North Park Elementary School in Tremonton was just one of thousands of schools across the nation to participate in The Great Kindness Challenge, a program that spans over five days and uplifts the lives of millions of students.
Hannah Miller, a counselor and social worker with the Box Elder School District, was one of many to help organize and kick off this event. Box Elder School District has five elementary school counselors including Miller, Kellie Garrison, Marcia Wilson, Allison Durazzani and Wade Hirschi.
The Great Kindness Challenge began bright and early on Monday, Feb. 28, 2019, at North Park Elementary. Members of the community including Tremonton City Mayor Roger Fridal, local volunteer firefighters and police officers from the Tremonton Police Department welcomed students to school with high fives, kindness, cheers all while listening to the Owl School Spirit Squad (the school’s student council) sing “This is the Greatest School…A Million Dreams…A Million Acts of Kindness.”
“It was absolutely electrifying as we united as a school in acts of kindness, smiles, and teachers and staff went up and down the halls high fiving students,” Miller said. “Everyone was singing along. It was healing and hopeful.”
Students received a Great Kindness Challenge checklist to use throughout the week to challenge themselves to complete those acts of kindness listed. The list included fun and easy acts of kindness such as helping a younger student, telling the crossing guard thank you, listening to your teacher the first time, smile at 25 people and much, much more. The list tallied up 50 different ways to show kindness throughout the week. Students were handed “Kindness Bucks” for their kind efforts and were also rewarded with a fun dance party on Monday, Feb. 3, at the school.
The challenge is an effort to teach a culture of kindness, according to The Great Kindness Challenge’s website. Promoting kindness and making the community a better place was the school’s biggest inspiration.
“As a title one school we have diverse students and circumstances and everyone watches out for one another,” Miller added.
The Great Kindness Challenge ended on Friday, Feb. 1, at 2:20 p.m. when students lined the halls while teachers and staff at North Park Elementary made their rounds with even more high fives and motivational music from the Owl Spirit Squad.
Those Owl Spirit Squad members were instrumental in the week’s challenge. They not only sang for students but also decorated the school and even decorated the outside fence with the words, “Kindness Matters” to remind the community just how great North Park Elementary is and how important kindness is for everyone.
“The Great Kindness Challenge is a proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative that improves school climate and increases student engagement. The Great Kindness Challenge is one week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible on campus. Using the provided checklist of 50 kind acts, students accept the challenge and show the world that kindness matters,” stated their website.
This year over 10 million students, over 19,000 schools, over 500 million acts of kindness and over 100 countries participated in The Great Kindness Challenge.
Other elementary schools in Box Elder School District will also be participating in The Great Kindness Challenge.