At Hewitt Elementary School, kindness is more than just a word— it’s part of everyday life, and the school’s commitment to making a positive impact through simple acts of kindness has earned them recognition as a ‘Kindness Certified School.’
Through participation in the Great Kindness Challenge, a week-long program dedicated to creating a culture of kindness and compassion in communities worldwide, Hewitt Elementary students have been inspired to celebrate and promote a spirit of kindness year-round.
The Great Kindness Challenge is presented annually by the global nonprofit Kids for Peace, and along with Hewitt Elementary, over 19 million students in 115 countries took part in the 2023 Great Kindness Challenge from Jan. 23-27.
“All week long students were given the opportunity to spread kindness,” Hewitt Elementary School Counselor Valerie Bravo said. “Announcements and videos were sent out each morning for classrooms to view and learn more about the importance of being kind in and outside of school. Kindness Stations were also available for all students to use to spread notes of kindness and appreciation for others.”
To help students practice kindness and put their compassion into action, they each received a Great Kindness Challenge Checklist and were encouraged to complete as many acts of kindness as possible. The idea behind the challenge is that repeated actions form habits, and as students have the opportunity to repeat kind act after kind act with the checklist as a guide, kindness becomes a habit.
The theme of this year’s challenge is “grow kindness,” teaching students that when they’re kind to someone, it makes that person want to be kind to someone else, spreading seeds of kindness everywhere.
From asking a new friend to play to smiling and complimenting positivity in others, Hewitt Elementary students went all-in on the challenge, even extending a culture of kindness beyond their school and into their neighborhoods and community.
Families were invited to participate with an at-home checklist, and teachers were also provided with additional social and emotional learning (SEL) kindness lessons specific to the Great Kindness Challenge to use in the classroom.
The goal of the Great Kindness Challenge is to celebrate kindness in a way that makes every student, teacher, and staff member feel loved and appreciated, and the students of Hewitt Elementary should be proud of their efforts to foster a kinder, more compassionate community for all.
“Together we can lift each other up, cheer each other on, and show the world that kindness matters!” Bravo said.