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Great Kindness Challenge held at Manchester Memorial Elementary School

The 2024 Great Kindness Challenge at Manchester Memorial Elementary School (“MMES”). (Photo Courtesy MMES)

Manchester Memorial Elementary School students have participated in the 2024 Great Kindness Challenge, a week-long initiative aimed at promoting kindness and compassion.

Started in 2012 by the nonprofit Kids for Peace, the initiative asks students to engage in acts of kindness to promote peace among both individuals and nations.

The theme of the 2024 challenge is “created kindness”, which involves students taking the initiative to create their own acts or objects of kindness toward others.

The challenge at MMES, from Feb. 5 - 9, consisted of three key milestones:

  1. A presentation by Grade 5 Ambassadors on the basics of the challenge, and a brainstorming session about how students can express kindness;

  2. A kick-off event, where students were asked to ‘shine bright’ and wear either yellow or bright neon colors; and

  3. A school-wide pajama day, where students were encouraged to dream of acts or objects of kindness that they would like to either gift or receive.

MMES Principal John Willis delivers a presentation during the 2024 Great Kindness Challenge at MMES. (Photo Courtesy MMES)

Manchester Memorial School Principal John Willis supported the challenge saying that, “Kindness matters. A random act of kindness, no matter how big or small, has the potential to change someone’s day. I was delighted to see our elementary students take up this year’s challenge with such energy and enthusiasm.”

Throughout the week, classrooms also engaged in their own activities such as reading books centered around the promotion of kindness, and even ‘bucket filling’.

Bucket filling involves students filling each other's buckets using snowballs of kind messages. The activity is meant to demonstrate how our interactions with others can make someone feel good, or achieve the opposite.

Principal Willis credited the concept to three very kind MMES teachers: Mrs. Kelly LeStage, Ms. Rebecca Xiarhos, and Mrs. Maggie Tomaiolo.  He also congratulated the students on their efforts, and thanked both school staff and parents for their participation in this year’s challenge.  

(Photo Courtesy MMES)

Students of MMES during the 2024 Great Kindness Challenge. (Photo Courtesy MMES)