Students join a worldwide kindness movement

Fourth-grader Katie Loughlin helps kindergartner Mimii Zilioli tie her shoe during the Kindness Challenge week at Sea Girt Elementary School.

SEA GIRT — Students at Sea Girt Elementary School are working to make kindness a habit on campus and at home after joining the great Kindness Challenge, a world-wide movement whose organizers claim participants in 115 countries. 

Sea Girt Elementary’s social worker, Sally Bittner, worked with school administration and the fourth-grade teacher Holly Boyer on the program, which ran Jan. 27 to 31. Fourth-graders served as ambassadors, directing their schoolmates in a week filled with activities and random acts of kindness. 

“I thought it was a great way to unite the kids, especially in the new year, by participating in the Kindness Challenge,” Ms. Bittner said. 

In 2019, the Kindness Challenge claimed participation by more than 13 million students in at least 24,000 schools around the world. Students organize activities that include writing positive messages in the school halls or helping their peers with tasks in and out of the classroom. 

“We left it in the hands of the fourth-graders to plan the activities for the week, and they ran with it,” Ms. Bittner said.

The fourth-grade class brought its A game and stepped up to the challenge, bringing in books, lists of ideas and the endless amount of energy that youngsters seem to have when they are passionate about something. 

The young ambassadors split up into committees and groups with different assignments — all tasked with spreading smiles and kind words. They posted messages of kindness and words of altruism, up and down the walkways and hallways of the school building. 

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