Charlie Millar leads by example, speaks from the heart, and spreads kindness in all that she does. As the mother of five children, a youth leader, an active volunteer, and school yard duty, Charlie touches the lives of hundreds of students in her community. Children are drawn to Charlie’s down-to-earth approach and warm and caring personality.
Charlie knew she wanted to be the Kindness Coach at
Rio del Mar Elementary (Rio) as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
“Rio had participated in the 21 Day Kindness Challenge in the past, and I had seen the positive impact on my kids and the kids in our community. I saw what a difference the Kindness Challenge made at our school. I was extremely excited to continue the program."
Charlie worked with a group of students involved in the school's leadership program to coordinate the 21 Day Kindness Challenge at Rio del Mar. As a yard duty, Charlie was able to set up Kindness Projects during recess with help from her leadership group.
Doing the kindness activities and projects during recess worked really well at Rio. They had more than 100 students participate in each project doing it that way.
“Being a yard duty was perfect. We see the kids all the time, we engage with them during their breaks, and really know what issues they are dealing with.”
Charlie said that a librarian, classroom aid, resource teacher or engaged parent invested in the campus would also make ideal Kindness Coaches, in addition to classroom teachers.
There was a leadership group already in place on campus, and Charlie encouraged these student leaders and other kids who wanted to be involved to plan and implement the Kindness Challenge at Rio. She worked with classroom teachers to identify student leaders who could help and benefit from the program. Charlie said it was important that she also included students who don’t always get involved. She encouraged older students to support and mentor younger students, and felt that was very successful.
“At our school, the longevity of the program is a really big deal. I am so glad we do it year after year. It gets easier every year, and kids look forward to advancing their leadership roles as they move up in grades. Plus, the more times we do it, the bigger impact it has on our campus.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge brings unity to our school. That is huge!”
Charlie said that repeating the program is imperative because the foundation of kindness is being built over time. Some students have even asked if they could do it twice in one school year.
Using her leadership group, Charlie said planning for the 21 Day Kindness Challenge was remarkably easy. She said building up her leadership team and empowering them to feel successful in what they are doing truly made a difference.
Charlie loves the difference that the 21 Day Kindness Challenge makes at Rio. She said the students and teachers all had a great response to the program, they talk about the importance of being kind, ask questions and really look for ways to be kind. Charlie said she loved seeing the students spreading kindness beyond campus, too. She said when they made posters to hang up around campus, the students got very excited and started making them for everyone they knew.
“It was so sweet that they went above and beyond, it really spread the Kindness Challenge into our homes and into our community.”
Charlie said she saw a big change on campus thanks to the 21 Day Kindness Challenge. Among the younger students, she said she noticed lots of students wanting to help more, including others, being aware of each other, and talking about kindness. For the older students she saw more physical acts of kindness – picking something up that had been dropped, helping a peer who had fallen. She also loved the way the program includes everyone on campus – students, teachers, administrators, staff. She also noted that the Kindness Challenge was an excellent way of bringing the resource classes closer to the mainstream population. The resource students were able to connect on a personal level with all of the students on campus through a school-wide event and activity.
Charlie is an inspiring mother, volunteer, staff member and community leader. Thanks to her efforts, Rio del Mar Elementary recorded more than 9,500 acts of kindness this year! We hope her story encourages you to spread kindness in your school and community!
Kindness on Campus
Sign up for our Kindness eNewsletter!
Note From the Founder
Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.