WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has been focusing on kindness as part of Rachel's Challenge Week. But students at Mount Tabor High School have been putting kind actions in practice for the past year.
Counselor David Naff started the "Pay it Forward" program in 2010. It lets the school community recognize each other for the positive things they're doing in the school community.
He said, "Sometimes it just makes your day if you get one from your friends or you can get one from anonymous people, so you never know what you can get so its unexpected."
Students and teachers can send messages of support, encouragement, and thanks to anyone they see doing a good thing. Naff said, "If you were to get on any computer in this media center, for example, the desktop is going to have an icon it's going to be a little green arrow that has pay it forward at the bottom of it. [...] And it's going to have a link to a Google document that they will fill out this quick survey that basically says who do you want your note sent to, what message do you want to send, do you want to be anonymous?" Naff checks each message to make sure it's appropriate, before printing it.
A courier delivers "Pay it Forward" messages to the recipients every day. Naff said, "It's been a really pretty cool reaction. Its actually exceeded anything that I expected it to be. "
Naff also said it's touching people all across the school. "What I've noticed about this program there is no one student that really participates. Its any kind of student participates. So you see students from different races, different backgrounds, different academic ability levels participating in this program. So I think it speaks to the kind of power being a positive person and looking for opportunities to celebrate that, but also that students are interested in things like this and they want to celebrate the good things that are happening in school."
During the 2012-13 school year, people at Mount Tabor sent 3,000 Pay It Forward notes.