NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — We all grew up in classrooms with those little inspirational phrases hung on the walls. In a Meigs Academic Magnet Middle School classroom, one sign reads, "choose kindness."
Teacher Lisa Shaffer is taking the extra effort to have her sixth graders live these words.
"I feel at the middle school level, kids are just starting to think about who they are and what they believe," she said. "Empathy is the buzzword for my class."
With that comes a concern for people outside these school walls; people without a place to live, without certainty they'll find something to eat.
When Shaffer read about someone hiding money around the city through an article in the Tennessean, she told her class about it.
"We decided we wanted to do that," said student Tarin Bowles.
Deciding to take classwork a bit outside the box, Shaffer took five dollar bills, and the class began to throw out ideas where in the city they should put them.
"You'd have to put it somewhere where people would need the money," said student Thomas Grant.
"It needs to be someplace in town that people are maybe struggling," added student Cassidy Gambill.
The money went in bags with a note.
"If they need it, please take it and use it for whatever," said Tarin. "If you don't need those five dollars, set it where you wanna put it until someone else picks it up."
There was one other request.
"If you find it, email us," Tarin said.
What six sites were chosen for the money to go? Shaffer's class said two of the sites are hospitals, another two are by humane associations and the last two are at sites close to where people are experiencing homelessness.
The class just heard one of the bills has been found. It was donated to the Nashville Humane Association.
Shaffer said this is paying it forward. She heard about someone hiding money, and she hopes maybe someone else gets inspired by her class to choose kindness.
"I am encouraging kids to be the best version of themselves, yes," she smiled.
"It's really cool cause you get to help someone in need, which is always what Ms. Shaffer's trying to do," said Tarin. "She's always trying to help people."