CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Jefferson County Schools middle school students received a message of kindness and positivity heading into the winter break. Author and educator Jefferson J. Jones visited Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, and Wildwood Middle Schools as part of a district-wide focus on anti-bullying and emotional intelligence development. Jones spoke about topics like the importance of setting healthy boundaries, the different ways pop culture and social media influence our lives, and the power of words.
Jones taught middle and high school before taking his message to students across the country as a motivational speaker.
"My goal is to help them see that to know themselves is to love themselves and be able to pour that love into the buckets of others," he said.
Dressed in a sweatshirt and track pants, Jones offered a relatable and energetic presence to the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders he met during his visit to each JCS middle school. He encouraged students to think before they speak and consider whether their words were helpful, inspiring, necessary, true, and kind.
Maddy Kirby, an eighth grader at Harpers Ferry Middle School (HFMS), took the message to heart.
"It made me realize that you can change someone's day with what you say to them, and that's a good thing," she said.
HFMS principal Eric Vandell appreciated the positivity Jones brought to the school.
"It's just an overall message of kindness and goodwill, and that's what we want to promote here."