Cassidy McLellan- Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Florida schools are working to promote mental health awareness by spreading kindness and compassion.

According to the Florida Department of Education, “Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis is launching HOPE Ambassadors to encourage leaders like you to commit to serving as kindness and compassion mentors in their schools and communities.”

LRHS discipline Dean Thomas Bellantonio said the school is excited to participate in the effort.   “The Great Kindness Challenge, presented by the global nonprofit Kids for Peace, was launched with three Carlsbad, California schools in 2012 to address bullying and to foster connection, inclusion and compassion,” he said.

The Ranch will be starting a club called Hope Ambassadors and any Mustangs who are interested in joining should speak to Bellantonio or to assistant principal Jillian Bieber.

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Bellantonio said, “Despite all COVID restrictions, we are excited to participate in such an amazing event. We all need to focus on helping others, especially during a pandemic. Our main objective for this event is to show that even the smallest of kind acts can make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Small acts of kindness can include complimenting people, offering to help a custodian or listening to a friend in need. For more acts of kindness, click here

Co-founder and executive director of Kids for Peace Jill McManigal explained, “With many people feeling that our country is more divided than ever, there is a great need for unity, compassion, love and respect in our schools, communities, country and world.”