Frenship Middle School Students, Teachers ‘Choose Kind’ as Campus Motto

The whole campus visited Alamo Drafthouse Thursday (Dec. 14) to see the new, inspiring film “Wonder,” after reading The New York Times bestseller and are now applying the themes in and outside of the classroom.

Auggie Pullman, a boy born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, is stealing the hearts of millions this year in the new movie “Wonder,” including the hearts of Frenship Middle School’s students and teachers who saw the film Thursday (Dec. 14) as a campus at Alamo Drafthouse.

The movie — which has themes of compassion, kindness and acceptance — is inspiring for viewers as Auggie, who undergoes multiple major surgeries to help him breathe, see and hear without hearing aids, goes to public school for the first time at 10 years old after being homeschooled his whole life.

Frenship Middle School Principal Jerry Jerabek said that “Wonder” has been a part of the campus for a few years.

“Four years ago we did a school-wide read of ‘Wonder’ that had a deep, positive impact on the culture of our entire school,” Jerabek said. “For well over a year, our kids were tangibly kinder and more accepting of one another, which lead to less bullying, fighting and overall discipline problems.

“We are hoping the movie and our follow up activities will have a similar effect now. We plan to continue to have ongoing discussions during our Tiger time flex period to help the students apply the lessons from the movie to their lives.”

The students and teachers dedicated a whole school day to choosing kindness after spending the morning at Alamo Drafthouse, participating in five different activities to help break down barriers while teaching how to treat others with respect, despite the differences anyone might have.

One of the activities centered around “status” where each student was given a card from a regular deck of cards and without looking at it, placed it on their foreheads. The students then walked around the room greeting each other based on the status of each card on the students’ foreheads. The overall goal of the activity was to create a discussion about treating others.

Each of the activities connected the movie and book to school-related subjects, including English language arts, social studies, science and math.

“The takeaway from the school-wide ‘Wonder’ book and movie day is that each and every person is a unique and special person,” said Tinese Ammons, Frenship Middle School’s library media specialist. “All FMS students and staff will continue to recognize that we need to understand and validate the feelings of each other. FMS will ‘choose kind’ every day.”