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MERRILLVILLE | Merrillville Intermediate School celebrated the second annual Kindness Week last month with the S.T.A.N.D. (Socially Together and Naturally Diverse) Club students leading the way.

Originally developed as an outgrowth of Anti-Bullying Week so students learn not only how hurtful words and actions can be, but also how powerful and uplifting their words and actions can be to others. programming included schoolwide activities such as a kindness challenge, pay it forward day, kindness celebration, and spirit wear days.

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A highlight was Free Hug Day. As students entered the building, S.T.A.N.D. members waited with Free Hug posters and many gave or received free hugs. “It truly was amazing to see students from all grades, teams, genders, and social circles taking a moment to start their day with a hug,” said sixth-grade Principal Randy Horka.

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