Last week (January 27 – 31, 2020), the St. James-Assiniboia School Division tackled The Great Kindness Challenge (GKC) at several schools in the Division, joining over 14 million students and over 15 thousand schools in creating a culture of compassion, acceptance, unity and respect. The proactive bullying prevention initiative improves school climate and increases student engagement.
"This will be our 7th year participating in the Great Kindness Challenge as a school," said Jonathan Baker, Principle of Athlone School. "The year we started about half a million students participated, and now this year, over 14 million students are participating!"
Athlone held numerous activities during the week, issued kindness quote announcements each morning, handed out caught being kind stickers, and emailed a Family edition of the Great Kindness Challenge. Each day also had a dress-up kindness theme day, such as PJs for Dreaming of Kindness and jerseys for Team up for Kindness.
Hedges Middle School
Events at Hedges Middle School were equally as festive with "Nothing Beats Kindness" (Wear your favourite sports jersey) and "Friendly Canadians," (Canadian Tuxedos. Also known as wear as much denim material as you can). The week also started with High Five Day, with students saying hello to friends, and potential new friends, with a high five.
John Taylor Collegiate
John Taylor Collegiate provided snacks for both the morning and afternoon sessions each day of exam week.
"Providing exam snacks started a few years ago as part of John Taylor Collegiate Student Leadership's initiative for The Great Kindness Challenge," said Melanie Paragg, Teacher with John Taylor Collegiate. "The goal was to ensure that all students were able to have a positive, nourishing, and calming start before they wrote their exams."
The Great Kindness Challenge builds on the simple premise that kindness is a strength, and as an action is repeated, a habit is formed. With students presented with the opportunity to repeat acts of kindness, kindness becomes a habit.
For more information, see The Great Kindness Challenge.