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November 20, 2017
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Stillwater News

Middle school students, staff embrace their “99”

Students walking in the hallway with their Act With Respect Always shirts
Students wearing Act with Respect Always shirtA wave of blue filled the middle school hallways today as students walked to class wearing their "Act With Respect Always" shirts.

Two students write on a banner
Two students write their thoughts down on a school banner after thinking about their numbers.

Jan. 15, 2016 – If you walked through the middle school hallways or stepped inside a middle school classroom today, you wouldn’t be able to miss the wave of blue shirts that students and staff were wearing.

The shirts were given to the entire student body and staff right before the holiday break as a reminder to always act with respect and kindness.

This idea all started back in September when retired Saratoga High School Teacher, Coach, and now nationally-known inspirational speaker, Coach Rich Johns visited Stillwater Middle School on Wellness Day. He spoke to students about a “pay it forward” campaign called Act with Respect Always (AWRA), where he encourages people of all ages to ask themselves each day what they will do to make a difference.

As part of this program, Coach Johns talked about each individual’s make up, in which he believes that 99 percent is a person’s character and one percent is a person’s looks. He challenged students to assess their 99 percent every day by thinking about how they treat people, and to not judge that one percent.

“This is a great way to have students intentionally think about their actions and how those actions affect others,” said Middle School Principal Patricia Morris. “If they can honestly reflect about their current ‘number,’ then it will prompt a better discussion about making good choices.”

Today, middle school students were encouraged to assess their own numbers and write down why they felt the way they did on a banner in the hallway. One student said he felt like an “80” because he gave his mom attitude this morning. Another student wrote that she felt like a “95” because she was so happy that everyone remembered to wear their shirts.

“The most important take-away about this concept is that your number doesn’t have to stick,” added Morris. “You can come to school feeling at 75 percent and then increase your number throughout the day by simply being kind to others.”

Going forward, all middle school students and staff are invited to wear their blue AWRA shirts on the third Thursday of each month.

Watch the video of Stillwater Middle School students and teachers receiving their "Act With Kindness Always" shirts back in December on Coach Johns' YouTube channel.

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