Our School Spotlight for the month of December shines brightly on United Junior High School. First-year principal Chris Schwarz highlights the subject of our Program Spotlight for this month – United Junior High’s Kindness Club.
“When I talk about the vision for our school, I want it to be a community of students who are doing nice things for one another. It’s something that’s contagious. It spreads not only throughout the student body, but as well as staff. This is something that if we can spread kindness and just do great things in the community, it highlights our school, it highlights our district, but also our community as a whole,” Schwarz said.
Students from United Junior High have taken part in five kindness projects already this school year. Those projects include: video-taping the Prime Beef Festival and producing copies for residents at Legacy Estates, cleaning medical equipment at the Strom Center, sending birthday cards to a sick child in Southern Illinois, painting pumpkins with 1st grade students, and sending letters to local veterans for Veterans Day. Schwarz hopes the Kindness Club can help shape these young kids during their developmental years.
“They’re not a finished product. Junior High is all about learning, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes. Everybody loves doing nice things for other people, and I just think having that message, especially with being the leader of the school, if it’s coming from the top down, my hope is that everybody buys into that message,” he said.
Schwarz is satisfied with the progress that has been made during his first year at United – something he says wouldn’t be possible without the welcoming attitude of his staff:
“Just working with them day in and day out, it’s a family atmosphere. They’ve been extremely accommodating. They’ve been welcoming. They’ve helped me out in times where – it’s one of those things where you come into a new position – you don’t know what you don’t know. They’ve been extremely helpful, extremely understanding. They’re just talented teachers, and they are just great with our kids. I’m just really lucky to have a great group to work with,” Schwarz said.
The school will receive a $150 check from MTC Communications and a plaque courtesy of Lacky Monuments.
written by Jackson Kane