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Published: Tuesday, 5/25/2010

St. Joseph School cited for kindness

BLADE STAFF
With St. Joseph school's sign noting its designation by the Red Robin Foundation are students, from left, Juliane Gillen, Catherine Coulter, and Tyler Perino. With St. Joseph school's sign noting its designation by the Red Robin Foundation are students, from left, Juliane Gillen, Catherine Coulter, and Tyler Perino.
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Random acts of kindness, such as making sandwiches for the homeless and delivering holiday cookies to residents of nursing homes, have reaped more than goodwill for students at St. Joseph School in Maumee.

The school has been named a 2010 Red Robin Foundation U-ACT Award of Merit school for bringing kindness into the school and community throughout the school year. To honor its work in promoting kind acts, St. Joseph School was awarded a $1,200 grant.

The U-ACT Program, sponsored by the nonprofit Red Robin Foundation, is a national character-building initiative to encourage kindness among middle and junior high school students.

The goal of U-ACT, or Unbridled Acts, or random acts of kindness, is to inspire youths to be kinder to each other and to those in their community through programs that emphasize and celebrate the power of helping others.

The aim is to ultimately promote elimination of negative, bullying behavior and establish positive and productive social behaviors.

St. Joseph students traditionally are encouraged, from preschool through eighth grade, to get involved in their communities in positive ways, and such actions encourage good stewardship, said Cathy Noble of Toledo, a language arts teacher at the school.

St. Joseph, which Mrs. Noble said was the only school in Ohio to receive the award, was cited for conducting several programs to support its community including delivering holiday cookies and cards to nursing homes, making and delivering sandwiches to Cherry Street Mission Ministries and Helping Hands of St. Louis, making tie-blankets, and donating blankets and cans of soup to the Haiti relief effort.

As a result of the U-ACT Program, peer mediations decreased in the current school year from previous school years, Gary Rettig, principal at St. Joseph School, said.

Plans call for the grant money to be used to purchase student materials on interpersonal skills.

- Janet Romaker



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