Students at the British International School of Washington observed the Great Kindness Challenge from January 24 to 28. This event by the campaign Kids for Peace promotes kindness in schools. BISW students used checklists to help them gather details about their acts of kindness and count them. The final tally showed 8,429 acts of kindness between Monday and Friday in school and around the community. Students and teachers also had fun with themed clothing days throughout the week, such as the glitter and metallic theme “Shine with Kindness” and the rock-star theme “Kindness Rocks.”
“My favourite thing about Kindness Week was that we chose which nonprofit organisation to support with a donation. We chose to help animal shelters.” said Year 6 student Maisie F. “I think it is important to be kind because you never know who your kind acts might help.”
Lower secondary students visited DC-area charities A Wider Circle and Martha’s Table to volunteer their services as an act of kindness. Both charities support people living in poverty or experiencing homelessness. It was an inspiring and eye-opening experience for the students, who organised clothes, moved household goods, arranged children’s books, and more at A Wider Circle or put together meals at Martha’s Table.
“With kindness, we should not expect anything in return. I do kind things for people, and people do kind things for me, but we shouldn’t expect it,” said Year 9 student Darcy W. “Kindness Week is an excellent reminder to be kind all year.”
Staff found special ways to offer kindness too. For example, Administrative and Marketing Assistant Marissa Harris, who has had classical vocal training, sang opera for students throughout the week. Similarly, Learning Support Specialist Leah Caldwell facilitated a project encouraging students to make cards with kind messages for residents of a senior citizen home and then delivered them.
“This year’s Great Kindness Challenge was a tremendous success, as our community surpassed our goal and completed 8,429 kind acts,” said School Counsellor Devon DeCataldo, who organised the event for the school. “This challenge supports our healthy school climate efforts, and it was heartening to see the children come together to spread positivity and commit to doing so year-round. I would also like to thank the parents and students for their generosity for the various donations received supporting multiple local organisations and, in particular, our partnership with A Wider Circle. Thank you again for your support in creating a culture of kindness at BISW!”
You can learn more about the Great Kindness Challenge here.