Frequently Asked Questions

What is Teach Kindness?

Teach Kindness is a free 4-week challenge designed to help you and your school teach practical life skills related to kindness in a fun, easy-to-do way. Teach Kindness is built around a set of powerful classroom lessons provided by the country's leading Social-Emotional Learning experts. 

Who is eligible to participate?

Any school with combination of grades K-8 is eligible to participate in Teach Kindness, including both middle and elementary schools. It costs nothing to register and access Teach Kindness materials.

My school has already participated in the Middle School Kindness Challenge or Teach Kindness. Can we try it again?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage schools to participate at least once per year. With a broad range of activities to choose from,  there are plenty of options for educators to use new materials each year...or repeat their favorites!

Why middle school?

Middle school is a pivotal time in a young person’s life, when brain and physical development drive significant changes, including establishing a sense of identity and lifelong behavior patterns. It’s essential to provide middle schools with opportunities and resources to intentionally teach, foster, and celebrate the values and skills of kindness at this critical age so that students leave middle school with a positive mindset and the skills to guide their interactions in school and in the world.

Why focus on kindness?

Kindness is a universally-understood virtue that is demonstrated by ethical behavior and concern for others. The core belief of Teach Kindness is that positive, kind behavior isn't something that we should expect to happen randomly - it's a skill that can and should be taught! 

What kind of content is included in Teach Kindness?

Teach Kindness includes only the best kindness-building resources from leading education organizations. We provide resources to schools and educators across four categories, including:

  • Strengthening Peer Relationships
  • Developing Positive Mindsets
  • Fostering Student Empathy
  • Spreading Cyber-Kindness
Why should our school participate?

Research and experience proves: schools that implement systematic and intentional activities to enhance students’ sense of safety and acceptance are better equipped to help students succeed in school and in life. Your school should participate because students deserve a school environment that proactively counters meanness, intolerance, division, violence, and hate. Use Teach Kindness to help strengthen existing Social-Emotional Learning efforts, or to kick-start longer-term efforts to improve school climate. 

How do schools join Teach Kindness?

Any principal, administrator, or staff member can sign up using the form on this page.

What does it cost a school to participate in Teach Kindness?

There is absolutely no cost associated with Teach Kindness. 

How much time will it take?

Teach Kindness is designed to be easy-to-implement with minimal time required of teachers and other school staff so that all activities can be implemented within a regular class period. The challenge lasts for 30 days and individual lessons range from 10 minutes up to an hour. Here’s what a Kindness Captain in Ozark, AR, had to say:

“With a little effort, schools can see the power of kindness in their students and staff. It is easy to follow the guidelines and fun to do. Each school can make this challenge their own. We used our school mascot and student ideas and ran with them. We all would highly recommend the Challenge for any school!”

What incentives can schools and individual teachers/staff earn by completing Teach Kindness?

Beyond the most important outcome of Teach Kindness -- stronger, kinder school communities -- incentives for schools to complete the challenge include:

  • A Kind Schools Badge on GreatSchools.org
  • A Kind Schools Plaque
  • Entry into a $5000 DonorsChoose.org competition
  • Reduced-price school climate improvement support from leading education support organizations, including Facing History and Ourselves, Making Caring Common, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
How do participating schools meet the challenge?

In order to meet the challenge, participating schools must complete a few steps: 1) 25% of teachers in participating grades must sign up and participate, 2) participating teachers must complete an online reflection exercise and then teach at least 4 activities over the course of 30 days, and 3) schools must upload a "Kindness Ritual" to show their lasting commitment to kindness. 

What if we can’t participate now, but would like to in the future?

Not a problem! We plan to open Teach Kindness next semester, so check back on our website whenever you are ready.

Do schools have ongoing access to kindness-building resources after they complete the Challenge?

Yes.

Can school districts and networks participate in Teach Kindness?

Yes! Find out more information here. There are no limits to participation, so please share this with any and all schools that you think could benefit. We encourage districts and networks to get all eligible and interested schools signed-up! If you would like support in making this a district or network-wide initiative, please contact dodonnell@stand.org. 

I’m a parent/community member. Can I accept the Challenge on behalf of a school?

No. Only a staff member at a school can accept the Challenge. But, any parent or family member can share this opportunity with this reference guide and follow the prompts to email your school.  

How can interested organizations get involved?

Stand for Children, the organization coordinating the Challenge, seeks mission-aligned partners —education organizations, school districts and charter management organizations — to join us and play essential partnership roles, including Program and Campaign partners, to bring the Challenge to schools across the country. If you are interested in joining us, contact us at dodonnell@stand.org.