Kind Club

Kind Club
Posted on 01/28/2022
Middle School Counselor Ami Kemp Kind Club promotes a positive climate at Calabasas
By Sarah Wright

“Kindness is fundamental,” according to the Ben’s Bells website.

When Ami Kemp transferred to Calabasas to serve as the middle school counselor last summer, she had the intention of building programs to promote social and emotional learning on campus.

Many people are concerned about the social and emotional wellbeing of adolescents as they have lived through two pandemic years and have coped with changing school schedules.

One way that Kemp decided to help the middle school students develop social and emotional skills is to develop a Kind Club on campus.

The Kind Club has been working to spread kindness throughout the school year by delivering happy birthday tags to students on their birthdays, writing kind notes to teachers around Thanksgiving, painting rocks, and the club is planning to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day in February.

One goal of the Kind Club is to collaborate with Ben’s Bells, an organization based in Tucson that promotes kindness in schools and communities, to install a kind mural on the Calabasas campus near the north multipurpose room. The Kind Club is hoping to fundraise enough money to create a large tree-shaped mural.

So far, the club has raised $3,500, nearly reaching its goal of raising $4,000 to be able to pay for the mural.

The 26 students who are participating in Kind Club have held a couple of successful fundraisers, including selling “Shoo the Boos Away” grams at Halloween, and most recently, selling smiley face pins that students can wear on their lanyards to participate in casual dress for a whole week. The Kind Club also sells water bottles to students throughout the school day.

The club is also planning to sell Kind Cougars t-shirts to teachers and staff that teachers would be able to wear with jeans on Wednesdays.

In collaboration with Ben’s Bells, the club plans to start “belling” people. There will be a process to nominate a teacher or student who has been kind to receive a Ben’s bell.

Santiago Valenzuela, a sixth-grade student, and Kind Club member said, “I like it because it’s based around being kind to other people and treating people how you would want to be treated.”

He said he enjoys the activities because it has allowed him to meet people he wouldn’t have met had he not joined the club.

“Lots of middle schoolers are deciding who they are and what they want to be, and a club like [Kind Club] can help them feel more comfortable doing that,” Valenzuela said.