Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School Completes Kindness Challenge
Will Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School be named the Kindest School in America? Students at the school recently took part in the "Kindness Ninja" challenge through Think Kindness, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire measurable acts of kindness in schools and communities around the world.
Kelley Perotti from Think Kindness paid a visit to the school in late February and presented students with a challenge - document 5,000 acts of kindness in just 15 days. Each student received a "Kindness is Awesome” journal which contained ten blank spaces to fill up with random acts of kindness. Perotti challenged the students to fill up as many journals as possible.
"You have the power, just with kindness, to change the course of someone's life," Perotti told the students. "Hopefully, you will go beyond 5,000 acts of kindness."
The organization monitors schools throughout the year that are participating in the Kindness Challenge and at the end of the year, they will select the "Kindest School in America." The winning school will receive special recognition on their website and receive a banner declaring them the "Kindest School in America."
In addition to completing random acts of kindness during the 15-day challenge, students were also encouraged to donate new or gently used shoes that Think Kindness sends to orphans in Kenya.
Perotti explained to the students that the orphans have very little to call their own and that they could not attend school without shoes - a concept that many of the students had a hard time grasping.
Not only did the students complete their “Kindness is Awesome” journal challenge, but they also collected eight large bags of new and gently used shoes to send to the orphanage in Kenya.
The mission of Think Kindness has evolved over the years.
"Initially, ten years ago, Think Kindness founder, Brian Williams started going into schools, and we were just doing the shoe drive," said Perotti. "Then we realized that there were all of these anti-bullying things coming in and we thought instead of putting the word 'bullying' into the assemblies, we took it out and just thought if we overpower it with a positive message and improve kindness, the bullying would disappear."
The organization reports that schools have noticed a decrease in bully-related incidences after completing the Kindness Challenge.
Williams is a 4th-degree black belt in martial arts. His instructor taught him "kindness is the ultimate form of self-defense." Those words inspired him to challenge others to become Kindness Ninjas.
For more information on the Kindness Ninja challenge, visit www.thinkkindness.org.