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NewsDepth A+: PAWS Pals

When we first heard of PAWS Pals, we thought it was News Cat nominating her friends for the A+ Award, but after double checking our sources, we found out that PAWS Pals is an exceptional group of 28 fifth graders at Shaw Elementary School, in Beavercreek. The Shaw PAWS Pals are this week’s A+ Award winners.

PAWS stands for Positive Attributes We Support, school counselor Mrs. Cornwell told our team. There are 28 fifth graders who are PAWS Pals, and they have a wide range of responsibilities across the school to lend a hand. Zach told us that he’s responsible for distributing weekend food bags for families that are in need as part of the “Feed the Creek” program. He explained that, with the help of another student, he distributes nearly 70 pounds of feed every Thursday! Hadley told us that she reads to younger students and passes out character rocks to students who are caught doing a good job. Navaeha helps the young students with bus dismissal and tells us that the school’s principal, Ms. Peveler thinks she’s going to be a great teacher!

It isn’t easy to become a Shaw PAWS Pal. Eve told us that there’s an application process and you even have to write an essay about the importance of volunteer work and the positive attributes you display. Incidentally, Eve helps to organize the lunch cards for the entire school, every single day! That sounds like a really important job!

We were so impressed with the PAWS Pals, that we asked them for some advice on making the world a better place, and how to be successful. Eve told us that you should always be proud of the person you are and stay true to yourself. Hadley told us that each day, you should try to make a difference for one person. Navaeha added that a smile could also really make a difference to someone who’s not having a great day. Zach reminded us that it’s important to be patient with people, because some people need different things.

We are really impressed with the work that the PAWS Pals are doing at Shaw Elementary. For all of their hard work and going the extra mile to help others, they are this week’s A+ Award winners.

Mrs. Mescher told us that Marion Local has a program called Be Kind, and this year’s focus is be ready, be responsible, and be respectful. “Each month, we have a different theme, and in February, we combined a few really important character traits and focused on being ready to be a kind friend,” she explained. Students in grade kindergarten through eighth grade completed activities about friendship and what characteristics a good friend should have. The students even wrote essays about being a good friend and each homeroom per grade level chose one peer most likely to be a kind friend.

We asked Luke, a fifth grader who was recognized as being most likely to be a kind friend, how we can be a kind friend. He told us that you “shouldn’t be a bystander if you see someone who needs your help. You should always help people when you can.” That’s some great advice, Luke. Thank you for that.

His classmate Aliya added that “even if you can’t help, you can always find somebody who can help.”

The students at Marion Local aren’t just kind at school. They also pitch in around the community by donating to local food pantries and various other charities, collecting mittens and hats for community members in need, and recycling plastic bottle caps to turn into playground “buddy benches”. They call it the Marion Local way.

“It’s really important that you are considerate of others. You need to be empathetic,” Danae told us. 

It sounds like the students at Marion Local have done a great job of creating a culture of kindness. This week’s A+ Award goes to the students at Marion Local Elementary for making the world a kinder place, and remember, kindness is contagious.

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.