This past week I was on the road traveling for work and found myself sitting in the airport thinking, “What happened to people being polite to one another? How about being kind?” Let’s face it: we have become a society where few people say “please and thank you.” I hate to say it, but I think we have become a society that is so self-absorbed and disconnected from one another that acts of kindness have taken the back seat.
Upon returning to my office, I started thinking about this lost art of being kind to one another and what we can do as Master Educators. Why couldn’t we promote and teach kindness within the classrooms and student salons? Why couldn’t we incorporate these skills within our curriculum?
I surfed the web looking for material or lessons on kindness and I came across a challenge that promotes kindness within schools and found The Great Kindness Challenge. The challenge invites schools from around the world to participate in the challenge to spread happiness and teach students the importance and the value of being kind. Check out more information here: http://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com/. I couldn’t believe how many students and schools patriciated this past year. 10,493,866 students participated in 91 countries! It’s estimated that during this one-week long challenge, that over 524,693,300 acts of kindness took place in participating schools.
Of course, I fell in love with this concept. How can we integrate a challenge like this into our schools? As I dug a little deeper, I found an app it’s called “The Great Kindness App.” This app allows schools to participate in the challenge all year long on their time schedule. The App provides 50 kind acts that students can model over a week-long period. The best part about the app is that it allows students to work independently, in small groups, or as an entire class.
Teaching student’s kindness is just a few clicks away. Here are the steps you can follow to start The Great Kindness Challenge in your own classroom.
- Simply download the app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-great-kindness-challenge/id798646493?mt=8
- Click on the “50 Kind Acts” tab. Here you will find a variety of kind acts: smile at 25 people, complement 5 people, make a new friend, pick up trash outside the school, say “thank you,” hold the door open for someone, etc.
- Once your students complete the kind act they click the “done” tab. The App keeps track of kind acts that have been completed and ones that still need to fulfilled.
It’s that easy! I suggest that we encourage students to continue sharing their kindness at home, in their communities, and throughout the world. Together we can empower all students to create a culture of kindness!