Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
Because Kindness Matters
The Great Kindness Challenge is proudly presented by Kids for Peace, a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Kids for Peace was co-founded in 2006 by Danielle Gram, a high school honors student and Jill McManigal, a mother and former elementary school teacher. What started organically as a neighborhood group of kids wanting to make our world a better place, has grown into an interconnected network of young peacebuilders worldwide.
In 2011, the elementary school that Jill’s children attended asked Kids for Peace to help create a more positive, unified and respectful school environment. As a result, The Great Kindness Challenge was designed and piloted with three Carlsbad, California schools. Because of our innovative approach and wildly successful results, word spread, and a kindness movement was born!
At the heart of The Great Kindness Challenge is the simple belief that kindness is strength. We also believe that as an action is repeated, a habit is formed. With the Great Kindness Challenge checklist in hand, students have the opportunity to repeat kind act after kind act. As kindness becomes a habit, peace becomes possible.
The Great Kindness Challenge is a grassroots movement that is making our schools, communities, and world a kinder and more compassionate place for all. Working together, we joyfully prove that KINDNESS MATTERS!
Our team is joyful, tenacious, committed and kind. In true grassroots fashion, our big-hearted team consists of mostly volunteers who work passionately around Jill’s dining room table. We have one simple goal: to create a culture of kindness for all.
“The Great Kindness Challenge provided an opportunity for our students to care for each other in ways that went above and beyond their normal interactions. As a result, we noticed a real impact on the school’s culture with a decrease in bullying and an increase in compassion, unity and respect.”
Chad Lund, Elementary Principal of GKC Pilot School, Carlsbad, California
"I encourage everyone to participate in the Great Kindness Challenge. This national program is a terrific way to promote kindness at California’s public schools. The challenge also matched perfectly with the California Department of Education’s (CDE) ongoing efforts to meet the social and emotional needs of the whole child."
Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
“I am looking forward to the Great Kindness Challenge. It was the best week of the whole year for student behavior. It also lasted the rest of the school year!”
“Not only were there more smiles on campus, there were also zero behavioral referrals to my office during The Great Kindness Challenge week. I believe in all my years as an administrator that has never before happened. True success!”
Rita Powell, Elementary Principal, San Diego, California
“After this week ends, I want to keep being kind.”
Michaela, Fourth Grade Student, Carlsbad, California
“Every school in America should participate in The Great Kindness Challenge. It not only helps to elevate the school climate, it’s a highly effective tool in engaging all students, staff and community members. So simple, so powerful.”
Garry Grotke, 2013 California Elementary Principal of the Year, San Leandro, California
“Thank you! We did this last year and it really unified our school.”
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