Monroe Catholic’s middle school had a prayerful celebration to open their Kindness Room on September 6, 2023. The enthusiasm was apparent as they tied blue ribbons to represent their intentional acts of kindness. The middle school students viewed the Kindness Room after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Article Courtesy of The Monroe News:
First Kindness Room in Michigan opens at MCES
A seldom-used room got a new purpose at Monroe Catholic Elementary School’s St. Mary Middle School campus.
Over the summer, Room 203 got new paint, furniture, and décor and became a Kindness Room. It was dedicated and blessed Wednesday.
“Previously, the classroom was a band room during COVID, but it hasn’t been used much since,” Kyle Kubik, executive principal of MCES, said.
Kindness Rooms are spaces where students and others can make cards, posters, and creative projects that spread kindness and encouragement. The rooms are one of the four projects of the Luken T. Boyle Campaign for Kindness. Luken, 14, of Toledo, died by suicide on July 31, 2017, after being cyberbullied.
“Luken would find the lonely person in the room and befriend them. He had an amazing kind heart and was thankful for the simple things,” according to the organization’s website. “Rather than mourn his loss, we decided to spread kindness to save lives.”
Luken T. Boyle Campaign for Kindness has created 13 other Kindness Rooms in Ohio. MCES’s room is the first in Michigan. Kindness Rooms are created at no cost to schools and are paid for by fundraisers. The organization’s other projects are Kindness Rallies, Kindness Recognition, and Kindness Events.
“Our assistant principal, Frannie Jagielski, used to work in the Diocese of Toledo and was aware of the program at various schools in the Toledo area. She is also a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament, where Samantha Boyle is also a parishioners,” Kubik said.
Samantha Boyle, Luken’s mom, attended Wednesday’s dedication and spoke to the students about the importance of kindness. Deacon Mike Stewart blessed the space.
“I strongly believe that the absence of kindness is perhaps the most profound social issue we face in our times,” Stewart said after the event. “It’s evident in every corner of our culture, from children to adults, and from families to politics. We have just forgotten how to be kind to one another. It has to be taught and nurtured at home, but reinforced in our schools, where the reality of bullying is so rampant. The idea of the Kindness Room is a simple statement from the administration at MCES that kindness is not just another virtue, but it’s what God has made us to be, and it runs through everything we do, from academics to athletics.”
The MCES Kindness Room will be a creative space for the school’s more than 170 students in fifth through eighth grades. The older students will be trained to use some of the room’s materials, like the Cricut machine. Teachers can sign up to bring their classes to the space.
“Students, faculty, volunteers and the community can come together to create intentional acts of kindness,” Kubik said. “These might include making cards to recognize the hard work of a teacher or volunteer, making sympathy cards when a classmate’s relative passes away, and creating signs/posters that promote kindness. It is really up to the teachers and the students who volunteer how to use it.”
Kubik welcomes the space at the school.
“The Kindness Room will be a great resource for our students to promote kindness in our school community and beyond and will give our teachers another space to break out and work with students, promoting kindness. At MCES, we are working to raise up, not only scholars but also future saints, those who live the virtues and make the world a better place.”
For more information on the Luken T. Boyle Campaign for Kindness, visit luken4kindness.org.