bryan skavnak and studentsAt Fernbrook Elementary, school staff are hoping that four simple words will provide year-long inspiration for students: be the nice kid.

With assistance from Bryan Skavnak, author of the popular “Be the Nice Kid” quote, all students at Fernbrook wrapped up a whirlwind first week of school on Sept. 6 by sharing ideas about acts of kindness they can lead for others and learning the importance of, simply, being nice.

After hearing Skavnak speak, each student then contributed to a mural on the fence overlooking the Fernbrook playground. The design features the school’s eagle mascot with “Be the Nice Kid” boldly displayed in bright colors. Fernbrook has designated “be the nice kid” as a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) theme this school year.

fernbrook mural and buddy benchThe recent addition of a Buddy Bench to the Fernbrook playground, purchased by the school’s PTO, will also help reiterate the themes of caring, kindness and respect among scholars. The Buddy Bench works like this: if a student is new to the school or cannot find anyone to play with, he or she can sit on the bench. When other students see someone sitting on the bench, they’re encouraged to invite their classmate to play—fostering greater inclusivity throughout the Fernbrook community.  

“One of the best ways to be the nice kid is to include other people,” Skavnak told students. “Find the positives in others. Be kind.”

TOP PHOTO: Bryan Skavnak, author of the "Be the Nice Kid" quote, speaks to second graders at Fernbrook Elementary on Sept. 6. 

BOTTOM PHOTO: Students contributed to a mural on the fence by the playground. The Fernbrook PTO also recently purchased a Buddy Bench for the school.