- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - Like a dash of curry adds international flavor to food, a few sticky notes will add Indiana flavor to a kindness program spreading to schools in India.

West Vigo Elementary fourth-graders already participate in the SPPRAK Pack - Special People Performing Random Acts of Kindness - by putting up sticky notes on a wall banner at school to recognize people who do something special for others.

On Thursday, students in teacher Annie Gauer’s class wrote a few preliminary notes for students in Hyderabad, India, as examples of recognizing others for their random acts of kindness. One student with a broken thumb wrote that he was glad that another had carried his lunch try. Another student was glad to swing with others on recess.

SPPRAK, which has already spread to 16 states around the country, is going overseas to India via Hari Vennelakanti, who is a physical therapist at Signature Healthcare of Terre Haute. Vennelakanti will be visiting his family in Hyderabad for a few weeks, and he has arranged to introduce SPPRAK to schools he attended - Kakatiya High School and Kendriya Vidyalaya Golconda.

The students are now on summer holiday, he told the Tribune-Star, but he will be there to launch the school program on June 15 before returning to Terre Haute.

“I’m hoping there will be a positive response to this, and I’m hoping the kids will like it,” Vennelakanti told the Tribune-Star (https://bit.ly/1ElT1mD ) of the students in India. “The kids will realize they are no longer just receivers of kindness. You can be givers.”

The fourth-graders also learned a little about India during a morning program. The students there play mostly soccer and cricket, he said, rather than football and baseball.

And with Gauer pointing out the route on a world map, Vennelakanti explained that he will travel 19 hours by air to reach his native country. He will travel from Chicago to Greenland, then across northern Europe and Russia to reach India.

Susan Short, one of the SPPRAK founders, said that having the program spread internationally is a big thrill. The program has been spotlighted in national news broadcasts for its encouragement to embrace community by positive actions. For more information about SPPRAK, go online to spprak.blogspot.com.

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Information from: Tribune-Star, https://www.tribstar.com


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