President Biden responds to Allendale students’ kindness

On Your Corner

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two classes of fifth graders at Allendale Christian Middle School have been learning a simple lesson that will last a lifetime: Above everything, be kind.

It was a challenge that they worked on all year — not just choosing to be polite and work on controlling their emotions — but being intentional with their kindness, using it to motivate and inspire other people.

Over the course of the year, they sent letters to more than 150 government leaders, churches and schools across the country. And they loved the responses they received they’ve received.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and local state Rep. Luke Meerman went to the school to thank them in person.

News 8 spoke to the group in April.

On Tuesday, one of their teachers, John Vanden Berg, learned their message made it all the way to the White House. The student got a letter back from President Joe Biden.

“It just means that we reached our goal to the very top, to try to get to spread kindness and love and appreciation,” Vanden Berg said. “At the very end, it was a lot of, ‘Let’s put our differences aside.’ And that struck me as yeah, we should as a nation put our differences aside to focus on just being kind and being forgiving.”

The students also sent a letter to former President Donald Trump. Vanden Berg says they are hopeful they get a response from him as well.

Vanden Berg says he will continue the project, and he has the summer to try and come up with some new ideas.

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