Student expands kindness and support

Being a new student in a new country can be a difficult experience for most kids, but making a friend can certainly make the transition easier. This is what Benjamin de la Puente, a fifth-grader at Panther Run Elementary School, recently did for a new classmate from South America.

“We got a new student from Argentina. I put him next to Ben because I knew he would take good care of him,” said Maria Fontaine, a fifth-grade teacher at Panther Run School. “Not only does Ben help him with his work, but he also translates everything the student does not understand. They have become good friends.”

De la Puente also made an effort at school to make his new friend’s brother feel included.

“At lunch, the new boy’s younger brother was angry that there was no one to sit with, so Ben and the new student sat with him,” Fontaine said. “Ben always shows compassion and is always the first to volunteer to help in any way he can. He is one of the best students I have met in my life!”

That’s why Fontaine recognized de la Puente through the character of the province now! A program to show character traits of empathy and kindness.

“Being a candidate feels pretty nice,” de la Puente said, “I really did not expect it. It’s just my instinct to help other children. I always help others.”

The county’s character education program called Character Now !, was updated this year to integrate new state standards with existing initiatives of social emotional learning (SEL) and support for positive behavior (PBS).

Here are the topics of Character Now !:

• Showing empathy and courtesy.
• To be responsible.
• Has growth thinking.
• Demonstration of reliability.
• Demonstration of respect.
• Be a good citizen.

Students receive instruction in standards through SEL and PBS initiatives. They are then recognized by their schools for demonstrating character themes.

The following prominent students were also recognized by their schools in March:

There: Trevor Ball
School: Palm Beach Virtual
Characteristic: To be responsible.

There: Battle of Tamia
School: Elementary A pleasant city
Characteristic: Shows empathy and kindness.

There: Sofia Doyach
School: Middle Omni
Characteristic: To be responsible.

There: Caspar Alik Jr..
School: Palm Beach Central High
Characteristic: Shows respect.

There: Ivana Garcia
School: Okihli in the middle
Characteristic: Shows empathy and kindness.

There: Toph Jenda
School: Palm Beach Virtual
Characteristic: Has growth thinking.

There: On her Henri
School: Jeaga Middle
Characteristic: Shows empathy and kindness.

There: Geneva Smith
School: Tradewinds Middle
Characteristic: To be a good citizen.

There: Carmel Wells
School: Mid-Congress
Characteristic: To be a good citizen.

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