Kindness is about freely and sincerely sharing our time, skills, and resources to improve the lives of others and the world. It involves genuine acts of love, compassion, generosity, and service. The ways to show kindness are countless, ranging from a friendly smile to more significant gestures. Every act can create an endless ripple of kindness that leads to a better world.
At Owensboro Parent, we wanted to spotlight the kindness in our community. We partnered with Daviess County Public Schools and their Be Kind initiative to bring you stories of local kids being kind. There were no parameters. We simply wanted stories of kindness, no matter how big or how small.
We were overwhelmed with the submissions and can’t wait for you to read them all!
Alex Jimenez Velazquez
West Louisville Elementary School
Fifth grader Alex Jimenez Velazquez exudes kindness. Alex was student of the month recently for being accepting of others. He always has a smile on his face and is a great friend to others. Alex puts forth 100% effort on every assignment he is given. He always helps others without being asked. Alex uses his skills as a bilingual speaker to seek out new students and welcome them to the school. He always supports his school in whatever way he can. WLES is so proud of Alex!
Tamarack Elementary School
According to Tamarack Elementary teacher Courtney McEnroe, when she thinks of kindness, she thinks of Lily Manasco.
Lily received a DCPS Kids First Medal for collecting school supplies for her 8th birthday, which she donated to Tamarack’s Family Resource Center. But Mrs. McEnroe says Lily shows kindness to all in the classroom each and every day.
“If she notices someone playing alone, she goes over and encourages them to join her play group,” Mrs. McEnroe said. “She will wrap her little arms around a friend and squeeze them when they are sad. When I was sick last month, and coughing my head off as I was teaching, she quietly got a cough drop out of her backpack and handed it to me. She is like a little mother hen, constantly making sure everyone around her is taken care of and feels loved. She makes me smile, and I am so blessed I get to witness the kindness she shows others every day.”
Meadow Lands Elementary School
Marley Wade is a third grader at MLES. As a second grader Marley would always ask Guidance Counselor Brad Dedman if he could join the school’s Boys’ Group, but this club is only available to third graders. When Marley finally became a 3rd grader, he enthusiastically joined.
One of their first adventures of the year for Boys’ Group was to explore the creek and wooded area on the perimeter of the school’s campus. According to Dedman, this is a big day for some of the boys as many have not been in nature.
“Their group is large and oftentimes there are students who struggle with navigating the terrain, Dedman said. “Marley noticed that other boys were struggling to navigate the terrain of the woods. He immediately stopped the fun he was having to help several students cross creeks, go over logs, and climb up steep creek banks. He did this without being asked. He does this every time someone needs help while in the woods. He smiles as he helps others. I thought his actions were exceptional.”
Marley continues to be a big help during Boys’ Group, but recently took his kindness up another notch. A fellow classmate had surgery on his legs and would require the use of a wheelchair for several weeks. Once again, Marley noticed someone in need and he became the designated person to push the student everywhere he needed to go.
“Marley did this with a smile,” Dedman said. “Marley did this without complaining. Marley did this because someone needed help. Again, this level of selflessness and kindness is truly exceptional from a 9-year-old boy.”
Daviess County Middle School
Kindness is a word that is often excluded from everyday conversation. However, it is hard to mention the name Maggie Taylor without also mentioning the word kind. Maggie is a light to everyone around her. Maggie does not discriminate against who she shares her kindness with. She is genuine to and with everyone she meets. She greets her teachers and peers daily, with a smile that is true. Maggie is empathetic to those around her and doesn’t judge others for being different. In fact, she encourages and inspires others to see the strength within their differences.
“Maggie is one of those students that a teacher will never forget,” said DCMS School Counselor Melissa Phelps. “And I am sure, many classmates will never forget. Maggie leaves a little piece of herself with everyone she meets.”
College View Middle School
According to College View Middle School teacher Mendy Rue, Brayden Duke is the kindest person she has ever met.
“He truly cares about others and is an amazing example to other students,” Rue said. “When my son had his accident, Brayden decided to have silicone bracelets made to help make money for the medical costs. I also have the privilege to have him twice a day. He helps everyone around him and he is a leader and will work with anyone.”
Brayden shows kindness to all of those around him. When he was younger he sold pecans for a student he knew to help her get a new liver.
He also pushes a CVMS student who is in a wheelchair when he runs cross country.
Brayden exudes kindness on a daily basis at College View MIddle School. Middle Schoolers don’t always interact with adults/teachers, but Brayden does in a respectful, kind way. He always does whatever is asked of him with 100% effort. CVMS is proud that he is a student at their school!
Charlee Heishman Puckett
Burns Elementary School
Kindness is contagious, and the closer you look, the more you’ll find it all around you. The thing is, you don’t have to look very far to see kindness when Charlee Heishman Puckett is around. Charlee is a 5th grader at Burns Elementary and has been a beloved Bobcat since 2nd grade! She adopts kindness as more than just a behavior, but in an art of being helpful, generous, and considerate – doing this without expecting anything in return.
Many describe her as a “ray of sunshine” with a bright smile! With heartfelt hellos to everyone she passes, this tiny, but mighty 5th grader, leads the way in showing how acts of kindness can contribute to a kinder, gentler world. Her teachers observe how she is helpful in many ways and offers positive insight to hardships or challenges that others may face.
With a lens of empathy and love, Charlee is intentional in the ways that she makes others feel. She goes out of her way to make those around her feel loved and admired! She is a student that truly cares about everyone! She has a positive outlook on life and always gives her 100% effort on everything she does.
Charlee is the oldest of her siblings and, according to her family, she is the sweetest child with such a bubbly personality. Whether it be assisting with laundry, helping cook dinner, caring for siblings, or just making sure that friends in the neighborhood have someone to play with, Charlee goes above and beyond to connect with others. Her presence lights up a room and this does not go unnoticed.
We can all show kindness anywhere and anytime. Don’t miss the chance to seize the opportunity wherever you are, just as Charlee shows everyone at Burns Elementary School!
Daviess County High School
Daviess County High School chose to recognize Jacey Lynn for her kindness. She is a student who exudes remarkable character, exceptional academic prowess, and unwavering dedication to our school community.
“As her counselor, I have witnessed her display an outstanding commitment to inclusivity, academic excellence, and service,” said TomiJo Leistner. “She embodies the quintessence of a compassionate and diligent student leader, consistently welcoming all with warmth and an ever-present smile. Her willingness to assist and guide others is truly commendable.”
Jacey has undertaken the responsibility of introducing new students to our school by providing insightful and comprehensive tours, thereby ensuring a smooth transition for them.
One of Jacey’s most admirable qualities is her exceptional ability to balance rigorous academic challenges effortlessly. Juggling a demanding schedule filled with AP and dual credit courses, she has maintained an exemplary grade point average. Her dedication to mastering the highest level of Spanish courses, a feat accomplished by only a select few, speaks volumes about her determination and intellectual abilities.
Not only does Jacey excel academically, but she also consistently demonstrates her leadership qualities. Her recognition as the “Student of the Month” by our esteemed faculty is a testament to her commendable work ethic, collaborative spirit, and positive influence within our school community.
“I find it refreshing to work with a student who is so genuinely kind,” said Mrs. Leistner. “She is not only an asset to our school but a role model for her peers.”
Country Heights Elementary School
Lillian Patterson is a 4th grader at Country Heights Elementary School, where her teachers say she leads by example. She is always quick to pitch in when needed and helps others around her in such a caring, gentle way. Lillian’s kindness comes natural for her. She is one that will do anything to be a helper and a friend, all the while doing so in a calm manner. Lillian is reliable, considerate, mannerly, and a true friend to all.
When asked about Lillian’s kindness, Guidance Counselor Cindy Heady said, “One example I witnessed was when she was doing her school-wide job, Kinder Keeper, which consists of walking kindergarten students from their classroom to the car rider line, one student went astray and she just put her arm around him and led him in the right direction. Her integrity stands out in such a special way.”
Lillian is an active member of the Student Lighthouse Team, CHES choir, and Husky Servant Club. On the Student Lighthouse Team, she is working with a small group of students to develop a plan to improve an area of CHES so that it will be more welcoming to our students and families. As an active Husky Servant Club member, she has written positive messages to hang in the bathrooms at school, made a tie blanket to donate to Borrowed Hearts, and participated in ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Her family has instilled in her to donate items from their home that they do not use anymore to local organizations.
Lillian has a huge servant’s heart, which makes her an amazing leader and learner all wrapped up in kindness!
Burns Middle School
Burns Middle School sixth grader Aries Webb is always helping other students during class activities and on work his fellow students may not understand. He also tries to help others outside of the class with social concerns, such as standing up for others.
Aries teachers agree, he is a wonderful young man. One teacher recounted that Aries has taken the initiative to help another student who has special learning and social needs. He was not asked to help, but saw a student that needed assistance and stepped up. According to the teacher, the student Aries helped felt safe with him and was able to get the help he needed. Aries later talked to the teacher about the particular student and offered information that he thought would help the teacher in the future.
“He truly cares about others,” the teacher said.
Sorgho Elementary School
Sophie Sutton is a student that truly exudes kindness at Sorgho Elementary School. Sophie is an absolute joy for everyone to be around. Her kindness shows best in her willingness to include others. Sophie always has an uplifting spirit and a kind word just when someone needs a “pick-me-up.” She is great about being considerate about other people’s feelings.
Sophie shows kindness by demonstrating empathy for fellow students when they are struggling in class. Sophie is a member of the Student Lighthouse Team at Sorgho Elementary School. She participates regularly in many community service project opportunities. Sophie helped serve at a local church’s community meal to help those in need. Sophie went out of her way to have conversations with the people who came for the meal. She made them feel important by taking time to ask them questions and serve them when they needed a refill or an extra item.
Sophie’s teacher says that she is very kind, not only to her peers but to her as well. She often asks how she can help out in the classroom. Sophie is also very graceful about accepting feedback and always expresses gratitude for this help. Sorgho is very proud that Sophie is a member of their Wildcat family and feels very fortunate that she leads the way as a true role model for kindness.
Audubon Elementary school
At Audubon Elementary, teachers and staff Always Expect Success and believe that empathy and kindness are at the heart of that. The school’s culture is built on five guidelines for success: grit, empathy, embracing diversity, integrity, and self-control. These principles serve as the compass that guides students in their journey towards becoming compassionate and responsible individuals. They set high expectations for students to not only understand these values but to actively practice them in their daily lives.
Fostering a culture of growth, Audubon celebrates students who go above and beyond these guidelines for success. Among the shining Eagles at Audubon is Jace Griggs, a first-grader who has not only embraced but personified the spirit of kindness. Jace has already earned two Eagle Up cards this school year for embodying the school’s guidelines for success. His first recognition came in the fall for demonstrating grit, and he wasted no time in earning his second for exhibiting empathy and integrity. The second recognition, however, holds a heartwarming story that showcases Jace’s innate kindness and compassion.
Mrs. Kelly May, the Family Resource Coordinator at Audubon, shared the story. In an after-school program with a community presenter, Jace noticed a fellow first-grader struggling to understand directions and keep up with the activities. Without any prompting, Jace took it upon himself to be a guiding light for his peer. Throughout the session, he continuously ensured that the struggling student understood the instructions and that he didn’t miss out on the valuable learning experience. Jace’s selfless act not only highlights his empathy but exemplifies the true essence of the DCPS Be Kind Campaign.
Jace’s teacher, Mrs. Jessica Sanders, echoed the sentiments of the school community by stating, “He is always kind!” Mrs. Sanders shared that Jace is known to frequently be on the lookout to help his classmates, whether that is with cleaning up their station, making people laugh, or including others. His classmates also lit up when Jace was mentioned and had great things to say about his kindness. “He helps me when I need help.” “He speaks kindly to us.” “He is honest!” “He plays with other people and he is kind to everyone, not just his friends.” “Jace is funny and makes me laugh.” “He shares and lets us play with him.”
This sentiment speaks volumes about Jace’s consistent commitment to kindness. His actions not only show that he is a kind individual, but also serve as an inspiration to his peers, illustrating the positive impact that even the smallest acts of kindness can have on those around us.