Different colored hands reaching up

Many people today, both young and old, tend to notice the negatives each day, but how often do they take note of the positives around them?

At Garfield Elementary School, students and staff are being challenged to do just that during October, which is Bullying Prevention Month.

Counselor Marcie Ryan said a lot of times when schools focus on teaching what bullying is, then it can seem to cause a domino effect.

“All of the sudden kids are saying another student is bullying them, not understanding, bullying is not just a one-time thing, but is a repeat action,” Ryan said.  “We tend to have a lot of people reporting bullying that really isn’t bullying, so we wanted to go from a different angle.”

Third grader Dillon Webber said this month the school implemented The Random Acts of Kindness Challenge with the help of Ms. Ryan, getting people to focus on Random Acts of Kindness.

“Sometimes we get so busy with all of our schoolwork and stuff, that sometimes its hard to see some of the really cool things people are helping with, so that is part of the reason Ms. Ryan wanted to challenge you guys to pay attention,” Ms. Ryan told Dillon.

She asked him to share about  The Kindness Challenge.

“Basically, it’s where if you see somebody doing a good deed you can write their name down. Here’s some of the rules. You cannot write yourself down and you cannot just write your friend down because they’re your friend,” Dillon explained.

If a student doesn’t know another student’s name, Dillon said, “You can be brave and ask them their name or you can ask someone like their teacher their name.”

The names and the kind deeds are written on slips of paper and put into a bucket.

At the end of the month, there will be a drawing.

“There is one second grader and one third grader that gets prize,” Dillon said.

And they are going to count how many good deeds were submitted, and recognize all the good things that happened all month.

And what happens if The Kindness Challenge turns out well this month?

“We’re going to keep it going,” Dillon said.

Ms. Ryan said they are going to change up the challenge a little next month and involve teachers, too, because right now it is just students.

“Then it will be a teacher, a second grader and a third grader get a prize,” Dillon said.

Thinking about the challenge, Dillon said he believes other schools should do it, too, because not only are students going to try their hardest to be kind, but they are going to be looking for other people who are being kind.

“We hope to see lots of people doing nice things for other people, and hopefully we’ll be increasing the number of helpful things happening here in our building,” Ms. Ryan said.

Dillon said the things people do to be kind don’t have to be big things.

“They just have to help,” he said.