Spreading the Aquinas Kindness
By: Abigail Juskiewicz
The Aquinas Kindness Club has been active at STA for about a decade. This club was started by alumni Courtney Ayala, Tiffany Taxis, Sydney Boyd, and Mrs. Hagood, STA’s freshman theology teacher, and in 2019 Mr. Balmaceda joined as the moderator for the boys. The club tries to not only spread kindness, but to also teach students how to “choose KIND” online and in person. They hope to make students aware of bullying, that not only goes on here but also in teenagers’ everyday lives. They also try to support different clubs and activities around campus.
The club has many different ways that they try to support their mission. They run an Instagram account where they post inspirational quotes, activities that are going around campus, such as the Relay for Life, and numerous different sporting events. Members of the club also go to the freshman PE/Health class and give presentations on bullying, mental health, and other topics. They give these presentations once a month, usually the first Friday of the month. The club also tries to support other clubs and activities going on around campus. During Catholic Schools Week, the morning of Student Appreciation Day, Aquinas Kindness set up a hot cocoa station in the cafeteria for the students. They set up a booth for the Open House and helped welcome people to the school. They also set up a booth for Relay for Life where they helped C.A.R.E. Club raise money for cancer research. During National Kindness Week they also set up a tree in the cafeteria of kids and with kind words and inspirational quotes. (pictured above)
On Thursday, April 28th, some of the club members went to St. Mark’s Episcopal School to talk to 5th-7th graders. At the school, the STA girls were able to give a presentation to the younger girls at St. Mark about bullying. After the presentation the girls split up into groups and got to know each other a little better. This was very beneficial due to the fact that the girls were different ages. When in small groups the younger girls were able to open up about different things going on in their lives and different problems going on at their school. The older club members were able to put their opinions in and try to help the younger girls understand how to better solve their problems. At the end of their time there, the members got the girls to line up and play telephone with them.
Once they were done, they took the first girl who came up with the mini-sentences and the last girl at the end of the line and had them come up to the front. The first and last girl heard very different sentences. This exercise was to show the girls how rumors can spread and change as they go around. This can leave the person they are spreading rumors about hurt. While all this was happening with the girls, the boys had their own presentation. The older boys taught the younger boys how to tie ties. “The boys learn to tie a tie with a focus on maturity, civility and using positive words of encouragement.” (Mrs. Hagood) The guys also sat with and talked to them and helped them with problems they may have. Overall, the guys just tried to help the younger boys in any way they could.
This club has made a big impact on everyone they come in contact with. The club continues to have a great impact on the students at STA. Hopefully, they will continue to spread kindness around their campus and the schools they go and visit.