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Malden students learn about giving

MALDEN — Students in Malden are ... well, making their parents, teachers and even themselves very proud.

Last week students were seen doing such things as holding the door for other students, not sitting with their friends at lunch, giving compliments, and even keeping their desks and lockers clean.

What’s going on?

“We call it MACK, Malden Acts of Christmas Kindness,” said Superintendent Mike Patterson.

For every school day in December, the students will be given a suggestion for an act of kindness or something positive they can do for someone else.

“If you do something for someone, we say you got MACKed,” Patterson said with a laugh. “The little kids really like that.”

The idea came from kindergarten teacher Sherry Bishop, who read about it on a teacher’s blog. She was going to do it just with her class, but then she had another idea.

“Why not do it with the whole school?” Bishop said.

So Bishop presented the idea to Patterson and the rest of the staff, and everyone agreed.

“At our school, we’re always looking for ways to teach kids things other than reading and writing,” Patterson said. “We thought this would be a good opportunity to teach students how to treat each other the right way and have fun doing it.”

Bishop and the staff brainstormed for 15 good deeds the students could do. Each idea was sealed into a numbered envelope that hangs on a tree in the school. Each morning Patterson takes an envelop from the tree, and one of the junior high students reads what that day’s MACK will be.

Patterson said the students really seem to be enjoying the project.

“I come in, in the morning, and kids ask me, ‘What is the MACK today?’” he said. “Yesterday, I got MACKed like 20 times from the kids.”

Patterson said it’s not a contest who can perform the most MACKs.

“A lot of the kids think Christmas is all about receiving,” he said. “With this, you can teach kids you can give something without spending money because just like everybody else, it’s hard times here in Malden for a lot of families.”

Bishop said so many people at this time of the year think about what they’re going to get instead of what they’re going to give, and MACK is a great solution.

“Just to be in the holiday spirit and to have the spirit of giving, I thought would be perfect for our kids,” she said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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