This past December, a record breaking, thirty-eight Alberta classes committed to participating in the Kindness Challenge. Students from kindergarten to grade 7 spread acts of kindness towards self, others, animals, and the environment for the first half of December. Each day students completed a different activity by following the Kindness Challenge Calendar. Some of the activities included discovering the importance of native plant species and identifying any in their area, reusing an item rather than throwing it in the trash or recycle, and learning about the Five Freedoms and how to improve the quality of care for pets.
In addition to performing daily acts of kindness, students were also encouraged to ‘make a difference’ by helping a cause or organization throughout the entire Kindness Challenge. Each class decided on what cause to contribute to at the start of the challenge, then collected donations, raised supplies and/or awareness and made their contribution at the conclusion of the challenge. Here are just a few examples of the different ways students made a difference in their communities through the Kindness Challenge:
- Mrs. Bingley’s grade 4 class from Calgary collected toys for CTV’s Toy Mountain and supplies for the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
- Grade one to six students who attend the City of Beaumont’s After School Care collected donations for The Christmas Elves and The Food Bank, and wrote letters to seniors at a local senior’s centre
- Mrs. Keim’s grade 5 class from Beiseker wrote letters to members of the Canadian Armed Forces and made a ‘giving tree’ that gives back to local families
- Mrs. Radtke’s and Erin Radloff’s grade 2 class from Edmonton raised over $2000 for Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.
Towards the end of the challenge students reflected on their experience and how their actions contributed to their classroom, school, and community. One teacher overheard her grade 5 students saying “It was FUN…it felt good doing all these kinds of things” and “It would be cool if we did another [Kindness Challenge] throughout the year!”
Did you miss out on participating in the Kindness Challenge in December? If so, the challenge is available online for you and your students to do anytime of the year. Challenge your class to complete the entire challenge, or, see how many days students can complete. Each activity can be easily modified to suit the needs/abilities of your students. Don’t forget to challenge another class and/or group to help make kindness contagious.