By Stacey Bomser (As reported in Our City of Weston Magazine)
Kindness is part of the culture at The Sagemont School, which is why students, teachers and administrators on the Lower School Campus accepted the Great Kindness Challenge.
“We embraced our culture of kindness through participating in over 15,000 acts of kindness school-wide ranging from creating cards for children in hospitals, sharing kindness quotes, and exchanging pen pal letters with one of our sister schools,” states Guidance Counselor Maritza Zea. “We tracked our acts of kindness using the Great Kindness Challenge checklist. We are proud to say that students, parents, teachers and staff all came together to help us be a Kindness Certified school once again.”
This was the second year Sagemont participated in the Great Kindness Challenge. It’s a proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative that improves school climate and increases student engagement. This year, over 5 million students worldwide committed 250 million acts of kindness. At Sagemont, every student, teacher and staff member performed ten acts of kindness every day for one week, for a total of 15,000 acts of kindness.
To help students fulfill their goal of each completing 50 acts of kindness, children were able to participate in Kindness Stations during recess. In addition, each grade participated in a different kindness activity. For example, Early Childhood Education students colored pictures for the front office staff, maintenance workers and bus drivers, while fourth graders drew pictures with words of encouragement for residents in a local nursing home.
Ms. Zea hopes these activities will inspire Sagemont students to continue performing acts and words of kindness throughout the year. “When practicing kind act after kind act, students make kindness a habit. As kindness becomes a habit, this can effect real change in their learning environment. The ‘living kindness’ conditions will enhance the students’ understanding and their ability to think critically about ways to generate more kindness on an individual and global level.
To spread awareness about the program and Sagemont’s efforts to promote kindness across campus and the community, fifth grader Daniel Marmolejo and Principal Monica Vigna appeared on NBC 6’s 6 In The Mix with Roxanne Vargas.
Sagemont students are already looking forward to taking on next year’s Great Kindness Challenge. The Great Kindness Challenge was created by Kids for Peace to provide schools with a tool for creating a positive school environment. To learn more, visit www.greatkindnesschallenge.org.