CARLSBAD — School districts ranging from Oceanside to Chula Vista and Del Mar to Julian kicked off the New Year with the Great Kindness Challenge Jan. 14 through Jan. 18. The Great Kindness Challenge-School Edition was created by Kids for Peace, a Carlsbad-based global nonprofit dedicated to uplifting our world through love and action.The event included a celebration and awards ceremony from 3:30 to 5:30 Jan. 22 at the Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego.
Prompted by the Sandy Hook shootings, students and staff across the county joined the Great Kindness Challenge. The challenge was a one-week event where students performed as many acts of kindness on campus as possible, using a checklist of 50 suggestions. Imagine students complimenting each other, reaching out to a lonely child, picking up trash, surprising friends with happy notes in their backpacks, thanking their teachers and eating lunch with a new group of friends. Several schools organized a Kindness Kick-off Rally Jan. 14. Other schools hosted kindness-themed spirit days, creating a Wall of Kindness, or launched Kindness Stations at recess.
According to Jill McManigal, executive director of Kids for Peace, “Hearts were cracked wide open with the unthinkable shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. Now, there’s a profound desire to do something positive that will affect enduring change on campuses nationwide.”