Rachel Stevenson, a Grade 4 student at Cilaire Elementary, left positive messages on the desks of other students Thursday during the Great Kindness Challenge. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

Nanaimo elementary school students spread kindness

Cilaire Elementary took the Great Kindness Challenge this week

Ms. Grubb’s class lined up outside their big buddies’ room at Cilaire Elementary, waiting with smiles and homemade cards tucked behind their backs.

All week, Nanaimo’s Cilaire Elementary has been participating in the Great Kindness Challenge, an international initiative that helps improve school climate and increase student engagement by having students acknowledge and perform as many acts of kindness as they can, a press release shows.

Students have dropped “kindness bombs” of washed desks and positive messages, read to children at a nearby daycare and on Thursday, Ms. Grubb’s students surprised their buddies with cards and heart-shaped cookies.

“We made cards for our big buddies and it was super fun and super kind for our big buddies,” said eight-year-old Fiona Stewart, whose buddy Sam Kossey, 10, loved the surprise.

“I loved how they thought of us for the kindness challenge,” said Kossey. “I love the cards that they made and I love my little buddy.”

Rachel Stevenson, 9, created positive messages she dropped in secret on the desks of other students with the help of fellow classmates Lizzy Rumming, Gray Talbot and Claire Gray.

“Being kind, it just makes you feel better than being rude to people, I find,” she said.

Principal Carie Wood plans to make the challenge an annual event. She said it’s an opportunity to build community within the school and create the positive culture Cilaire strives for. She also likes that the event is contagious and free so that everyone can take part.

“Of course you want to be kind all year round, but having it just in that one week, the momentum is huge…” she said. “The kids have had so much fun with it, as have the teachers.”



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