#bethekindkid Kindness in Action

Kindness in Action celebrations are happening at the Children’s Museum, JCC South Hills and in local communities

Today is World Kindness Day. You might notice Pittsburghers donning cardigans to celebrate the beloved Fred Rogers. But for many local kids the celebrating began weeks ago. More than 4,300 students from 140 classrooms in 11 school districts have been participating in the #bethekindkid Kindness in Action campaign since it began in September.

In Upper St. Clair, high schoolers planned a Kindness Week celebration that took place during mid-October. Members of USCHS Student Council and the school’s No Place for Hate committee even donned capes and masks to show elementary schoolers that kindness is a superpower.

On visits to Baker, Eisenhower and Streams elementary schools, they helped students make their own kindness superhero masks, and helped first and second graders write thank you notes to someone special. Check out the video here.

“We hope our efforts to promote kindness will actually reach every high school student,” said USC senior Carly Shontz. “Kindness is so important in treating others with respect and creating a good environment for us to learn and socialize in.”

Upper St. Clair High School students spent Oct. 16-20.

Along with Shontz, students included seniors Ava Casciato, Kate Falce, Joe Donnelly and Luke McDonough; juniors Ryan Larocco, Ben Seewald, Emma Toosi and Jack Yurcich; sophomores Bella Donnelly, Gianna D’Orazio, Braidyn Recker, Lily Simons and Gigi Spina; and freshmen Caty Howard, Coco Jones, Trevor McClintock–Comeaux and Rachel Scharrer.

Student leadership team members said they hope their classmates had a better day because of their efforts to promote kindness.

“Even if it is just one person, it is worth it because that one person having a better day could lead to so many more positive actions in the future,” said junior Ryan Larocco. “While not everyone will be kind all the time, hopefully these efforts can be the beginnings of a kinder Upper St. Clair High School.”

Dr. Dan Beck, assistant principal, and Brooke Tarcson, head of student activities, enjoyed serving as advisers for the project.

“It was awesome to partner with students as we reflected on the impact of kindness in our lives, and all we needed to do was provide them with the opportunity,” Dr. Beck said. “Students were truly empowered to discover innovative ways to spread kindness in our community, and it was a blast to watch how it all played out.”


Other students in more than a dozen local classrooms have created craft projects that promote kindness. We’ll be sharing instructions for those projects throughout the coming weeks as part of our Maker Monday series.

Kids can try this week’s project, created by kindergarteners at Bethel Park’s Memorial Elementary School. The Bethel Park students planned a donation drive to help South Hills Pet Rescue and they created colorful posters to promote their effort. Your child can dream up their own kindness effort and follow the project instructions to make their own poster.

Coming up next week: a “kindness keychain” maker project created by students at Fox Chapel’s Hartwood Elementary School.

#bethekindkid Kindness in Action


Meanwhile, art projects and digital artifacts created by students from dozens of other schools are on display beginning today at the #bethekindkid Kindness in Action Campaign exhibit spaces at the Children’s Museum cafe and at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC) South Hills location.

At the Children’s Museum, families will see items created by students from Bethel Park, Pine-Richland, Mt. Lebanon and Fox Chapel, along with the campaign’s inspiring celebration video. At the JCC, families can visit the Kindness Tree created by students at Elizabeth Forward School District.

All this creative work is meant to inspire kindness in those who experience it. But just as powerfully, the work of creating kindness-infused art and doing the kind of outreach that the teenagers did in Upper St. Clair can be really valuable for those making the effort.

“As high school students and young adults, I think it can be difficult to enjoy moments in the present,” said USCHS’s  Larocco.

“Too often, we are looking at our future or worrying about our past. The little kids reintroduced the simplicity and pure joy of life to me. Mrs. Kopeko, a kindergarten teacher at Streams, was telling us that she hopes that what she teaches in kindergarten sticks with her students and they can keep the joy as they grow older. I am so glad I was able to feel that joy and carry that with me for as long as I can.”