SAN GABRIEL, CA – As Gabrielino High School bustled with lunchtime activity, students clamored into a phone booth in the center of campus, eager to gain access to the microphone inside. A few feet away, their friends stood between a large blue pair of headphones and listened as they were showered with kind words.
The compliment booth – built by the school’s art, woodshop and stagecraft technology students – was the centerpiece of Gabrielino’s eighth annual Gab Week, a campaign aimed at promoting kindness on campus through community-building activities held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.
“It was great to see other students doing nice things for one another and for our community because Gab Week inspired them to,” said junior Justin Gomez, who helped build the stand for the compliment booth. “Everyone seems even happier after Gab Week because it feels good to help others.”
Gab Week was created in 2010 to counter bullying and to highlight positive student interaction. The week of events center around a theme; this year, students were encouraged to “Think Kindness.”
“We wanted to celebrate the good that students were doing instead of focusing solely on what they shouldn’t do,” Gabrielino Assistant Principal Chris Guyer said. “Now, Gab Week has become a valued part of the school culture and each year we strive to bring more kindness to our campus and community.”
The “Think Kindness” theme was inspired by motivational speaker Brian Williams, who runs a nonprofit organization of the same name. Williams encouraged students during a Nov. 1 assembly to focus on paying it forward with small acts of goodwill in their community.
“If you ask people how they can change the world, most won’t have an answer,” Williams said. “But one single act of kindness creates a ripple effect that can transform a community.”
Gabrielino students put Williams’ words into action with kindness cards, which encouraged them to help others through small tasks like buying snacks for one another, posting positive notes across campus, and even tying loose shoelaces for each other.
The week of activities – largely organized by Assistant Principal Vince Lopez – concluded on Nov. 3 with a lunchtime food fair put on by campus clubs and organizations.
“San Gabriel Unified is dedicated to ensuring every student can receive an outstanding education in a positive and supportive learning environment,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “We are thrilled to see Gabrielino High continue its tradition of spreading kindness on campus and fostering school spirit through Gab Week.”
111617_SANGAB_GABWEEK1: Gabrielino High students learn how to use the compliment booth created by art, woodshop and stagecraft technology students during the school’s annual Gab Week, held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. Gab Week aims to increase school spirit and inspire students to perform random acts of kindness.
111617_SANGAB_GABWEEK2: Gabrielino High students discuss ways to spread positivity during a Nov. 1 assembly on kindness, held as part of the school’s annual Gab Week.