THE NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Kindness, mobile experience part of what makes Allen County a great place to live

It’s a good day to laud a couple of local achievements that enhance Allen County’s reputation as a great place to live.

East Allen County Schools gets a thumbs-up for two of its schools being included among the 10 national finalists in the Middle School Kindness Challenge. Fort Wayne gets the other thumbs-up for having the third-best mobile experience for callers of the 125 most populous U.S. cities.

New Haven Middle School and Southwick Elementary School were 2019 champions in East Allen’s first year participating in the Kindness Challenge. A news release said that each school received $1,000 in Donors Choose credit, to be used toward purchasing materials to continue fostering kindness in their school community. EACS reportedly had all its eligible schools involved.

AASA (The School Superintendents Association) is a lead partner for the Middle School Kindness Challenge, which was spearheaded by Stand for Children in response to bullying and intolerance.

Since launching in September 2017, 1,243 schools have registered for the program in 50 states and Washington, D.C.

AASA says the Middle School Kindness Challenge encourages teachers and school staff to intentionally and systematically teach and foster kindness to improve school climate, reduce suspensions and foster social and emotional development.

The Journal Gazette reported that the culture in the two winning EACS schools appeared to be transformed, and that one of the schools experienced a 50 percent reduction in reported bullying incidents.

We hope other Fort Wayne and Allen County schools participate in the next round of the challenge, to help students practice kindness, be more empathetic and manage their emotions and actions to become better equipped to get along with others throughout their lives.

Meanwhile, it is no small achievement for Fort Wayne to be so highly rated for the basic functions we expect of our mobile devices every day: the ability to make important business calls or send a text, to use your smartphone for navigation, to stream movies or any of the other countless ways you may use your phone.

RootMetrics by IHS Markit released results on Tuesday of an exhaustive study that evaluated network reliability, network speed, data performance, call performance, text performance and overall performance. The rankings of the top 125 most populous cities, as well as the 50 states, were based on an average of the root scores for four major U.S. mobile networks – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in all those areas.

Indianapolis was ranked 22nd, and was the only other Indiana city on the top 125 list. It was 17th last year, while Fort Wayne was sixth.

The top city on the list this year is Kansas City, Mo., while Columbus, Ohio, finished second.

As the report points out, “mobile users expect an always-on experience, and demand that mobile carriers provide a fast and reliable experience everywhere they go.”

That favorable experience in Fort Wayne should be a big selling point to people and businesses considering moving here.