IRMO, SC – Students and staff across District Five participated in “The Great Kindness Challenge” during the week of January 22-26 to show that kindness matters and even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way.
“The Great Kindness Challenge” is meant to empower students to create a culture of kindness by challenging students to perform at least one act of kindness during the designated week in January of each year. Teachers are even able to print off a free “kindness” checklist for their students to strive to complete that include things such as smile at someone, pick up trash and say thank you.
Laura Duncan, a first grade teacher at Ballentine Elementary, led her school in the challenge this year. “This has been a great experience just recognizing that we are all in this world together and are able to bring our school together through random acts of kindness,” said Duncan. “We had our students make a paper chain with each chain link being one act of kindness they did and after a week it grew into this amazing school wide chain for us to display in our foyer.”
Chapin Elementary School, Oak Pointe Elementary School, Chapin Intermediate School and Lake Murray Elementary School also participated in the official “The Great Kindness Challenge.” Every student at Chapin Elementary participated with many actually completing the full “Great Kindness Challenge” checklist. Lake Murray Elementary students who accepted the challenge were given the checklist and encouraged to complete as many as possible during the week. Some classes even wrote encouraging words to one another so each student would have something positive to read as the week progressed. Lake Murray Elementary became an official Kindness Certified School in 2014.
Chapin Intermediate’s students performed nearly 9,000 kind deeds during the week and raised $5,096 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as part of a school-wide kindness challenge. Chapin Intermediate became an official Kindness Certified School this year. Principal Vann Holden wasn’t surprised by his students’ response to the challenge. He said, “It was incredible to see our students engaging in so many acts of kindness every day. With their words and actions, they improved the lives of their friends and families.”
Oak Pointe Elementary is celebrating kindness all month long. Students are being encouraged to extend their acts of kindness beyond the school building to their families and the community. At the end of the month, the Kindness Celebration will include “Kindness Bingo” and recognition of the acts of kindness throughout the community. Oak Pointe Principal, Cassy Paschal said, “It is wonderful to see our students reaching out with kindness to each other. Our hope is that the kindness at Oak Pointe, continues to spread into our community and world.”
“The Great Kindness Challenge” started as a neighborhood group of kids who wanted to make the world a better place. It quickly spread into a worldwide week each January. This year over 10 million students participated worldwide performing over 500 million acts of kindness in over 90 countries.
“It’s been just a wonderful way to raise awareness that even the smallest act of kindness goes a long way and I believe that if you don’t have a “kind” community in your classroom then optimal learning isn’t going to occur,” Duncan added. “It’s probably the most important thing we do teach and it pours out into everything we teach throughout each day.”
For more information on “The Great Kindness Challenge” you can visit http://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com/.