This is one in a series of profiles this school year of students who are nominated by teachers and chosen by editors as best exemplifying the School District of Palm Beach County‘s six character pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.
School: Tradewinds Elementary School, Coconut Creek
Hometown: Coral Springs
When a student was unable to buy ice cream, Lola Simcox couldn’t stand to see the youngster go without. She readily turned over her own money, even though it meant she couldn’t purchase a treat for herself. It’s just one of many examples of how she’s reached out to peers with acts of kindness, never expecting to be recognized or rewarded.
“In the beginning of first grade, my teacher read me a book called ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?'” Lola says. “It about filling someone else’s bucket by being kind and doing nice things. When you fill someone else’s bucket, it also fills your bucket because it makes you proud.”
Mary Stollings, kindergarten/first-grade teacher: Being a looping kindergarten/first-grade teacher, I have been fortunate to watch Lola spread her warmth and kindness to all of her classmates. I often catch Lola being extremely kind and helpful to other students without being asked and never expecting to be recognized or rewarded for her actions.
Lola will help her classmates complete projects, get organized, clean up after themselves, etc. However, what really sets Lola apart is that Lola will give up something that she has so that another child is not sad.
Lola is truly one of those students who would give another child the shirt off of her back if asked to. Lola shows her kindness to her classmates and teacher from the moment that she arrives at school to the time that she leaves at the end of the school day.
She always greets her classmates and her teacher with a big smile and a hug when she arrives in the classroom. Throughout the day, she compliments her classmates on everything from their work to their new outfit. When working in groups, Lola will always happily work with whoever does not have a partner. While on the playground, Lola will go out of her way to include new students to the group that she is playing with.
She also volunteers to help new students through the lunch line and to sit near them in the cafeteria. When Lola leaves at the end of the day, she makes sure to say goodbye and to hug her teacher and classmates.
Lola’s kindness is contagious. When other students see Lola being kind, they often follow her lead. This is especially true when it involves students that may be left out by other groups of children.
When Lola is kind to these students by her offer of friendship, her compliments, her offers of help, and asking them if they want to play with her, others also find it in their hearts to be kind to these students as well. Lola’s kindness makes her a role model in our classroom and helps make our classroom a warm and caring learning environment.
Ryan and Brean Simcox, parents: Ever since we can remember, Lola has had a heart of gold. She is sensitive and aware of how others are feeling and is always mindful of that. She is the oldest of three sisters, and has always been kind and loving and caring toward them. When Lola walks into a room, hugs are given all around. She is just a joy.
She is always thinking of others and how they are feeling. If someone is sad, she will want to do something to cheer them up. If a student is less fortunate, she wants to give them what she has to make them happy, even if it means she goes without. When she was a kindergartener, we would receive alerts all of the time that she was out of lunch money, even after we had just replenished her account. After a little investigating, we found out that Lola was using her lunch account to buy ice cream for all of her friends who didn’t have ice cream money on ice cream day at school.
On numerous occasions, we have been brought to tears by the innocent and random acts of kindness that Lola shows. She does not do it to be recognized, but to make others happy.
Lola Simcox: I am kind because when I do nice things for others, they are really happy and then that makes me feel happy about myself. I also notice that when I am kind to others, they are kind back to me and then they are also kind to others.
Sometimes I feel bad when others don’t have something that I have, so I like to give them some of mine so they can have it too. Being kind is very important. My mom tells me to treat others the way I want to be treated so I always try to be kind to others.
I want to keep filling people’s buckets because there are people who are called bucket dippers and when someone is a bucket dipper, it means that you are being mean to someone and it takes away from both buckets. When I see someone being a bucket dipper it makes me sad and so I do something very kind for the person who has a low bucket to start to fill it back up. I don’t like to see someone else sad, and when I am kind, it makes them happy again. It also shows the person who was not being kind how to be nicer to people.
I am also the oldest of three sisters in my house. My little sisters are always watching me and learning from me, so I want to show them how to be kind. When I share my toys and help my mommy and daddy clean up, they do the same thing. That always makes my mommy and daddy proud and happy.