A group of Central students are taking part in a joint venture to show kindness throughout the year and especially this holiday season.

Middle School Teacher Ann Hicks said the “kindness project” snowballed after students had read the novel “Wonder,” and subsequently watched the film based on the novel.

“We kind of started with the book ‘Wonder,’ where the focus is to be kind to one another,” Hicks said. “My 8th graders kind of decided to mentor the 2nd graders in terms of being kind. We wanted to take it further than just watching the movie and being pen pals, so we decided to adopt a family for Christmas.”

On Wednesday night, the group of Central students met at Desloge Walmart with lists of gift items for their adopted family and got to work shopping.

Central second grader Lily Logan said the best part of the project is the ability to ensure that the three children of their adopted family will get Christmas presents they otherwise may not have.

“I’m excited for them, because now they’ll get presents for Christmas,” Logan said.

Eighth grader Riley Bishop echoed her sentiments, saying that the most important part of the project was the chance to give back to people who need help for Christmas.

After shopping for the family, the group will deliver the presents to the organization that will, in turn, deliver the presents to the adopted family.

“There’s three children in the family, so we’ll organize the items for each child,” Hicks said. “It’s through Caring Communities, so we will then take the items to them and they will give those gifts to the family. It’s all anonymous. We don’t know names or anything, just the ages of the three boys that we’re shopping for.”

Hicks said the project will more than likely extend through the rest of the year, with students promoting and showing kindness as opportunities arise.

“We haven’t really looked past Christmas yet,” she said. “We just kind of decided to do this because we wanted to branch out into the community and to each these kids about being kinds to others. We’ll definitely look for more opportunities to open up.”

The group involved students Brody Pigg, Ty Alley, Mavrick Ratliff, Grace Jones, Lily Logan, Carly Heinemann, Mylah Hicks, Allana Marler, Reagan Bradley, Emma McGill, Riley Bishop, Mady Lewis, Abby Lambert, Jenna Ashley and Colten Bess, alongside Central teachers Ann Hicks and Krista Wilson.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.