We accepted the kindness challenge because we wanted to empower our young ladies to make a difference in our school community through kindness. Although we didn’t appear to have an issue with bullying, some of the kindness pathway activities did allow the girls to express their true feelings in a safe place and made them rethink their treatment of one another.
Our middle school girls created projects about the importance of kindness and shared them with other students as well as their families. To demonstrate a commitment to kindness by getting involved in a project that helps to make kindness a permanent aspect of their school community, the girls are restoring our greenhouse so that our entire school community can enjoy fresh produce year-round.
Although we have always had a great community at our school, once we started practicing kindness “on purpose,” we realized that we were not showing that kindness matters everyday.
In the beginning, the girls just saw kindness as a word for a random act here or there but, by the conclusion of the challenge, they realized that taking time to focus on kindness everyday really did change our school community for the better!
One student that recently transferred to our school from Georgia bravely shared an experience of a good friend committing suicide after being bullied at school. This story caused our girls to have an extremely important conversation about the horrible effects of bullying and how devastating the results often are. Every school should teach and foster kindness because ALL children deserve to feel special and loved. Sometimes it can be difficult to know when people are hurting or feeling alone so they may be overlooked. However, in a culture that champions everyday kindness, no one should every have a day go by that at least one person shows them that they matter! As one student said in her presentation, “One kind word can change someone’s entire day!”