Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
Kindness is contagious. Help us spread it. This simple theme of our third annual district Day of Kindness, while so basic that even our youngest students can understand it, carries deep meaning in each of our seven schools. We believe that by providing positive opportunities to engage in kind behavior–not only on February 9, but throughout the year–we are actively fulfilling the social development aspect of our mission, "...to develop fully the necessary academic and social skills to become responsible and productive members of a democratic society."
In February, every student, in every school will participate in the Day of Kindness. Events include opportunities to promote planned and random acts of kindness expanding beyond the classroom walls throughout our community.
Schools have planned activities that will benefit veterans, nursing home residents, global relief projects, food banks, homeless shelters, the SPCA and many more charitable organizations. More importantly, the schools will be focusing on activities that model how we can be kind to one another, as individuals. We believe instilling these positive messages at an early age only serves to develop strong character traits in the students who we set out into the world a few short years later.
One recent example of how high school students have shown their compassion and willingness to dedicate themselves to a cause greater than themselves is the Bald for Bucks event that happened last week at Lancaster High School. In the six years that our high school has participated in this event, more than $100,000 has been raised for cancer research and patient support on behalf of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. This year's team of 57 students and faculty exceeded their fundraising goal, raising more than $18 thousand.
It is in efforts like these, and so many others throughout the year, that Lancaster shines above the rest to show care and compassion for others, and one reason why we know we are on the right track with our annual celebration of kind acts.
In fact, students from our student union and Leadership Academy were invited this summer to present to the National Association of Secondary Principals about how our student-centric style of leadership has created a climate in our schools that others wish to emulate. If you missed the article in our recent newsletter, you can view it on our website at www.lancasterschools.org/ssac.
Don't forget to join us for the Day of Kindness. Families are encouraged to attend our Family Fun Night at the field house featuring games, entertainment, prizes, and refreshments. The evening is orchestrated in large part by students from two of our academies–Leadership and Hospitality and Tourism–and is the culmination months of planning and preparation on the part of our Bullyproof Partnership.
Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools