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Unqua Students Spread Kindness Through Big and Small Acts

The Kindness Club at Unqua Elementary School is on a mission to help people on Long Island and around the world. While several of the group’s charitable initiatives have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students remain committed to charity.

Library media specialist Melinda Alford started the club earlier this year for fourth and fifth graders. The goal was to meet four times in the spring to create projects that would benefit various organizations, using funding from a grant she won from the Long Island School Media Association. A group of 20 students met in early March to make gift bags for the John’s Place homeless shelter in Greenport.

The second meeting was planned to make dog and cat toys to be donated to an animal shelter and the third and fourth meetings were planned to make Kenyan bead bracelets and develop a school-wide fundraiser for Reason2Smile. With the pandemic halting those projects, the remaining money from the grant was donated to Reason2Smile, which supports a school in Kenya. Ms. Alford received premade Kenyan bead bracelets, mailing two to each club member. She asked that they keep one and give the other away.

“I asked that when they wore their bracelet, to please do something kind for someone else,” Ms. Alford said. “It certainly has given my students a reason to smile and to share their kindness with others.”

Student Michael V. gave his second bracelet to his sister. Among his recent acts of kindness include helping his sister with homework, cooking lunch and working with his grandmother to fix her deck. Liam S. offers to water the plants at his house daily and help a child who fell off his bike a park.