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  • Hanna McLean

The Impact of Random Acts of Kindness

Math teacher and coach Robert Hill smiles after he received candy from the Dotson advisory. Photo from the ACAD Daily.

During the month of February, the Upper School practiced an exercise called RAK, which stands for Random Acts of Kindness. For this activity, advisories competed with each other to earn as many points as possible, and in return get an incentive such as a t-shirt day or free donuts. Although the competition added excitement and camaraderie to the month, both students and faculty would say that doing the acts of kindness was more powerful than receiving the points.

The inspiration to hold RAK during the month of February was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King encouraged all people to remember, celebrate, and act.

“All of these actions add value to who we are as a community and celebrate who we are as people. It was a very purposeful effort to celebrate the four pillars at Athens Academy,” said Brian Olson, dean of student life.

The student body’s response to RAK was an encouraging reminder of great things that were already happening on- and off-campus. From attending the mock trial competition to going to basketball games, it was clear that students and faculty were passionate about supporting each other and highlighting the great things people are doing around school and in the community.

Beth Farmer, the other dean of student life, noted, “We continue to grow as a school, community, and as people. Every year we will do more and get better so people will feel more valued in who they are and empowered to be the change they want to see.”

All advisories participated in different acts of kindness, but the advisories that earned the most points were Denny Dotson’s and Allison Turney’s. One of the most impactful things an advisory could do was attend events that covered the school’s four pillars, which are academics, athletics, fine arts, and service and leadership.

As for upcoming years, the deans hope that RAK will become less of a month-long competition, and more of a way of life at Athens Academy.

“It’s really up to the students to make the improvements to the event. The more involvement there is, the more the activity will improve. We are open to new ideas coming from the students,” Olson said.

It is important to continue the tradition of RAK all year round, but especially now. In times of uncertainty and worry, it is key to spread positivity and joy in whatever ways one can. This is why RAK is so important at Athens Academy.