Bowman Middle School participated in the Middle School Kindness Challenge as part of a county-wide competition. However, it quickly became more than just a competition between schools.
During the Challenge, we set a goal to raise $500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. All homeroom teachers, our counselor and even our special interest teachers taught kindness lessons and discussed the importance of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the students.
In addition to integrating kindness activities into our daily lessons, we also planned fundraisers, including a student dance, a blue jean month for teachers, hat days for students, paper hearts for donations, and grade-level auctions. Everyone pitched in, including parents, and before we knew it we had more than tripled our original goal.
We learned that when people come together and work for a common goal they can achieve beyond their expectations.
Kindness is becoming a lost art. Technology seems to be creating a distance between people that makes empathy and compassion easier to ignore.
The Kindness Challenge has definitely changed Bowman Middle School for the better. It created an atmosphere of closeness between staff, students, parents and the community that would have been difficult to achieve without this common goal. The number of office referrals also decreased by 40% in the 2017-18 school year.
As the school year ended, the Challenge came full circle and impacted our students on a personal level. One of their classmates was admitted to St. Jude’s Hospital with a life-threatening illness. The student, still a patient and undergoing treatments, will benefit from fundraisers and supports which were put in place by Bowman students and staff.
I believe the students will carry the kindness lessons and values they have learned as they progress from grade to grade and well into their future.