Love School Takes the Kindness Challenge
“I smiled at a bunch of people, held the door open for people and wrote thank you notes to teachers,” said Love Elementary School fourth grader George Bodardus. “I did the Kindness Challenge because I wanted to be kind to others and it was really easy.”
George, along with his fellow Love Elementary School classmates and staff, recently participated in The Great Kindness Challenge, which a national program that is a proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative that improves school climate and increases student engagement. The school’s PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) and POP (Power of Pride) teams came up with the idea. At their opening assembly, which was live on Facebook for parents, Love Elementary School asked everyone to perform as many acts of kindness as possible for one week. They provided a checklist of 50 kind acts that included: offer to help your custodian, lend a pencil to a friend, step up for someone in need, sit with a new group of kids at lunch and entertain someone with a happy dance.
“I picked up trash around our building, helped a teacher and helped other kids with math and ELA,” said Love Elementary School fourth grader, Alivia Dye. “I had fun doing it because I like to be nice to others.”
In addition to the acts of kindness, the school held a Spirit Week with a different theme each day like: “We can work out problems” and everyone wore workout clothes or “respect differences” and kids and staff wore different patterns or colors. The school also learned The Pledge of Kindness and created a poster with every kid’s name on duct tape pledging to be kind. They also learned a song, “Practice Kindness It is a Muscle.”
Students also had an opportunity to either create a poster or writing and picture depending on their age and 14 winners were chosen and highlighted at the final assembly.
“We were looking for a way to promote being kind every day and our principal, Renee Hartling, found the free, Kindness Challenge on-line and it was a perfect fit. All kids deserve to learn in a safe, supportive and caring environment,” said Love School teacher Laurie Hind who helped put on the Kindness Challenge. “The Great Kindness Challenge provides a powerful tool that actively engages students, teachers, administrators, families, and communities in creating a culture of compassion, acceptance, unity, and respect. It was a great way to build relationships between students and between students and staff. Students learned even a small act of kindness like smiling at someone goes a long way in making someone’s day.”
Love School will continue their challenges in March but it will be for attendance to promote the importance of coming to school every day. If students come to school 14 out of 15 days and have good behavior while in school, they will have an opportunity to participate in an afternoon of fun activities.