Bulldogs spread PAWSitive thoughts


AHS students redecorating the chalk hall (from left to right: Sharia Williamson, Autumn Hoff, Serenity Sterkel, Dani Carter, Jaiden Brown, KayLee McDonald & Josie Otto

Safyre Yearling, Junior Website Editor

Alliance High School is participating in several festivities throughout the month of February for Random Acts of Kindness Month. February marks the end of several sports seasons, such as basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading. While the end of it all brings on several emotions, students have been given a sense of positivity to overlook that and take on the rest of the month. The hallways have been decorated, the chalk walls have been redone and positive thoughts are being spread all around.

The AHS Key Club is the main supporter of Random Acts of Kindness month and is sponsoring several activities in celebration. When she was asked about the motivation behind participating in RAK Month, Key Club advisor Roxie Smith, quoted,    

“There is so much negativity in the world- the drama and misuse of the internet can be very taxing on kids.  I just want kids to be happy for even a moment so that they realize their worth.  I love watching kids smile and find joy.  Research shows that the millennial generation may not find true joy.  This makes me sad.  Life can be so beautiful and it isn’t really hard to have joy- we make it hard.  We surround ourselves sometimes with negative people or don’t know how to find our own self worth.  RAK is a reminder of the way we were intended to live.  Life is GOOD!”

On Wednesday, February 8, Key Club members gathered to clean and redecorate the chalk hallway. Students decorated the walls with quotes, various cheap ways to spread kindness amongst the community, smiley faces, and other accents. The ideas feature things such as “pay for the order behind you” and “compliment someone”.

Over the last week, you may have noticed several peers receiving fluorescent yellow smiley face cut-outs. This is another Key Club sponsored activity. Outside of Ms. Smith’s door, there is a black cart with an abundance of pens, smiley faces, and a box. You must pick up a smile, write the person’s name and grade on the front and a compliment on the back and drop it into the decorative box. From there, the smiles are sorted by grade and given to English teachers to distribute to students. On the first day, 20 smiley face compliment cards were delivered, and the number has only increased, the next highest being 79 on Thursday morning. By Friday morning, they had ran out of cards and more needed to be cut.

“It is costing nothing for the students and look at the happiness it is bringing.  Doing nice things for others is not about money – it is about the heart wanting to be kind to another.  I love the participation and hearing the comments the kids make when they receive their smile,” said Ms. Smith.

The idea was not Ms. Smith’s, but one of an anonymous student, who simply wanted to make a change and asked her for help. At first, they thought about having a Facebook page, but because the monitoring would have to be extremely intense, they decided to go with the handwritten form of communication.

Another activity AHS has been taking part in is the “Pennies for Patients” project. There have been plastic containers placed in every English teacher’s classroom. This is to hold donations for cancer patients nationwide. The donation will be made on behalf of Alliance Junior, Sophia Collett, who won her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, one year and eight months ago. Students have taken their spare change from lunch, cars, pockets, etc. and have placed them in these containers.

Key Club members were given envelopes to collect other outside donations as well. The campaign began at the end of January and continues through February 17. In support of cancer victims everywhere, students were asked to dress in a certain color according to class on February 8. Seniors wore pink; Juniors wore purple or their Sophia shirts; Sophomores wore green; Freshmen wore orange.

Ms. Smith stated, “We could sure use some more change to support our cause. This goes to the 17, so perhaps people will dig deep. I also have the paper coming and perhaps someone in the community will want to help us out. This article will got out to the public to and for that, I am grateful!”

While walking through the hallways, you may have noticed several red and pink heart shaped cut outs with the names of everyone in Alliance High School. Did you ever stop and ask yourself who’s behind that? The Alliance High School Student Council took the time to cut out and label each and every heart and hang them up around the school. “The process seems easy, but with so many students, some time was needed out of Student Council’s own time. However, Mrs. Hiemstra and Mrs. Roberts’s cadets helped out tremendously by cutting out the hearts and writing on them. A few of us then took time after school and distributed them in the halls, diversifying them into random spots,” said Student Council President, and Alliance High School junior, Dani Carter.

In an online survey, out of 103 people, 91% responded “yes” to being asked if they had went and searched for their heart, once they realized what the purpose was.

“My favorite part is how everyone seems to be looking for their names and they are all included,” said Student Council Vice President, Josie Otto.

The events of February seems to have united the students of Alliance High School, helping engage people, who may not have interacted on a normal day.

Dani Carter says, “Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone smile over something so simple.”

Alliance High School has a new, vibrant face this month and the smiles of students are visible throughout each and every day. Whether it’s following a donation to Pennies for Patients, finding their heart or receiving their smile, students of every grade have a newfound excitement for coming to school.