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Students, teacher share importance of kindness

Laura Rauscher | The Feather Online

The Great Kindness Challenge Week’s website features ways to show kindness.

The Great Kindness Challenge is a nonprofit organization and is presented by Kids for Peace, co-founded by Danielle Gram and Jill McManigal in 2006. Starting as a neighborhood group of kids wanting to make the world a better place, it  has grown into an interconnected network of young peace-builders worldwide.

According to the Great Kindness Challenge’s website, the goal of the challenge is to create a “proactive and positive bullying prevention initiative that improves school climate and increases student engagement.” PreK-high school students can join in, using the week as a tool to actively engage the community in creating a culture of compassion, acceptance, unity, and respect.

The challenge aims to help kids who have been victims of anxiety, stress and depression giving them encouragement.

Fresno Christian Schools accepeted the challenge starting last year, led by English teacher and junior high leadership advisor, Diane Blowers. Blowers shares some changes that she did between this year and last year.

“Last year I got the idea to have me and my students participate in the Great Kindness Week Challenge which was brought up by Mr. (Greg) Stobbe. We used the actual list, but this year I decided to make things more fun,” Blowers said. “We are having some students who are pretending to be  spies to make sure others have been acting kind during the kindness week challenge.”

Leadership student, Elijah Wood, ’25, discusses being part of the Great Kindness Week Challenge for the first time.

“Being involved in the kindness week challenge has been such an amazing time,” Wood said. “I really enjoy seeing other kids being kind and I like being kind too.”

In the following podcast, Laura Rauscher interviews Paige Deffenbacher, ’24, about making the kindness challenge a habitat.

Eighth-grader, Paige Deffenbacher, ’24, shares an act of kindness that changed her day.

“A couple days ago, as I was walking over to class, my friend offered to take my backpack to class for me,” Deffenbacher said. “I though that was very cool.”

In 2018, over 13 million students and 42,000 schools took the challenge to spread kindness to the world. The goal for 2020 is to captivate more students to take this challenge.

Senior Laura Rauscher interview leadership advisor Dianne Blowers about the Great Kindness Week Challenge that she has now led for the past two years.

Soccer and volleyball player, Sarah Upshaw, ’23, was a eighth-grader last year and had the opportunity to experience the Great Kindness Week Challenge.

“Kindness week was great,” Upshaw said;” it really showed how others can make a change for the world and also showing how to help other.

The following video shows millions of kids who were involved in the Great Kindness week challenge and some of their acts of kindness from 2019.

For more articles from the features section, read Hannah Villines uplifts basketball team, leads varsity players or Winter guard fine-tunes choreography for first performance.

Laura Rauscher can be reached via Twitter.

The following slideshow includes images of middle school leadership taking on the Great Kindness Challenge, Jan. 27-31.

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