According to a Canadian study, it takes ten seconds to stop a bully. Can you guess how many people it takes to stop a bully in ten seconds? One! The study found that if even one student spoke up to express disapproval of the bullying incident, the bully typically stopped within ten seconds.
Bullies gain power when no one challenges their behavior. An estimated 85 percent of bullying happens with other students watching. Bystanders often passively watch the incident or aggravate the problem by cheering on the behavior and/or joining in on the behavior.
Here are three strategies you can use to help empower bystanders:
Role play incidents that can foster peer malice and then have a discussion about what a bystander should do to help the situation.
Start the discussions by asking open-ended questions and writing down the answers. Tackle each answer to find a solution that can cultivate kindness, foster friendships and build community.
Many schools have reduced bullying incidents by empowering their student leadership or advisory team to take on the issue of peer malice. Here are some ideas on how to utilize your student leaders or student advisory team:
Print these kindness posters and post them around campus to promote kindness! Have fun and enjoy!
We often get the question, "When should I hold my school's 21 Day Kindness Challenge?"
We say, "Really, whenever it works best for your school!"
The Kindness Challenge is designed to fit within your school's schedule. You and your student leaders decide when will be the best time to hold your school's 21 Day Kindness Challenge. That said, we do suggest you consider a few factors that may come in to play. Here are some of our suggestions for optimal planning:
For more thoughts on planning, or for more information about how to bring the 21 Day Kindness Challenge to your school, please join us for our LIVE Q&A session. We meet the second Tuesday of every month from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. PST. The 21 Day Kindness Challenge team is available to answer all your questions and help get you started on making a change on your school culture! More information is also available on our website or by watching our Webinar. In just 24 minutes, we explain all about the 21 Day Kindness Challenge.
Character Matters by Dr. Thomas Lickona, a developmental psychologist and professor of education emeritus at the State University of New York at Cortland, is a must read for any school administrator that has a strong desire to create a character focused campus. There are more than 100 strategies for building school partnerships with parents, teaching academics and character at the same time, creating a character-based discipline program, preventing peer cruelty and promote kindness, and much more!
Please let us know your thoughts about the strategies in this book and what you’ve implemented in your classroom or on your campus in the comments below.
Kindness really does make a difference in our world. The 21 Day Kindness Challenge team is proud of this teen who is reaching out and doing what he can to spread kindness in his community. With a simple yet very helpful act of kindness, this teen made a difference for his neighbor. Thank you, Brett, for reminding us how easy it is to be kind!
We encourage you to share Brett's story with your students, and see what kind acts you can inspire in them!
Do you want to give ideas to your students on how to spread kindness in their neighborhoods, too?
Here are 5 easy ways to say thank you or just let people know that you care.
Do you have some other ways that you or your students spread kindness in your community? We want to hear from you! Share them with us by commenting on this blog post or by sharing on our social media channels Facebook and Twitter.
Rewards for your campus...
Participating in the 21 Day Kindness Challenge, your school...
Bringing Kindness to Your Campus is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
Becoming a change agent in the world isn’t an easy thing to do, especially if you are a young child. The Founding Fathers of the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi are all great adult examples of change agents but what about kids? Can kids make an impact in their community and their world? Our video pick for this month answers this question.
Leah Nelson, a 10-year-old girl, is challenging others to pass on kindness in her West Sacramento community. Watch the video and be inspired!
Caryn Lane is an amazing Kindness Crusader. She was one of the very first kindness coaches to join the 21 Day Kindness Challenge pilot program, and she has been passionate about making a change for her students over the years. Every year that Valencia has held a 21 Day Kindness Challenge at Valencia, the number of acts of kindness performed by the school's students, teachers, administration and staff has increased dramatically and the impact has been tremendous. Following her extremely successful 21 Day Kindness Challenge in the early part of 2016, Caryn submitted the following article about her experience to a local newspaper. She received front page coverage! We are pleased to share her story with you. We hope it will inspire you to bring kindness to your school!
Kindness Challenge at Valencia
by Caryn Lane
The Valencia School Community kicked off the second half of the school year with a 21-Day Kindness Challenge that ran from Tuesday, January 12 through Tuesday, February 16.
This is the third year that the school has taken part in the challenge, started by Aptos/Rio Del Mar parent, Justina Bryant.Author Roald Dahl said, “I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else.”
The Valencia staff and parents agree, and were excited to bring the 21-Day Kindness Challenge program to the students again this year. The children were equally fired up about trying to make their school a kinder place to be.
This year’s Kindness Coach, Caryn Lane (a parent and teacher at the school) and Valencia School Girl Scout Troop 10056 helped to organize the Kindness Challenge materials and get them out to the teachers and classrooms. Girls from the troop also helped with the 21-Day Kindness Challenge Kick-Off Assembly on Wednesday, January 13, where they explained how the challenge works and modeled different ways that students could show kindness to others. They encouraged the students to “throw kindness around like confetti” throughout the 21 days of the challenge.Students helped to spread the kindness message during the 21 designated school days by making inspirational posters to hang around the school, and recording acts of kindness on strips to be linked together to form class kindness chains. Sixth grade student leaders also used the school’s loudspeaker system to share reported acts of kindness during the morning announcement period. Teachers showed daily video clips to inspire and motivate the students to notice the goodness going on around them. The “Kindness Boomerang” and Kid President’s “20 Things We Should Say More Often” were two of the favorites.
Valencia families were encouraged to keep the Kindness Challenge going on the home front to support what was happening at school. A sheet with home extension weekly kindness project ideas (included in the program materials) was provided to each family to foster more kindness in students’ lives outside of school.
Sixth grade student leaders worked with the Kindness Coach to lead the Kindness Challenge Celebration Assembly. Students, staff, and parents gathered in front of the school mural to celebrate the end of the challenge on Wednesday, February 17. Every class brought their kindness chain to the assembly to be linked together into one GIANT school kindness chain. As each class sat with their kindness chain across their laps, the student leaders reminded the students of the importance of keeping the kindness going on campus and at home through the rest of the year and beyond. Students were excited to see all of the chains of kindness around them and celebrated everyone’s efforts with a special Valencia School clap for all of their schoolmates.
Once all of the chains were linked together, the school kindness chain measured 540 feet and encompassed 4,320 acts of kindness. One of the favorite quotes posted around school during the challenge was, “The world is full of KIND people. If you can’t find one, BE one.” The students of Valencia School certainly took that to heart.
Way to go Seastars!
And way to go Mrs. Lane! The 21 Day Kindness Challenge applauds you for your commitment to your students and school. Thank you for all of your efforts. Congratulations on your new position as Principal. The Valencia Seastar Family is indeed lucky to have you.
If you would like more information about how to bring the 21 Day Kindness Challenge to your school, please join us for our LIVE Q&A session. We meet the second Tuesday of every month from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. PST. The 21 Day Kindness Challenge team is available to answer all your questions and help get you started on making a change on your school culture! More information is also available on our website or by watching our Webinar. In just 24 minutes, we explain all about the 21 Day Kindness Challenge.
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Note From the Founder
Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.