Students at Washington Elementary School got a concentrated boost of positivity and kindness at two special assemblies on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. The ACTive KINDness assemblies were presented by nationally known speaker Cory Greenwood, who travels to schools to engage students in high-energy programs.
First and second graders attended the assembly at Noon, and third through fifth graders attended at 1 PM for the 45-minute events. According to Coree Terjeson, Washington Principal, the events focused on creating a positive and safe environment, responsibility, kindness, and anti-bullying. Greenwood also ensured that all students heard the same message that everyone is important.
Terjeson said after hearing about Greenwood’s successful programs, she wanted to have him visit, and since he was already speaking at Nixyáawii, he offered to come to Washington. In addition, American Idol Ashton Brooke Gill sang at the assemblies, her first visit to Oregon.
The ACTive KINDness program is designed to create a positive culture that ensures students feel safe and excited to learn in school. Terjeson said for the younger students, Greenwood focused on ensuring students know they are needed, they can make a difference, they can help somebody have a better day, and that everyone is important. For the older students, he talked about doing the right thing, the power of words, and being responsible. Terjeson said students who tend to tease, make fun of and bully others heard the message of what it feels like on the other side from Greenwood’s personal experience. The students who tend to be teased, made fun of, and bullied by others heard the message of using their words as their power.
Did the Washington Wildcats enjoy it? “The students LOVED it! The hype and excitement captured and maintained their engagement throughout the entire assembly,” Terjeson said, adding that after the pandemic, students needed something like this, to be together and hear that they are all important. They were also in awe that an American Idol was in their school!
Terjeson hopes students remember that “as a Wildcat Family, we can all work together with the power of our words to create a positive learning environment that is safe for everyone.”