Acts of Kindness Day

A Day To Be Kind
Posted on 10/24/2017
Acts of Kindness Day

In a world that sometimes seems increasingly unkind, uncivil, and even cruel, on a sunny October Saturday, Rio Rancho bucked the trend.

Rio Rancho Public Schools, the City of Rio Rancho, and business and community groups came together to spend an afternoon devoted to kindness.  For three hours, they demonstrated ways they've helped create a culture of kindness in the community, ideas of little things to do to be kind, and singing, dancing, and cheering from ten performance groups.

Children visiting Stapleton Elementary's booth could make "kindness bracelets."  The reading therapy dogs at the Tales of Joy booth lavished kindness on everybody.  The Vista Grande Elementary booth even handed out free kudos -- pick a number (1 to 271!) and receive the compliment of your choice!

Mayor Hull presenting Acts of Kindness Award to John SmithAt the event's opening ceremony, Mayor Gregg Hull presented the annual Acts of Kindness Award to John Smith, who for more than 20 years has served as a substitute teacher in Rio Rancho classrooms and shared stories of his remarkable life.  Now 93, Mr. Smith recently retired from the classroom but still shows up at special events and graduations.  He's attended more Rio Rancho High graduations than anyone except for Superintendent Sue Cleveland and seen more than 9,000 students "walk" to receive their diplomas. 

Dr. Cleveland and Rio Rancho Police Captain Andrew Rodriguez also welcomed the guests, with  Casey Hennigan singing the national anthem.  The Enchanted Hills Young Marines presented the colors, and Eagle Ridge Middle School eighth grader Jason Christopherson acted as the day's MC.  

Police officers and children at Acts of Kindness DayThe goal of Acts of Kindness Day is simple: to get people to think about how they treat one another and encourage a culture of civility in our schools and community.  
The event draws its inspiration from Rachel’s Challenge, a program which urges teens to strive for an atmosphere of kindness and compassion in schools and to reject bullying and violence. Rachel’s Challenge is named in honor of Rachel Scott, one of the students killed in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.  In keeping with Rachel’s legacy, Acts of Kindness Day encourages students to reach out to and connect with all of their peers, especially those who might feel ignored or threatened, and to treat each other with courtesy and respect with the ultimate objective of banishing bullying.