During the last week of January, the Leadership club at Dickinson Avenue
Elementary declared the school’s participation in the Great Kindness
Challenge. The Leadership Club is made up of the fifth-grade class and
focuses on serving the school and local communities throughout the year,
and spearheaded this project in particular.
This challenge, which has been accepted by over 19,000 schools
nationwide, is a week-long celebration that seeks to create cultures of
Dickinson’s goal was to reach 2,000 kind acts by the end of the week,
and each student received a checklist of potential kind deeds they
could perform to get the ball rolling.
Students showed kindness by talking to students they didn’t know, making
a point of smiling at people in the hallway, going out of their way to
treat their family members with respect, and more.
By the end of the week, the school had reached a total 5,626 kind deeds—more than double of what they set out to accomplish.
“How we treat people is important,” said Elana, a fifth-grade Leadership
Club member. “You don’t know what some kids are going home to, and your
kindness could change their whole day.”
While the students were proud of surpassing number of deeds, they knew it was about more than just the number.
“It really comes down to how we treat each other,” said Aidan, another Leadership Club member, “not just how many acts we do!”
In response to the great success of this week, Dickinson Avenue has
decided to challenge other schools in the district, as well as other
districts in the surrounding area, to participate in the Great Kindness
Challenge and see what happens to the culture of their school.
“Just imagine what our world would look like if everyone sought to treat
each other with kindness,” said Principal Laurie Storch. “Our efforts,
as small as they may seem, can make a difference in the culture of our