Students at McNeel Middle School in Beloit are learning to be kind to others by choosing their words carefully.
Sixth, seventh and eighth-graders in Jaunita Martinez's language arts class surprised teachers and staff at the school with letters of encouragement during the June 4 Day of Kindness.
"I think those little bits of words of encouragement, even right away in the morning, I think really set you up for your day," said Juanita Martinez, McNeel Middle School teacher.
The idea for the letters came from a class lesson students learned on Monday focusing on finding different ways to be kind to one another.
"Our lesson focused on being kind to others, saying nice things to people. So I said, 'How can we continue that lesson,'" Martinez said.
Acts of kindness spread throughout Rock County Wednesday. In Janesville staff at St. Mary's Hospital and Dean Clinic made a friendship chain in their lobby. Employees and visitors wrote words and quotes on each link in hopes of spreading a message of love.
"It's a way for us to say that we are all different. We are different colors, we are different shapes, we have different feelings. But that we can all come together and make one big chain that's interlinked," said Diane Coopman, foundation director at St. Mary's Hospital.
It's that kind of message Martinez said she hopes her students will use both in and out of the classroom.
"This is something I think if they have the basis of being kind, I think that is a great foundation to make them great members of our society," she said.