote kindness and respect.  “We are committed to promoting kindness here at WES not only during a week as important as Respect Week, but every day,” she said.

On Monday, each classroom was given a ceiling tile and each class was asked to provide an inspirational message on the tile to be displayed along the entire first floor hallway.  The message became the theme of the tile.  Students and faculty wore blue for “World Day of Bullying Prevention” and students learned the definition of respect and attended an assembly, “The Power of One.”

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On Tuesday, teachers held classroom discussions on the importance of respect in their lives – “respect starts with you”.  Each student was given a minion on which they wrote one way to respect themselves, the environment, others or their school.  The minions are displayed in the front hallway, “A Minion Ways to Be Respectful.”

“We encourage students to keep their chins up always,” said school principal Thomas Matthews, “to not only look on the bright side of things, but to also appreciate all of the beautiful artwork that reminds us on a daily basis how important it is to be kind.”

Students created an acrostic poem on Wednesday about how to respect other’s feelings, respect the differences in others, respect and follow rules, and respect themselves.  The poems are displayed throughout the hallways of Washington School.

“A Rainbow of Friends is a Dream We Can Share Where Everyone is Treated with Kindness and Care” was the theme on Thursday when each student received a cut-out of a boy or girl to write or draw something unique about themselves.  Students were able to share why they are special and unique and the classes discussed the importance of respecting each other’s differences and recognize the beauty in those differences. 

On Friday, students wore their ‘kindness’ t-shirts, Washington School attire or school colors blue and yellow as a way to show school spirit and kindness and respect for their school.