|Welches students take on Great Kindness Challenge posted on 02/01/2018|
The Welches Schools took kindness to heart last month with
the Great Kindness Challenge, a week dedicated to focusing on kindness
featuring daily themes and a checklist of kind acts students tried to
accomplish. The WILL Club (Welches Intermediate Leadership Liaison) took part
in picking the daily themes, and fifth grader Bailey Sheehan was especially
kind to the theme of “Roundup for Kindness,” voting twice for it.
“That one sounds really cool,” said Sheehan, 11, about the
chance for students to dress up in cowboy and cowgirl gear.
The week consisted of: “Team Up for Kindness,” dressing in
favorite sports team outfit, on Monday; “Tied Together with Kindness,”
featuring scarves and ties, on Tuesday; “Kindness Rocks,” with rock star
apparel on Wednesday; “Roundup for Kindness” on Thursday; and “Dreaming of
Kindness,” dressing in pajamas, on Friday.
This was not the first venture into kindness for the school,
as they worked on compliments and showing kindness last school year, but it
took on a greater focus this year with the Great Kindness Challenge, a program
run by the nonprofit organization Kids for Peace. Welches Schools Principal
Kendra Payne noted that by registering with the organization, they had access
to tools, curriculum and activities to better organize their efforts.
“We believe that educating the whole child is crucial, so
teaching social (and) emotional skills is part of our role,” Payne wrote in an
email to the Mountain Times. “We wanted to bring Kindness to the forefront
because it helps students in all aspects of life.”
The students also noted why kindness to others is a virtue
“It’s important to be kind because if you're not kind, then
not a lot of people are going to like you,” said Kadence Gilman, 10, a fifth
grader. “If we just had a lot of mean people in the world, the world would be
“I think kindness is important because kindness will get you
a long way in life and makes things a lot easier,” Sheehan added.
They also saw how they already acted kindly and helped
“My sister asked me to make food,” said Nestor Gallardo, 10,
a fifth grader, adding that he also says nice things to other people and holds
the door open for others.
“When my dad needs help around the house, I help out,”
Gilman said, adding that she also cleans her room on a daily basis.
Students also received paper links for each entry on the
checklist they completed, with each link then put together to make a chain.
“What we hope is all of our small acts together will grow
into a really big chain of kindness that will carry over to the rest of the
year,” Payne told the students at a kick off assembly on Friday, Jan. 19.
“We’re going to work together to grow small links into chain in classroom, then
take all classroom chains and link them together for a school chain.”
Payne also noted to the Mountain Times how the focus on
kindness can help model examples of the behavior for a wide range of ages,
including middle school students helping the younger students.
“Our 5th graders act as peer helpers at recess to model
kindness and help talk through conflict resolution with younger students,” she
wrote. “Sometimes it's more effective for kids to learn from kids, especially
when it comes to peer interactions.”
By Garth Guibord/MT