Kindness challenge accepted

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Students and staff at Central Middle School (CMS) recently participated in the Great Kindness Challenge during the week of January 22-26.

According to Central Middle School Counselor Amy Moore, “This initiative is a proactive anti-bullying program that engages and empowers students while improving school climate. CMS students were given a checklist and challenged to perform as many of the 50 kind acts listed as possible in one week.”

A sample of the school checklist for grades 2-12 included acts of kindness such as smiling at 25 people, sitting with a new group of kids at lunch, lending a pencil to a friend, being on time for school and sending a thank you to their superintendent.

According to their website, the Great Kindness Challenge is presented by a nonprofit organization called Kids for Peace.

“Kids for Peace was co-founded in 2006 by Danielle Gram, a high school honors student, and Jill McManigal, a mother and former elementary school teacher,” noted the organization’s website. “What started organically as a neighborhood group of kids wanting to make our world a better place has grown into an interconnected network of young peacebuilders worldwide.”

The website stated that in 2011, Kids for Peace was asked to help create a unified peace movement at the elementary school where Jill’s children attended. In light of this, The Great Kindness Challenge was designed and piloted.

Today, the challenge has spread.

“Students and staff also participated in a door-decorating contest, visited the Kindness Matters photo booths and wrote kindness grams at the appreciation station,” said Moore. “The highlight of the week was our Kindness Matters high-five tunnel, where school and community members came out to greet CMS students with a high five and a smile.”

The organization’s website said the group believes kindness is strength.

“All of these efforts on the part of the students and the staff were to remind our school and community that kindness matters,” Moore said.