Thankfulness. Counting your blessings. Appreciating everything you see and have. Acknowledging simple pleasures. Having an attitude of gratefulness shifts our focus from what we lack in life to appreciating what we presently have in our lives. A study by two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, concluded that giving thanks daily makes people happier, more resilient, creates stronger relationships, reduces stress levels, and improves overall health.
We must be intentional if we want to develop a grateful attitude in ourselves and our students. Journaling or listing out five things you are grateful for every day is a simple and easy way to develop an attitude of gratefulness. We have created a simple printable gratitude journal for you to use with your students.
Let us know what you and your students are grateful for by posting a comment below or sharing with us on Facebook and Twitter.
For some people making new friends can be a bit terrifying. We’ve put together a fun interactive project for students of all ages. Younger students can make posters or simply do a small presentation on flash cards, while older students can utilize technology and create a PowerPoint presentation or iMovie. The sky is the limit.
Teaching children the difference between tattling and telling can help a child more than you realize. A child who tattles can often have a harder time making lasting connections with other children around them. Tattlers can be wearing on adults, too. It can be difficult to have patience for a child who is continuously seeking attention by tattling.
That being said, it is equally important for children to understand the difference between telling and tattling. Children who do not want to be identified as tattlers may not tell an adult about a situation when they should. This can be a detriment and can cause issues to arise later.
Here is a simple activity that you can do with your class, at the dinner table, even while driving in the car:
Step 1: Print out the Telling vs. Tattling poster.
Step 2: Starting with you - tell a story where a person is tattling or telling.
Step 3: Ask, “Am I tattling or telling?” You can have your students refer to the Telling vs. Tattling poster.
Step 4: Ask the students to come up with their own stories and present them to the class. Encourage them to ask the question, “Am I tattling or telling?”
For ideas on stories you can check out these additional resources:
Let us know what you are doing to help your children with understanding the difference between tattling and telling. Leave a comment or send us a message.
We've designed our program to be extremely cost effective and budget friendly! The 21 Day Kindness Challenge School Program costs just about $1/student. Our goal is to bring the 21 Day Kindness Challenge to as many schools that want it. Here are some different ways schools have paid for the program:
We believe that giving students the opportunity to raise money for the program provides them with invaluable leadership and career skills. It can also be a bonding experience for students who may be having trouble fitting in or finding friends. Some student leadership groups have raised money by hosting bake sales, rummage sales, runs/walks and other small fundraising activities.
Many school districts have special funds set aside for anti-bullying or wellness campaigns. Check with your district office to see if this is an option for your school.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge is also a great opportunity to reach out to local community organizations like your rotary club, 4-H, chamber of commerce, Lions Club, etc. for support. Many groups are looking for ways to make an impact for their local students and will provide small grants to your school.
Parent groups are also an excellent resource. You may want to reach out to your parent group (PTA, Home & School Club, Parent Alliance) to see if they will fund the 21 Day Kindness Challenge. We have found that parents are very supportive of programs that will have a significant impact and that directly engage their children.
We are happy to help you! Please contact us, and we would be delighted to provide you with specific funding ideas to meet your school's needs. We have videos, flyers, email, and snail-mail templates, etc. that you can use for community groups and parents.
Literature is a powerful way to teach life lessons! This month we have six book suggestions by grade level that focus on friendship. We hope you and your students enjoy these books. We’d love to hear any additional book recommendations you have, you can send us an email or add a comment below.
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.
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
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.
Are you thinking about bringing the 21 Day Kindness Challenge to your school, but concerned that it might take too much time or effort? The 21 Day Kindness Challenge is easy to run and effective.
Easy Implementation & Continuous Support
The Kindness Challenge is simple to plan, easy to run, and makes a huge impact! Visit our website to see how you can make an impact at your school. We have something for everyone! We offer age appropriate programs for every educational level: elementary, middle, and high school programs, as well as our cost-effective classroom program.
Be the Change: Bring Kindness to Your Campus!
As summer transitions into fall and students head back to school, many are looking ahead towards college admission requirements and submitting applications. They are readying their quiver of accomplishments in order to meet the stringent requirements necessary for acceptance into the college or university of their choice. As they prepare their schedules and fill their days with academic success and athletic prowess, students may want to also consider doing something kind for their neighbor, help the homeless, volunteer at a local animal shelter, or any other altruistic action that makes a difference for other people and makes them feel good.
Harvard Study Supports Being Kind
A new study from Harvard shows that being kind may be just as important to college admissions departments as doing well academically and athletically. The study, Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions, advances a new, widely shared vision for college admissions. It makes the case that college admissions can send compelling messages that both ethical engagement—especially concern for others and the common good—and intellectual engagement are highly important. The report states that the admissions process should value concern for others and the common good and describe what kinds of service, contributions, and engagement are most likely to lead to responsible work, caring relationships, and ethical citizenship.
The report offers three specific recommendations for college admissions:
The team at 21 Day Kindness Challenge applauds these new recommendations!
Kindness on Campus
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Note From the Founder
Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.