Berkshire High School Students Participate in Virginia Tech’s Actively Caring for People

Virginia Tech Students are making a difference in our schools. Let’s put an end to bullying one school, one student at a time.

On Thursday September 12, members from Virginia Tech paid a visit to Berkshire High School to introduce a program called Actively Caring for People.

This program was founded by E. Scott Geller, a professor with the Psychology Department at Virginia Tech School, after the tragedy that took place on April 16, 2007. There are currently 20-30 students from Virginia Tech School that are in this caring program. These students travel to other schools throughout the country and assist Elementary, Middle School, High School and Colleges by helping them in setting up their own 6-8 week program that will create a unity within their school.

The program that began at Virginia Tech focused on first year students. Virginia Tech resident advisors were given 1,000 green wristbands imprinted with “Actively Caring for People” and then asked to pass them along to any actively caring student they came across on campus. This proved to be a great way to create a single moment of interaction between the giver and the recipient. That moment will then lead up to more meaningful interactions in the future. The end result is a “pay it forward” attitude. This attitude is created where a person will then think about what they can do that particular day that will benefit another person. The program itself works on a point system, giving points for positive caring acts, and for sharing their thoughts and deeds. Sounds simple, but it takes time and planning to get the program underway.

In our area, Orange and Chardon Schools are already working with the Virginia Tech students. Now Berkshire High School students, mostly Seniors with a few Juniors, are getting together to implement the Virginia Tech School program for their 7th and 8th grade classes with the hope of focusing on future 7th grade classes.

The program is headed up by Berkshire High Schools Michelle Bagaglia, and Virginia Tech students, Kelsey Toney, Kyle Pacque’ and Pranay Bhargava. There will be two student coaches for each individual class that is formed and they will meet once a week during school. The student coaches will use a specialized program headed up by the Virginia Tech students themselves that will guide the student coaches each and every step of their journey.

What did we learn coming away from our meeting? Caring needs to be a lifestyle. Kindness and generosity need to become our normal way of thinking. We need to say thank you for a kind deed, act upon that kindness and offer others a helping hand. It is important to treat others as you would want others to treat you. It only takes a moment, a second to perform an act of kindness, what will you do?

Note: Names in the Photo in order from left to right Kelsey Toney, Pranay Bhargava and Kyle Pacque’

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