Random Acts of Kindness (RAK), a club designed to enhance the spirit of positivity in the SIS community, hosted its annual RAK week from Feb. 22-26, as the school returned to normality with all grade level students returning for in-person classes. Every year, the club organizes the RAK week — a full week of motivational, stress-relief events for high school students — to enliven the students amidst their wearing summative and assignment schedules. Although the RAK week has been a physical event in the previous years, for this year, the club designed a mix of offline and online activities due to the restrictive circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“When acts of kindness are regularized in everyone’s life, I believe it potentially serves as a factor that increases the level of happiness. For example, when someone passing by says a small compliment about my outfit or hairstyle., it definitely makes me feel happier and energized throughout the day. As a member of the RAK club, I hope our club can become the source for students to feel that positivity,” Jennah Yoo (10), executive member of the RAK, said. “The ultimate goal of the RAK club is to brighten the school atmosphere with acts of kindness and bring a smile to our students and faculties. The overarching theme of the club is creativity, teamwork, and compassion. Our members are continuously devoting their time and effort to ensure this. Specifically, for this year’s RAK week, our members have worked their utmost to spread motivation and energy for the SIS community. ”
Starting from Monday, members avidly prepared for the annual event by creating thoughtfully handwritten motivational sticky notes which were posted on classroom doors, hallways, and each student’s locker throughout the entire week. One sticky note said: “Each day is a blessing. Let go of all worries and be grateful!” Another said: “Imagine the great things that will happen today!” While all of them were different, every message encompassed inspirational quotes, and as students opened their lockers, they were able to feel positive energy surrounding them. From Tuesday to Thursday, the RAK club members implemented their creativity to host a virtual escape room via Instagram. The activity consisted of a total of six riddles, where students first began solving the first question posted on the club’s main Instagram account. The answer to each riddle guided them to a chain of different accounts, and the first student to comment the correct answer on the final question was rewarded with an exclusive prize. On Friday, the last day of the RAK week, the club hosted a comforting online movie session where members streamed movies based on students’ recommendations. The event created an opportunity for students to relax with a box of popcorn, call friends, and enjoy their Friday night. Despite the alternation from physical to virtual activities, the annual RAK week successfully marked its finale with prizes for winners of the virtual escape room and satisfaction from both students and faculties.
“A few of RAK club’s main goals are to uplift the school community and to make sure positive energy and messages are surrounding the students. I definitely think the RAK club is about community strengthening and building. By getting involved in the club activities, both the members of the club and the students participating are able to bond together and work collaboratively with other grade levels,” Carly Santos, advisor of the RAK club, said. “I hope our club can become an opportunity for students to really engage as a whole community and show compassion towards each other. It is especially important for high school students to get involved in our activities and take a break from their busy academic lives. After all, everyone needs random acts of kindness to improve their wellbeing.”
Throughout the years, members of the RAK club have continuously dedicated efforts to spread kindness for their peers and teachers by hosting various events and activities specifically created with consideration to the student’s ideas and suggestions. Aside from the annual RAK week, some other notable events include Gongcha sales where students buy bubble tea drinks during the school day, the “Garden of Gratitude” in which appreciation notes written by the school faculty and students are displayed in the atrium, and holiday events where members sell Christmas cookies and work together to hang festive decorations around the school. By promoting these activities, the members of the RAK have taught students the importance of compassion and sympathy for their peers and have inspired many to return the kindness they received.
“I believe that showing acts of kindness can really change one’s day, and I personally try my best to spread kindness to my peers by smiling, showing gratitude, and helping. I think random acts of kindness are especially important in school since there are many students who are stressed from various causes such as grades and friendships,” Claire Hahn (10), a fan of the club, said. “I think the RAK club definitely does a great job of lightening up the school community with their amazing activities. Their motivational sticky-notes also inspire me to spread kindness and positivity as well.”