4 Reasons to Take The Great Kindness Challenge

Improving School Climate Across the Country; Uniting Children Around the Globe

In today’s classroom, it’s absolutely vital that we take the time to recognize, evaluate, and address our students’ social-emotional health and their interpersonal relationships. Educators are responsible for so much: meeting standards, working towards curriculum content mastery, ensuring college and career readiness — the list goes on. But all of that academic preparation is truly meaningless unless we can teach our young people to not only cooperate and collaborate with others for the sake of productivity, but also to have a deep, experience-based immersion in the practice of empathy, compassion, perspective-taking, and kindness. By providing students with the tools, perspectives, and ideological frameworks to engage in truly empathetic and passionate daily practices, we are empowering them to establish influential and meaningful relationships throughout the rest of their lives.

There’s something you can do right now to build up your students’ sense of self-worth and social and emotional skills: sign up for the The Great Kindness Challenge. A free, powerful, week-long program, the Great Kindness Challenge is a PreK-12 initiative that positively transforms school culture through kindness. When a school signs up, they are provided with tools that enable them to dedicate one week to kindness. Armed with a motivating and exciting “checklist” of random acts of kindness, students and educators can participate in the movement by checking off as many items on that list as they can in the span of a week, and transforming their school climate to a safe space for all students. The program is spreading kindness at an impressive scale: in 2017, over 10 million students, 15 thousand schools, and 90 countries committed 500 million acts of kindness.

Check out our full introductory webinar, hosted live on October 4:

Still not convinced that the Great Kindness Challenge is right for your school? Here are four reasons you should sign up and participate in 2018:

Improve Your School Climate

Strong social and emotional learning objectives and a collective sense of well-being are significant to academic learning as well. School climate (the quality and character of school life related to norms, values, social interactions, and organizational structures) plays a role in students’ academic performance. At the National School Climate Center, researchers have found a strong correlation between school climate and academics, and an even higher correlation between school climate and graduation rates. Extensive research shows that school climate has a profound effect on students’ emotional and physical health, as well as decreased school absenteeism in middle and high school. Kindness, empathy, and respect go beyond the ideological: they promote real, measurable, data-backed positive outcomes for young learners. School climate itself can be measured: The National School Climate Center Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) provides an in-depth profile of your school community’s strengths and needs. With this tool, you can assess student, parent, and educators’ perceptions in order to gather details needed to make informed decisions for improvement.

Dive Into Social-Emotional Learning

Incorporating social and emotional learning initiatives in your school can be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you balance SEL with core academic objectives? The Great Kindness Challenge is an excellent activity for any learning community, no matter where you are on your social and emotional journey. Learn more about social and emotional learning in this guide to building SEL into the school day. Then, start incorporating it into your school day by signing up for the Great Kindness Challenge!

Foster Powerful Student Connections from Afar

One of the best features of the Great Kindness Challenge is the Kind Coins program, which extends your students’ kindness across the globe and mobilizes their efforts to make the world a better place. If you participate in the Challenge, your students will be invited to also engage in the Kind Coins program, where they can raise money to empower learners in an underprivileged community. Last year’s mission was “Kind Coins for Pakistan”, where students collected funds to build a school for children in Pakistan. The Kind Coins program and the Great Kindness Challenge are both organized and supported by Kids for Peace, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Check out the Kind Coins for Pakistan video below, and stay tuned for the focus of Kind Coins 2018.

They were on Good Morning America!

Last year, the Great Kindness Challenge gained so much traction that they were able to appear on national television! Take a look:

Click here to sign up for the Great Kindness Challenge now! →

For more SEL inspiration, resources, research, and strategies, watch this in-depth webinar: