Helena Intermediate School Participating in the Great Kindness Challenge

HIS Great Kindness ChallengeStudents at Helena Intermediate School are participating in the Great Kindness Challenge January 26-30 and they have each set a goal of completing 50 acts of kindness by the end of the week.

And with a school with more than 900 students, that will be more than 45,000 acts of kindness shown if each student reaches his or her goal.

The Great Kindness Challenge is a week-long event sponsored by Kids for Peace Global, which encourages students to perform as many acts of kindness as possible, choosing from a checklist of 50 suggestions.  The event’s goal is to help schools create culture of kindness on campus.  The event is free, easy to implement, and has the power to increase tolerance, unity and respect for all grades.

HIS principal, Kathy Paiml, and assistant principal, Genet Holcomb, first learned about the Great Kindness Challenge while attending the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ conference this summer.  They brought the idea back to school counselor, Renita Matthews, who spearheaded the effort to implement it at HIS.

“We thought it would be a great way to focus on positive character traits, which goes along with our anti-bullying campaign,” said Mrs. Paiml. “Today, everyone is receiving a lot of nice notes from one another. It just puts a big smile on everyone’s face.  I have seen some really sweet things, like notes in student’s backpacks and in their friend’s desk.  I am have been getting a lot of hugs today.”

Mrs. Matthews created a bulletin board which highlights the 50 suggested acts of kindness.  She also began meeting with classes of students of explain the importance of the event and to brainstorm ideas with the students.

Students were already starting to check acts of kindness off their list on Monday, including one class who made a poster to show their appreciation to the cafeteria staff. Students also wrote thank-you notes on Band-Aides and gave them to school nurse Christy Moore.

SONY DSCMacy Flynn wrote a thank-you note to Superintendent Randy Fuller and presented it to him as he visited the school.

“Thank you so much, Macy,” Fuller told her. “That means so much to me.”

Mr. Fuller said he will put the note in his desk, where he keeps special notes from students and often pulls them out to read when he is having a bad day.

SONY DSCKenna Kimbrel also wrote special notes for Mrs. Paiml and Mrs. Matthews, naming them the “Best Principal” and “Best School Counselor.”

To kick off the special week, the teachers were all wearing Great Kindness Challenge t-shirts on Monday.  The t-shirts were designed and donated by HIS parent Britten Blackburn with the Alabama Cheerleading Center.

On Wednesday, the school will be taking  photo from above of the students wearing red shirts in standing in the shape of a heart.

For more information on the Great Kindness Challenge visit: http://www.greatkindnesschallenge.org/School/event.html.



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