St. Joseph's Regional Academy in Jim Thorpe strives to teach students how to be respectful, kind, and generous.

The sixth grade class took these lessons and have created The Kids of The Cross, a group that promotes good behavior toward each other.

Melissa Novatnack, school principal, explained that the students decided to do this because they wanted to make a difference in the school.

"They're working to make St. Joseph's a more positive place," she said recently during a special pinning ceremony for the class.

Macayla Almeida, a member of The Kids of The Cross, said that her class started the program last year because they wanted to help people who felt like they were left out or to help stop any bullying that may be going on in the school.

Natalia Richards, another member of the group, added that the goal of the program is to "reward students for positive behavior."

Last year, the class monitored the lunchroom to make sure students were being kind to their peers.

This year, they decided to expand their actions to include monthly activities that promote positive actions; and are starting peer listeners, which provides other students with opportunities to talk out their problems confidentially with one of their peers in the sixth grade. They are also working with faculty to make sure students feel safe while in school.

Novatnack said that you never know how words and actions affect a person, so this group is helping the students and the faculty are very supportive of the initiative.

She urged all students to talk to any of the sixth graders if they ever have a problem, need to vent or don't feel safe.