In February, Triumph Academy joined a network of over 13 million students at over 24 thousand schools to participate in the Great Kindness Challenge, a worldwide initiative that encourages kids to live their lives with “an abundance of joy and kindness.”
The Great Kindness Challenge is a program that schools and families participate in across the globe, which encourages students to create a culture of kindness at their school and in their communities. Most schools choose to participate for one week; however, Triumph went above and beyond, deciding to make it a month-long challenge.
The school kicked off the event in early February by sending home kindness checklists for students and their families to participate in during the month. These checklists outlined various kindness challenges for the students to complete, including:
- Smiling at 25 people.
- Complimenting five people.
- Helping a younger student.
- Picking up 10 pieces of trash on campus.
- Sitting with a new group at lunch.
Students were tasked with returning the checklists, with verification from their guardian, that the activities were performed, by the end of the month. Triumph has a “house system”, so school leaders decided to further encourage participation by creating a competition between houses to see how many activities students could complete.
During the month, Triumph also added their own program, which was successfully completed two years ago, called Be Kind First. This program asked students to each distribute five “smile cards” to people throughout the community to brighten their day.
“We were overwhelmed by the number of people whose day was brightened by our students,” said Amy Tansel, principal at Triumph Academy. “We received emails and calls from people all over the community.”
Triumph’s contact information was printed on the card and the school asked those who were touched by a Smile Card, to share their experience on social media. Below outlines several community responses:
- “Received a Kindness Smile from my neighbor. So sweet and unexpected. Passing it on!”
- “One of your students gave me a Smile Card Tuesday night at the YMCA, and it brought a smile to my face!”
“This was an awesome way for our students to impact the community,” said Tansel.