Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 1, 2014

Students compete through kindness

BY MICHAEL WALTON mwalton@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A handful of West Senior High School student senators braved the cold following an early winter storm to scrape ice and brush snow from dozens of cars in their school’s parking lot.

But the students weren’t acting strictly out of benevolence or early holiday cheer; they were partaking in a contest of altruism underway between students from both sides of Traverse City.

The competition is called Acts of Kindness, and it uses social media to document Traverse City Area Public Schools students as they perform good deeds ranging from helping senior citizens with their groceries to writing letters to veterans.

“Even just really small things,” said Erica Keene, a senior student senator at West who created the Acts of Kindness project with fellow West senior senator Olympia Sanchez.

Acts of Kindness pits students from West Senior High School and West Middle School against their counterparts from Central High School and East Middle School. Students must photograph their good deeds and post the pictures to the social media service Instagram with hashtags of “#TITANSCARE” for West students or “#TROJANSCARE” for Central and East students.

TCAPS judges will evaluate the pictures and decide which schools demonstrated the most willingness to help the community.

Keene said there’s no prize on the line, only bragging rights.

Olivia Luciani, a senior at Central and governor of the high school’s student senate, said she hopes students will continue to seek out random acts of kindness even after the competition ends on Jan. 5.

“We are trying to step up our community service aspect of student senate,” Luciani said. “This is a great way and it’s super easy to get students involved in helping the community.”