Pilot program at Gilbert school aims to spread kindness

GILBERT, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- Some high school students in Gilbert are getting the opportunity to develop ideas to make their school more kind, as some of the first students to take part in one initiative.

Recently, Gilbert was officially given the nickname Kindness USA, after the town's council adopted a resolution to promote kindness during Gilbert Kindness Week, which is scheduled for April. On Tuesday however, one high school was able to test a pilot program to promote kindness in their school, with Gilbert Christian High School students taking part, for the first time ever, in the kindness decision jam.

The pilot program is part of Global Pay It Forward Day.

"It's to show that if you do a kind act, anything, it can change someone's life and, cause a ripple that goes on forever," said Darleen Santore, the U.S. Ambassador for Global Pay It Forward Day.

Students sit in groups and write down the things that are working well at the school, enabling them to be kind.

"It's really cool that we had to write it down, because then it made us aware of the things that we could do here in the school, and I think it's going to start up some good conversations to have with people," said senior Jordan Stratman.

Then they post things that hold students back from being kind.

"We talked about pride a lot, because a lot of times, high schoolers think that they're too cool to spread kindness to people," said junior Cade Gass.

Then, they vote for the top ideas, and after that, those ideas become action.

"To the things that are happening everyday that are pulling kids back, facing depression, or bullying, or anxiety, and here they were today, coming up with solutions that they can implement right now," said Santore.

The model of the program gives the students power over the issues in their school, and the power to fix them.

"I think it makes all the difference, because we are the ones facing the issues ourselves," said Gass. "Even as leaders at the school, we still struggle with the issues that we talked about."

Clearly Relevant Marketing was the production team at the school. They'll be taking this video to show other schools about the program, and how they can implement it into their schools. They're hoping schools not just in Arizona, but nationally will hop on board and get involved in the movement.