Albertville Elementary students get a lesson in kindness with Light It Up

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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- Students at Albertville Elementary School are getting a unique lesson every week in character building, and it got started by a group of their teachers.

A group of fourth graders at Albertville Elementary School sat inside a classroom light up by colored lights. They donned bright colors and glow sticks strung into necklaces.

“Light it up, come on, light it up!” They chanted in unison, as four of their teachers stood in front of the classroom leading them in the cheer.

It's a weekly occurrence and has been since after the Christmas break.

“It began when I had a student from my homeroom who had light up shoes at Christmas," explained teacher Ashley Jester, "He came back and he was really excited about his shoes, and some of our students started putting him down for it. You know, they’d say ‘Those are so three years ago, those are out of style’,"

So Jester and a group of teachers got together to teach a change. “One thing leads to another and before we knew it we had this whole idea of Light It Up,” she added.

They ran it by the principal and got the green light. “We all bought shoes, we all decided to support this student and the idea behind it,” Jester said.

“Each Friday we would get the children together and talk about what it means to light it up,” explained teacher Amy Allen, “Love, kindness, honesty.”

“We have a bowl in each room and the kids throughout the week are looking for those type characteristics, and then they put it in the bowl and we draw a name each week,” she added.

That student gets recognized and a prize. As this week's student's name was called, her fellow classmates cheered and told her good job as she walked to the front of the room.

That's what Light It Up is all about.

“It’s important for us because we want our students to not only be educated in curriculum, but we also want them to be good people. Because if you’re not a good person, you’re not going to get very far in life," Jester said.

Jester, Allen, and the rest of the teachers who formulated Light It Up want the campaign to spread to the rest of the school and to other schools.

“Good character comes from within, and we want them to start recognizing and encouraging them to look for it in each other,” Allen said.

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