Middle School Kindness Challenge Sparks Kindness Movement Across the Guilford County

The Middle School Kindness Challenge that began in August 2017 has prompted Guilford County Schools to continue promoting and encouraging kindness at all grade levels throughout the district.

The GCS Character Development Department will lead efforts to become a World Kindness School District. At the February 8th board meeting, the Guilford County Board of Education signed a proclamation that supports the district’s commitment to building a culture that illuminates social and emotional learning to ensure everyone feels welcome, secure and engaged.  

The endeavor to spread kindness began earlier this school year. Ten GCS middle schools were recognized at the meeting for their participation in the Middle School Kindness Challenge, sponsored by Stand for Children. The national organization advocates for removing barriers that prevent students from learning and provides opportunities and resources for youth, families, schools, and community to create learning environments where students can thrive.

To be a Kind School, students learned and practiced kind behaviors through a series of classroom learning experiences and school-wide events. They learned to accept differences, as well as to actively listen to others. Teachers and administrators were also challenged to foster and celebrate kindness throughout their schools.

These schools were recognized: Allen Jay Preparatory Academy; The Academy at Lincoln and Allen, Brown Summit, Northwest, Jamestown, Hairston, Southeast, Northern and Swann Middle.

As a World Kindness School District, GCS will:

  • Provide professional development that includes engaging tools to support educators in embedding a culture of kindness throughout the district.
  • Designate Goodwill Ambassadors who will support schools and GCS staff in implementing a culture of kindness throughout the district.
  • Acknowledge students and staff for their acts of kindness throughout the year.
  • Establish a district Kindness Index to serve as the systemic measure for improving social values of students and staff.

The World Kindness Movement, formed at a conference in Tokyo on World Kindness Day in 1997, is an international, non-religious, apolitical effort. Research also indicates that “fostering kindness can be a powerful solution to some of schools’ biggest challenges.”

In recognition of Random Acts of Kindness Month, the GCS Character Development Department is working across the district to uplift the importance of kindness in all grades. The department will emphasize that kindness should be intentional, rather than random.