Cooper Elementary Participates in the Great Kindness Challenge
February 4, 2020, Fort Dodge, IA- Cooper Elementary students participated in the Great Kindness Challenge the week of January 27. The Great Kindness Challenge is a bullying prevention initiative that improves school climate and increases student engagement.
The Cooper Elementary Student Council made the decision for the school to participate. According to Samantha Harms, school counselor, the student council meets twice a month and decides projects they would like to do.
“One of the topics the students continually discuss is kindness,” Harms said. “When they heard about the Great Kindness Challenge they thought it would be a great way of promoting and spreading kindness. They developed an action plan and were off and running.”
Students celebrated kindness all week through quotes, dress up days and activities. Students visited the Appreciation Station each morning to create cards for local groups like the police, fire department and veterans. There was a door-decorating contest, and each student received a kindness checklist to complete during the week.
“We placed cards with kind acts on them on the lockers,” said Kasyn St. John, a fourth grader and student council vice president. “Once kids performed the kind act, they turned the slip into Ms. Harms and then we wrote their name a heart and added it to the kindness tree by the office.”
St. John said the student council wanted Cooper Elementary to be part of the schools around the world celebrating kindness. He said the initiative was a way to try to make the school even better.
“I like seeing students come in with a smile on their face and being excited to be at school,” St. John stated. “Each kind act makes me feel happy because it shows people want to be kind to each other. More kind acts equals more awesomeness!”
Harms hopes students learned that kindness matters every day and that being kind will make them more successful as they go through school and life.
“I hope students enjoyed celebrating kindness through the various activities, but I also hope they understand and remember how important kindness is,” she said. “I hope our kids continue completing acts of kindness every day to continue to make our school a great place to be.”