Wellness center celebrates kindness

Inspired by studies that show that small acts of kindness can reduce stress and improve mental health, the Diamond Bar High School Wellness Center will be hosting their third annual Kindness Week event next week.

This year’s theme–“Where’s Kindness?”–will focus on finding those who perform small acts of kindness in their daily lives.

“It’s something that is put out to schools to implement activities and campaigns that surround kindness,” Wellness Center coordinator Sandy Davis said.

The event is a part of Walnut Valley Unified School District’s participation in The Great Kindness Challenge, which is observed internationally. Schools in the district are encouraged to host events to foster kindness in students’ daily lives.

In previous years, the Wellness Center has put other creative spins on the kindness week, hosting events in the upper quad with themes like “Random Acts of Kindness” and “Kindness Isn’t Cheesy.”

This year, the Wellness Center will have events three days next week. Tuesday will focus on being kind to yourself, with activities related to self-care and stress management.

“Right now we have plans for one of our hip-hop groups here on campus to do a dance clinic,” Davis said. “Being kind to yourself by learning something new: that’s good self care and good stress relief.”

Tuesday will also feature a presentation about e-cigarettes and vaping, activities that have become much more prevalent on campus in recent years.

Wednesday will emphasize showing kindness to others, and students will be able to write kindness grams and make friendship bracelets. Along with the Wellness Center,  Girl’s League will have a booth where students can write down something they admire about someone else on a poster, which students can take pictures in front of. Additionally, the Gay-Straight Alliance will have an interactive art piece about stereotypes.

“For the interactive art piece, we were thinking of making and outline of a person where people can put on like statements that break stereotypes,” junior Sam Lee Baladejo, GSA’s club president, said. “We hope to include everyone in this and have it not just include LGBT stereotypes as well.”

On the last day, events will revolve around being kind to the planet. Events will include a recycling-themed game, therapy dogs and education about ocean pollution and reducing carbon footprints.

Additionally, the Wellness Center has partnered with several art students to create a “Where’s Waldo?” themed mural, which will be displayed in the upper quad during the entire week. According to Davis, it will include a map of DBHS so that when a student does a kind act somewhere on campus, a “Waldo” will be posted at that location on the map. These students will each receive a bag of Doritos.

For large-scale acts of kindness such as service projects, Davis said there will be bigger prizes. In the past, projects have included a car wash fundraiser for school supplies and donations to a food bank.

“If you commit kind acts, there’s actually scientific data that shows that it reduces your stress,” Davis explained. “Stress management is hugely important on our campus, because we have such an academically-focused campus.”