Something incredible is happening at Walker Charter Academy, and Shawna Turnbull, art teacher, is the mastermind behind it.
In her 14 years at Walker, Turnbull has noticed a change in school culture due to the increased use of social media, so she decided to do something about it by starting a school-wide kindness initiative, called the Intentional Acts of Kindness Challenge. All year, students will focus on intentionally spreading kindness at school and in their community.
“I believe it is our responsibility as educators to help create change and encourage students to be intentional about how they treat one another in the school and on social media,” said Turnbull.
In November, students will look for intentional acts of kindness and write “kindness reports.” Also, in the spirit of World Kindness Day, which takes place on Nov. 13, each classroom will get a World Kindness Day 2019 page to color and gift to friends, teachers, or family members.
“Students are leaving encouraging notes on lockers and teachers’ doors, intentionally including all students,” said Turnbull. “I have seen students go out of their way to include students who often go through their day alone. Younger elementary students are receiving and then passing along laminated kindness cards with positive, uplifting quotes.”
Turnbull also started an Instagram for the older students at Walker, where they can post photos and comments to show how they see or experience kindness at their school.
This isn’t Turnbull’s first positive school culture project, and she is appreciated in the school community for her passion to promote a kind environment for students.
“We are so thankful for her proactive steps to improve the community at Walker one intentional act of kindness at a time,” said Steve Bagley, principal at Walker Charter Academy.