Mark Twain Junior High School Guidance Counselor Ashlyn Williams said junior high and senior high school students have been focusing on reaching out to fellow students who are feeling isolated through activities shared from the Sandy Hook Community.

Mark Twain Junior High School sixth grader Brayden Moss used an inspirational quote he sees in his bedroom each day to help share kindness with students in Ralls County Elementary School.

His handwritten letter bearing the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” will be a part of a “kindness board” — a surprise decoration containing at least 20 of the positive messages that will adorn each classroom door in the elementary school Friday.

Mark Twain Junior High School Guidance Counselor Ashlyn Williams said junior high and senior high school students have been focusing on reaching out to fellow students who are feeling isolated through activities shared from the Sandy Hook Community.

An assembly for junior high and senior high school students kicked off the activities, entitled “Start with Hello.” She said the week of activities reinforced how students can exhibit kindness and reach out to fellow students who are feeling alone or acting strangely.

“It's mainly the isolation that's felt by kids that causes them to act out in harmful ways,” Williams said. “They put on this wonderful program, and we wanted to be a part of that.”

She said that students feeling isolated is a “problem that's seen everywhere,” but she stressed that it is easy to prevent through three steps: See someone alone, reach out to help and start with hello.

Throughout the week, junior high and senior high students participated in scenarios that helped them relate to what isolation could look or feel like. Students learned about how to include people — both face-to-face and online — and practice the Golden Rule of treating others as they wish to be treated.

Ralls County Elementary Students have also been engaged in a week of activities geared toward showing kindness. They decorated doors for their older colleagues last year. On Friday, they will receive a surprise from the kindness boards on each of their doors.

Brayden said he and classmate Ava Ebers have been reading a book called “Pay it Forward,” which emphasized that if one person shares an act of kindness with three people, and they each do the same, the end result can reach 3 million people within one year.

Ava and Brayden have both decided to take their actions beyond saying hello to people who are alone and making new friends.

“I figured that I could go a little farther, and whenever I see someone who needs help, I try to help them,” she said. “I've help them find things in their math books or help them finish assignments.” Brayden found the opportunity to offer a helping hand, too. “I've got a buddy with a broken shoulder right now, so I've been helping him put his stuff in his locker, and helping him get stuff around,” he said. “We have the two biggest instruments in the band class, so I help him out with that.”

Ava hoped her letter's quote, “When you go home, tell them of us and say For Your Tomorrow, We Gave our Today,” would make help lift someone's spirits.

“When I was writing my quote this morning, I was looking at other people's quotes, and I was thinking, I wonder if any of these quotes could change somebody's life,” Ava said. “Because there are so many small things that can change a person's life, so I was wondering if maybe me and one of my friends could be the ones that changes their lives.”

Mark Twain Senior High School students also participated in the week's activities. Senior Lauren Williams and junior Aimee Ferry expressed their enthusiasm to reach out to fellow students, after learning more about how students can be impacted by actions negative and positive.

Aimee said her note reminded students to “leave a glitter trail of happiness everywhere you go.”

“I feel like it will relate to the little kids, because they're young and like to have fun,” she said. “Lots of the little girls like glitter. Glitter is happy.” Lauren shared the meaning behind her quote, “Don't be afraid to be you.”

“I know there are a lot of people who don't act a certain way at school — because they're afraid that people will judge them, so they blend in more,” she said. “Once you express your feelings, there's always someone who's going to be there for you, so it's OK to be who you are.”

Williams said Friday's seemingly small actions can make a positive impact on a person, and she hopes that students continue to exhibit kind actions and reach out more often to fellow students.

“Even something as simple as a note, it can become really personable,” she said. “You may come across a note, and not even know that that's what you needed for the day, and I really love that.”

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com