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District Holds Inaugural 'Kindness Celebration'

Mars Area School District held its inaugural “Kindness Celebration” to celebrate the many activities and efforts that took place in the District’s schools during the 2018-2019 School Year as part of the “Rachel’s Challenge” positive school culture program.
“Rachel’s Challenge” is based on the life and writings of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, works to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness and compassion.
The “Kindness Celebration,” held June 4 at Mars Athletic Complex, offered an opportunity for students and staff to reflect on their efforts. (For more information about the schools reported “intentional acts of  kindness,” see below.)
Mars Area Centennial School Sixth Grade Band and Fifth & Sixth Grade Choruses kicked off the celebration with a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Heal the World,” respectively. Elementary students (Grades 1-6), joined by representatives of Mars Area High School and Mars Area Middle School’s FOR (Friends of Rachel) Clubs and various District teachers/staff members and volunteers, also linked together and stretched paper chains of kindness that each school had been building throughout the school year around the stadium’s track.
Several students from each building were selected to receive a “Kind Kid Award” for demonstrating kindness and good citizenship. Recipients are juniors Mason Koma and Amanda Scurci; sophomore Jessie Sines; eighth-graders Lauren Atwell, Noah Nesselroad and Gracyn Thatcher; seventh-grader Ethan Vitale; sixth-graders Brandon Frantz and Isabella Rossi; fifth-graders Logan Coone and Becca Hockman; fourth-graders Alexander Frengel and Mei Lien Mansfield; third-graders Kaitlyn Abel and Seth Zwigart; second-graders Max McCrea and Tianna Rush; first-graders Kadins Fetterhoff and Luke Kelly; and kindergartners E.J. Casciato, Reagan Massey, Jacob Nakel and Kate Sherwin.
Other activities included music; prize drawings; a visit from Batgirl, a Power Ranger and Wonder Woman; and a Pro Stock car, owned by race car driver and Adams Township Police Officer Michael Bordt, for students to check out; and student lunches provided by The Nutrition Group. To conclude the event, Adams Area Fire District sprayed a fountain of water from atop a fire truck’s fully extended ladder.
The District would like to thank those donors, sponsors and other contributors to the celebration — Adams Area Fire District, Adams Township Police Department, A.J. Myers & Sons Bus Company, Angels from the Heart, Applebee’s Neigh-borhood Grill, Aviva Brick Oven, Carlyle Landscaping, Quality EMS, Eat’n Park, Fun Fore All, Get Air Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle, The Lightning Bug, Mars Area Elementary PTO, Mars-Bethel Golf, McDonald’s, Middlesex Township Police Department, Party Lane, Pizza Hut, Posti’s Pizza, Queen B Printing, Springfield Grill, Supremo’s Pizzeria, and Urban Air Adventure Park.
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District Reflects on 'Intentional Acts of Kindness'

Throughout the 2018-2019 School Year, numerous District students and staff members joined in a myriad of  “intentional acts of kindness” through fundraisers, collection drives, group projects and more...
Mars Area Centennial School, Mars Area Elementary School and Mars Area Primary Center collected a combined $19,567.50 to benefit the American Heart Association through various “Heart Challenge” fundraisers. The District’s three elementary schools, along with Mars Area Middle School collected $7,556 to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, through the District’s annual “Hats for Heroes” fundraiser.
Numerous fundraisers and other activities were held at each school building as well.
Mars Area Primary Center
Mars Area Primary Center held a winter clothing drive to benefit Butler County residents in need through the Center for Community Resources; and collected 250 pounds of extra Halloween candy and 7,145 diapers to benefit The Lighthouse Foundation food bank.
Mars Area Elementary School
Students at Mars Area Elementary School painted rocks with motivational word and messages that are on displayed in front of the school. The school collected $4,033 in donations and gift cards to benefit Dixon Elementary School (Holly Ridge, N.C.), which was severely damaged in Hurricane Florence; more than $1,700 to benefit Mars Area Public Library through a one-day National Library Week “Coin War;” and 1,915 items for The Lighthouse Foundation food bank as part of a Spring Food Drive.
Fourth-graders, working in partnership with the Mars Area Centennial School FOR Club, collected 4,250 pairs of shoes as part of Shoe Drive to benefit those living in developing nations through Funds2Orgs. Throughout the school year, Elementary School students wrote get well letters to their peers who were out of school sick, drew inspirational quotes in chalk by the school’s entryway, and more.
Mars Area Centennial School
Mars Area Centennial School’s FOR Club sponsored a drive to benefit local volunteer firefighters and families affected by fires; held a Cereal Drive to benefit The Lighthouse Foundation food bank and St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank. The school also created a “kindness hallway” with positive messages written on lockers, and the school held two separate Pet Supply Drives to benefit the Butler County Humane Society.
Mars Area Middle School
Mars Area Middle School’s Community Service Committee and FOR Club collected $2,000 to benefit the Tree of Life Synagogue through the sale of “#PittsburghStrong” and “Stronger Than Hate” bracelets; offered a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day luncheon for local police officers; raised $1,100 for the American Heart Association through a “Stuck for a Buck” fundraiser; hanged paper hearts, decorated with messages thanking the school’s food service workers; and collected 302 books for local children’s hospitals an pediatrician’s offices during a “Whoville Week” celebration.
The FOR Club amassed 632.8 pounds of leftover Halloween candy local veterans and military personnel as part of a “Sweets for Soldiers” project; sponsored a Unity Week with activities and theme days promoting kindness, tolerance and acceptance; celebrated the “12 Days Before Holiday Break” and raised $2,035 for MHY Family Services through an Ugly Sweater Contest; and collected $550 to benefit the family of Tony Cook, who is battling cancer. The school’s Student Government held “PJs for Patriots” fundraiser to benefit Homes for Our Troops.
Mars Area High School
Mars Area High School Student Council raised $1,348 to benefit veterans living at St. John Specialty Care Center (Mars) through a “Cookies for a Cause” fundraiser, led by junior Jenna Sutton; raised $705 to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Children’s Hospital through the sale of Homecoming Dance tickets; and collected $7,273.32 to benefit Four Diamonds as part of the school’s inaugural Mini-THON fundraiser.
The school's Girls Varsity Volleyball Team held a “Pink Planet” fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; the “Girls Doing Good” group, created and led by sophomore Chloe Milliron, collected more than 320 items for Butler County Humane Society; and the school’s German Honor Society held its annual Treasures for Children (Angel Tree) collection to provide children and families in need with gifts during the holiday season through the Butler County Salvation Army.
The FOR Club put together “hygiene bins” to benefit Helping Butler County’s School Hygiene Supplies Support Program; French Club held a School Supply Drive to benefit schools in low-income areas throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania through The Education Partnership; and Interact Club sponsored its annual Book Drive to benefit Western Pennsylvania schools in need.
Members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club rang the bell outside Giant Eagle to raise funds for the Salvation Army; and, the Varsity Club held a Food Drive to benefit the homeless.
Members of the school’s Interact Club and Key Club raised more than $900 to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania as part of the annual Pittsburgh Polar Plunge. Key Club members played bingo with residents at St. John Specialty Care Center and volunteered to serve meals to the homeless through Mission from Mars food ministry; and Interact Club members joined in the March of Dimes.
For more information, contact the individual school building.