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Fourth-Graders Throw 'Kindness Boomerangs' Following Retreat

Shirley Hills Kindness Retreat

Click the above image for more photos from the Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreats®.

November 14, 2019 — If a person wants to be treated with kindness, they have to throw the "kindness boomerang," and kindness can come back to them. Through music, games and small and large group discussions, and with the help of some high school mentors, Westonka Public Schools fourth-graders learned that valuable lesson last week at the Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat®.

Youth Frontiers (YF) is a national nonprofit organization based out of the Twin Cities that has been delivering retreats to schools since 1987. They provide schools with experiences that inspire character, civility and community so that the next generation of leaders is grounded in character. Last year, YF worked with nearly 124,000 students and educators throughout the country. 

On the Kindness Retreat, the YF retreat staff focus on creating a more positive school community by engaging students in a variety of activities that build students’ empathy skills and teach safe ways to help prevent unkind actions. The Shirley Hills Primary School PTA provided an opportunity for Shirley Hills fourth-grade students to take part in the Kindness Retreat on Nov. 6 at St. John's Lutheran Church of Mound as part of the school’s ongoing effort to create a safe and caring culture. Shirley Hills students were able to enjoy the high-energy, interactive retreat with the help of 15 juniors from the Mound Westonka High School Link Crew.

"At Shirley Hills, we believe that to do well in school, students need to feel physically and emotionally safe," said Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Specialist Scott Lhotka. "The Kindness Retreat has helped empower the fourth-graders with positive leadership at Shirley Hills, as well as helped them personally understand the importance of the 'kindness boomerang,' especially as they prepare to enter middle school next year."

The Hilltop Primary School PTA also helped sponsor their school’s Kindness Retreat with Youth Frontiers. National Honor Society students from MWHS served as mentors at Hilltop’s retreat, which was held Nov. 7 at River Valley Church in Minnetrista.

"It was fun for Hilltop students to connect with the [kindness boomerang] concept - the more you give out in kindness the more you get back," said Principal Mike Moch. "The leaders engaged students in song, dance, small group and large group discussions. It was a great day for everyone!"


Becca Neuger
(952) 491-8003