Finding the good: students surprised to be nice | State


GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan., November 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A social worker from North Saginaw Charter Academy (NSCA) was on a mission to surprise students for being nice in November and December, an appropriate time that included World Kindness Day to November 13.

The goal of Caught Being Kind is to foster a positive and meaningful culture in school. A safe and comfortable environment is essential for students to learn and grow.

“Students have emotional and behavioral difficulties in school after being virtual for so long,” said Chelsea unsworth, social worker at the NSCA. “We hope this program will encourage and reward random acts of kindness throughout the school.”

To kick off the program, staff visited classrooms to teach students about kindness and get them excited about the challenge. Unsworth hopes the challenge will inspire students and extend beyond the six weeks, believing it’s a great way to boost morale and help students become aware of their actions towards others.

“When students are kind to each other it helps them feel safe and creates an environment they enjoy being a part of,” Unsworth said. “It feels good to be nice and when others are nice to you.”

So far, during Caught Being Kind, students have shown kindness in myriad ways, including helping a friend when they are hurt, exhibiting good behavior in class, and encouraging classmates. They can even win tickets to redeem for prizes like Taco Bell snacks and tacos.

“We want students to leave this school each day with a positive attitude so that they can continue and spread kindness in the community,” Unsworth said. “We also want to instill kindness as a value in our students, so that they carry it with them when they graduate from our school in the future.”

Caught Being Kind is a natural progression for the NSCA, who practice the NHA Concentration Program on a daily basis. Moral focus includes teaching virtues such as respect, gratitude, and persistence to help students learn the importance of making good decisions and doing the right things in life. It provides a solid foundation to help students develop the personal qualities that lead to success in school, at home, and as a member of society. Students learn that hard work and good character are essential in all aspects of life. Unsworth believes that kindness is linked to almost all of the virtues of moral focus, as each virtue embodies what it means to be kind.

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It is not uncommon for NHA students and staff to intentionally instill moral focus beyond the classroom. To verify Walker Charter Academy’s the whole school Challenge of intentional acts of kindness, where students left encouraging notes, created kindness reports, and celebrated World Kindness Day with coloring pages to give to friends, teachers and family.

About the National Heritage Academies:

NHL is a network of 98 tuition-free public charter schools in nine states, serving more than 60,000 K-12 students. For more information visit

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