Jefferson Hills fifth graders spread kindness with Starbucks drink sleeves
Fifth graders at Jefferson Hills Intermediate School are hoping a kind message and colorful drawing will brighten the day of Starbucks drinkers across the Pleasant Hills area.
Two weeks ago, students in all 10 fifth-grade classrooms at the intermediate school coloried and wrote notes of inspiration on the warming sleeves, which were distributed at the Route 51 Starbucks in Pleasant Hills with purchased warm beverages on World Kindness Day, Nov. 13.
“I think it’s nice because when people come in, if they’re having a really bad day, they can pick up one of these and when they read it, it will make their day better,” said Lucy Mays, 10.
The idea for the partnership came from mom Susan Reed, who serves as one of the chairs for the fifth-grade activities committee for the school’s PTA, along with Kellie Pelle.
Reed saw on Facebook about a similar program occurring in the south and thought it was the perfect way for Jefferson students to show kindness to others.
“Fifth grade is a rough year, drama wise, but I know that there’s still kindness and good in all of them,” she said. That’s what she wanted this project to show.
In Missy Arndt’s fifth grade classroom, the kids brainstormed how they would use the cup warmers to brighten someone’s day. They used sayings that they knew or found quotes about kindness online.
“We’re trying to deliver the message that it’s easy — it doesn’t have to be some giant project — that each of us can make a difference from one kind thing,” Arndt said.
She pumped up tunes from her “happy playlist” and the kids got to work.
Lucy made up her own inspirational saying that she hoped would brighten someone’s day. “I wrote, ‘Are you a flashlight? Because you’re the light of my life.’ It just came to me,” she said.
Ava Summers, 10, was stung by a bee a few days ago. That inspired her to draw bees with the message “Bee kind!” on her cup warmers.
The students imagine people coming into Starbucks for a cup of coffee at their worst, when they’re tired and having a bad day. The coffee is a pick-me-up and they hope the messages serve as an extra bonus of cheer.
“When they come home from work, most people are in offices, so they’re all tired and stuff and when they see the notes, they’ll feel warm inside,” said Evan Olson, 10, who wrote “No act of kindness is ever wasted” on his cup warmer.
Nathan Passanante, 11, hopes that the messages even inspire people to stop bullying.
“Just be nice to people,” said Nathan, who used bright colors to leave the message “Never look down on anybody, unless you’re helping them up.”
Jacob Surrena, 11, designed two warmers. On one he wrote the message, “Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.” On the other, he wrote, “Kindness. It costs nothing, but means everything.”
Addy DeNardo, 10, said it’s not hard to turn someone’s day around and these messages could do just that.
“If they’re having a bad day, it only takes one good thing to change that,” she said.