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Northwest Area Remembers 17 Slain Parkland Students, Staff, With 17 Random Acts Of Kindness

May 9, 2018 GMT

As the school year starts coming to a close, Northwest Area has no plans in slowing down any time soon. The Northwest Area High School has a lot to be proud of, and a lot to be excited for in the future. In honor of those lost in the Parkland shooting in February of this year, Northwest encouraged a “walk up” movement instead of a “walk out” in what we called our “Choose your 17.” In recognition of those 17 students and faculty members who tragically lost their lives, Northwest encouraged its students to take part in 17 random acts of kindness in March. These acts of kindness ranged from writing a letter to someone showing them how much they mean to you, to simply taking the time to warmly address a student or teacher you would not find yourself normally talking to. Northwest students lined the hallways with paper, hung markers, and asked students to write what acts of kindness they took part in. Many did, and others just simply wrote an inspirational quote or saying to evoke encouragement or a smile. ‘We’ve got your back’ As May approached in the Northwest Area School District, teachers and students alike wanted to implement new ways to promote positive mental health awareness in the month of Mental Health Awareness. Our school decided to incorporate a club within its walls that was first started in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when a student unexpectedly committed suicide. The club is called “Aevidum” and it is Latin for “I got your back.” The club’s goal is to spread the message that mental health matters, encourage student based support, and show those who are in need that they are never alone. Chromebook access for everyone Along with modernizing its take on the world of mental health education, Northwest has plans to further modernize its take on education. Starting in the fall of the 2018-19 school year, every student, faculty member, and administrator at Northwest Area, K-12, will have access to their own Google Chromebook. While students kindergarten through third grade will only have access to the computers at school, students in fourth through twelfth will be able to take and make use of these resources at home. The overall goal of this technological advancement is to not only bring Northwest’s means of education further into the 21st century, but to help all its students have equal access to the technology crucial in developing 21st century skills needed in college and various job markets. It has been a very exciting, and prosperous year for the Northwest students and staff, and we all look forward to seeing what improvements the district decides to add next. Although as a student, this is my last year within the Northwest Area walls, I am proud to be a part of all that Northwest has become, and more than excited to see what it will be. Angeline Ruckle is a student at Northwest Area High School. Student columns are published Wednesdays during the school year.