|As The Great Kindness Challenge week neared its end, CPS students gathered on the playground in the shape of a peace sign to symbolize their commitment to kindness.|
The Great Kindness Challenge
... and "How primary school students showed high shool'ers that kindness is the new cool"
CPS second and third graders participated in the national Great Kindness Challenge during the week of January 27-31. The purpose of the week’s special activities was to promote kind acts towards others, and to promote and reinforce positive, community-building behaviors.
" ... the Kindness Week differs by directing attention towards positive actions instead of focusing on negative ones, and the results are proving that it is more effective. Instead of repeatedly demonstrating negative, hurtful actions and saying ‘Don’t do this,’ we model and encourage kindness.”
-Charlotte DeWitt, CPS counselor
“Bully-free campaigns in public schools are nothing new,” Charlotte DeWitt, CPS counselor, said, “but the Kindness Week differs by directing attention towards positive actions instead of focusing on negative ones, and the results are proving that it is more effective. Instead of repeatedly demonstrating negative, hurtful actions and saying ‘Don’t do this,’ we model and encourage kindness.”
Led by the students of CPS’s Early Act Citizenship Council, a full week of activities was planned. These included “crazy for kindness day” during which students dressed in unusual outfits and styled their hair in bizarre ways. On “peace, love and kindness day,” students dressed like hippies. “Kindness ties us together day” involved every student and staff member being provided with a tie to wear for the day. Find more coverage here, here and here about this unique day of CPS's Great Kindness Challenge week, and how it directly impacted one local family. The week concluded with the “spirit of kindness day” where students and staff wore their Badger blue shirts.
Throughout the week, students attempted to complete a checklist of 50 suggested acts of kindness including complimenting each other, picking up trash, writing thank you notes, reading books to younger students, and writing kind notes to other students and staff members.
“They performed as many as possible at school, but we also encouraged them to carry on with this at home and throughout the community,” DeWitt said.
Teachers and students decorated classrooms and doors with kindness themes and, under the direction of CPS music teacher Pamela Harris, also learned a theme song for the week titled “Kind-hearted Hands.” The student body performed the song at The Great Kindness Challenge kick-off assembly during the school-wide morning show. Teachers asked students to write essays about kindness during class and selected essays were read during the morning show as well.
“We always have different messages for the students during the morning show,” DeWitt said. “But this week the students created those messages with their essays.”
A kindness chain was constructed from paper, with each link containing a kind message from students, which were tied together and hung in the hallways. The completed chain extended throughout the building.
CPS is also a “Bucket Filler” campus, meaning that students and staff are always encouraged to do kind things in order to “fill someone’s bucket.” Students write down kind acts they receive and share them with the school.
APS News Service
For more information regarding The Great Kindness Challenge week or news coverage about CPS’s participation, follow these links: