Region 16 kicks off kindness campaign

President of CARE Campaign Mike Finoia performs a song Tuesday during an assembly at Prospect Elementary School to kick off a new kindness campaign in Region 16. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

President of CARE Campaign Mike Finoia performs a song Tuesday during an assembly at Prospect Elementary School to kick off a new kindness campaign in Region 16. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

REGION 16 — A little kindness can go a long way. That is the thought behind a new campaign launched Tuesday in Region 16.

The region, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, kicked off a kindness campaign with assemblies for students at Prospect Elementary School and Laurel Ledge Elementary School.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said the idea behind the campaign is to help teach children to be more respectful and sensitive of others, and address topics like bullying and discrimination.

“I don’t think we do enough of that,” he said.

Mike Finoia, president of CARE Campaign, along with members of the student councils from Prospect Elementary and Laurel Ledge developed a presentation on kindness that was delivered at both of the schools.

Students and staff also received T-shirts, which were donated by the Waterbury-based Lombard Group. The T-shirts carried a message and a symbol of kindness chosen through a student contest. The design on the front of the shirt is children holding hands around the earth, while the back of the shirt reads: “Kindness begins with me. Start a chain reaction. Region 16.”

Celia Misuraca, a second-grader at Prospect Elementary, designed the front of the T-shirt. Laurel Ledge fourth-grader Abigail Messana designed the back.

The campaign stretches beyond the elementary level, as students from Long River Middle School and Woodland Regional High School visited their younger peers Wednesday, after press time, to read to them and do kindness activities.

Administrators are looking to reinforce the message delivered Tuesday throughout the school year whether in lesson plans, morning announcements or simply feedback from teachers.

“It’s really an effort to emphasis how much kindness can make a difference to anyone,” Prospect Elementary School Assistant Principal Jeffrey Haddad said.