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Kaneland school district rolls out 'Pay It Forward' initiative to encourage kindness

SUGAR GROVE – We may be different but we’re also unique and special.

That was one of the messages shared by Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Todd Leden, as he talked about the release of the Vlog series, “Pay It Forward” at Kaneland during a board meeting on Aug. 26.

“Pay It Forward” chronicles a kid’s creation of a kindness crusade.

“If you recall the book and movie, it’s the philosophy of a young man, a teacher and their relationship and their differences and how differences can be appreciated,” Leden said. “So what were doing under the culture priority of connection our community is that while we are different, we’re also unique and special.”

Since the Vlog series is interactive the hope is that it allows many different types of people to connect and share how they are “paying it forward” today.

“We’re going to get administrators, teachers and others talk about how the book spoke to them,” he said. “And then eventually we’ll have audience participation with community members, students, parents, family members about what they’re doing to pay it forward.”

Leden explained the Vlog series while providing an update on the opening of the new school year and a brief recap of Sunday’s Taste of Kaneland, which included free food samples, a talent show, DJ, band performances, touch-a-truck, pie eating contests (not to be confused with the cow pie bingo), bounce houses, numerous vendors and a mechanical bull riding challenge on the high school grounds. The first 100 attendees received a free copy of the “Pay It Forward” book.

Taste of Kaneland was not an inaugural event that will become an annual one, but a special event solely for this year coinciding with Kaneland 20/20.

Highlights that Leden shared about the opening of school included welcoming more than 40 new staff members, the biggest group in four or five years, rolling out over 3,100 Chromebooks and that Homecoming will return to Elburn this fall as the cycle of the four communities rotating the hosting responsibilities of the annual event has been completed.

In other news, the board approved the change in the Advisory Committee structure from that of an Advisory Committee to the Board of Education to that of an Advisory Committee to Administration.

Currently, board members are rotating their attendance at the Citizens Advisory Committee, Finance Advisory Committee and Facilities Planning Committee meetings and attempting to attend at least one meeting of each committee per year. They no longer will have to do so, although they welcome to attend if they so desire.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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