Students at c̓əsqənelə elementary are spreading extra kindness during the holidays.
During December, the new Albion-area school has invited students to participate in its inaugural 14 Days of Kindness Challenge.
“The purpose of the challenge is to encourage our students to become kind and thoughtful community members,” explained principal Jon Wheatley.
The daily kindness challenges began on December 2 with a small act of kindness: “Holding the door open for someone.” Then, for each weekday until December 20, there will be new challenges, like “Give an unexpected gift” or “Make a point to do random acts of kindness today!” that can be done at school or home.
“It is a great opportunity to highlight how small and or bigger actions can truly make a difference for others in their family and community,” added Wheatley.
The idea for the kindness campaign started with Grade 1 teacher Melissa Affleck, who had been doing similar challenges in her classroom at Glenwood Elementary for the past few Decembers.
“We wanted to focus on ways we can give back to the community,” she said. “The kids are really excited.”
Each student also received a copy of the calendar of kindness challenges to take home so parents/guardians can help to support and participate in the kindness campaign.
“We want to get the family involved too,” she added.
Since the start of the 14 Days of Kindness Challenge, Affleck says students have enthusiastically embraced an intention of kindness. “They are going out of their way to be kind in other ways too. The small acts of kindness each day are having a ripple effect in our school community!”
On Day 3 of the challenge, a group of Grade 1 students paired with their Big Buddies created holiday greeting cards to send to the Canadian Armed Forces.
“We made a card because soldiers don’t get to see their families at Christmas,” said Grade 1 student Tessa.
“And we wanted to share some Christmas joy,” added Emerson, her Big Buddy.
Affleck is documenting the Kindness Challenge on Twitter using the hashtag #cqecares.