Pizza positivity: Students deliver kindness with every pie

March 27, 2019 06:43 PM

Call it pizza positivity. SaraBella Pizzeria in Colonie is one of a few restaurants serving up a dose of kindness with every pie.

"I had a lot of people message me just saying how it just brought a smile to their face," said Lisa Fuda, the restaurant's owner.


Fuda said SaraBella was quick to jump on board when a group of high schoolers approached them with the idea.

Grace Weidman, Emma Gepfert, Sophie Norton and Treva Warzocha are the brains behind the initiative. 

"We have a group wanting to spread positivity. Our goal this year is the kind human act," said Grace.

"There's a lot of drama and not nice things that happen. So, we just want to spread kindness," said Emma.

The idea is a simple one and they believe the kindness is contagious. The girls chose 16 inspirational messages about being kind and are putting them on pizza boxes. The messages say things like "Life is short. Be Kind," and "Kind people are my kind of people."

Each one brings the chance to brighten a stranger's day.

"Everybody loves pizza and everybody loves kindness. So, it's two great things in one," said Sophie.

Spreading kindness and paying it forward is something everyone at Colonie Central excels at. A walk through their halls shows the writing is on the wall.

"The way we do it, it's very organic. It feels right and it definitely attests to the way that the kids control and behave themselves," said Thomas Kachadurian, associate principal at CCHS.

Kachadurian is one of the pioneers of a school-wide program called iCare. The program started eight years ago and fosters integrity, community, accountability, respect and empathy.

"When we see somebody who's down and we might be having a better day, let's pick them up and vice versa," said Kachadurian.

Kachadurian says now more than ever, kids need reassurance and encouragement. He says the pressures of social media, academic pressures and concerns about personal safety in school can be overwhelming.

"I know it's way more challenging than when we were in high school," said Kachadurian.

Grace, Emma, Sophie and Treva are proof that no matter what the challenge, kindness wins. They hope others will follow their lead and pay it forward.

"It might be the one thing that turns their whole day around," said Sophie.


Jacquie Slater

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