West makes a MACHO impact through good deeds

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West School in Long Beach has embraced the notion that “my actions can help others,” or more familiarly known throughout the building, MACHO. The program behind this principle was developed by the MACHO Foundation, an organization that brought enthusiasm and positive values to West during a visit in October.

The MACHO Foundation was established by the Epstein family as a way to honor the memory and positive influence of Scott Epstein, a mentor and hero to many and creator of the MACHO acronym. His son, Cary Epstein, addressed students and shared the story behind the program as well as the importance of making the world a better place through thoughtful gestures. This event coincided with Red Ribbon Week, and marked the third year that the MACHO Foundation presented at the school.

West students and staff members constantly celebrate and acknowledge MACHO behaviors and demonstrations of kindness, generosity, good citizenship and other qualities that are practiced daily. Students are encouraged to create MACHO moments through acts of kindness, big or small.

“It is the simple deeds that induce intrinsic rewards” said teacher-in-charge Donna Fee, who has coordinated many initiatives that support and promote the MACHO theme.

Through a recent MACHO Bingo challenge, students reached out within the community and made an effort to do good deeds in appreciation of those who play an active role in helping others. They brought cookies to the firehouse and police station, delivered blankets and food to the animal shelter and left thank you notes for mail carriers.

The MACHO values directly tie in to the district’s Social Emotional Learning Standards, which are interwoven into the curriculum and throughout the school day. Students develop a sense of personal responsibility in making appropriate decisions, learn to recognize how certain situations and their emotions are linked to their behavior, and understand how to interact with others and celebrate commonalities and differences.