MONONA, Wis. - Prekindergarten through eighth grade students at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School are working to meet their goal of completing 10,000 acts of kindness this week.
In the school hallway, students crowd around a large fish bowl full of colorful pieces of paper with acts of kindness on them.
"Give a pencil to a friend," "take turns" and "write a thank-you note to your teacher" are just a few.
Once completed, students drop the paper in another bowl.
"People sometimes need help and when you're kind, it's just the right thing to do," said third-grader Charley McGree.
Since Monday, the amount of acts of kindness done keeps growing. The school is on track to complete all 10,000 by Friday.
But they aren't doing this to break a record, they're simply teaching love.
"Our kiddos can leave here and know that those little acts of kindness speak volumes to their character and then hopefully that will affect others, and touch others and keep going," said Principal Callie Meiller.
Meiller hopes this sends a ripple effect of compassion through the community. She said at first students thought reaching 10,000 would be too hard, but then they realized the tasks were easy.
"It's a lot of things that our kiddos do already and so knowing that it is an act of kindness makes them feel even more special," said Meiller.
On top of the 10,000 acts of kindness, on Wednesday IHM third grade and Monona Grove four-year-old-kindergarten (4K) students made Valentine's Day cards for patients at the American Family Children's Hospital and braided toys for homeless dogs at the Fetch Wisconsin rescue.
As part of the Teach Love campaign, students will also hear from inspirational speaker Lloyd Bachrach on Friday and make cards for residents at the Heritage Senior Care center.
The school is hosting a free family fun day and open house on Sunday, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. where they will have "Teach Love" yard signs, buttons, wristbands and magnets.
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