LAPS Launches Great Kindness Challenge

River Irving, Eliana Padilla, Jaia Tyson, Ian Vest and Jewel Jaramillo help celebrate the Great Kindness Week in 2020 at Aspen Elementary School. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools is participating in the 10th annual Great Kindness Challenge the week of Jan. 25-29 and invites the entire community to join in.

The Great Kindness Challenge is a positive and uplifting program that creates a culture of kindness in schools, communities and the world. Using a simple kindness checklist, schools and families are challenged to complete as many acts of kindness as possible.

Some of the items on the checklist are: read a book to a student, help a teacher with a needed task, write a note to your mail carrier or simply wave at 25 people. Big or small, each act of kindness makes a difference. 

While we encourage families to use the checklist, we invite the Los Alamos community to participate in this simple but fun activity – the Happy Heart Hunt!

Here’s how it works:

  • Cut out a heart of any size from any material (craft paper, cardboard, wrapping paper, newspaper, fabric, etc). 
  • Decorate your heart with a positive message or leave it blank. 
  • Tape your heart to a street-facing window to show your love to all. 
  • As word spreads, go on a safe (keeping 6 feet distance from others!) family walk and see how many happy hearts you can find. 
  • When you get home, wash your hands and then share any photos you took on Instagram (tag @lahappyhearthunt and use the hashtag #lahappyhearthunt) or through the photo submission form at the Happy Heart Hunt website: https://sites.google.com/laschools.net/lahappyhearthunt.

Aspen Elementary School was the first school in the district to participate in the Great Kindness Challenge with the rest joining in shortly after. At the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy, students have been writing friendly letters or connecting with buddies in another grade. 

At Aspen, the Natural Helpers will be making announcement videos to tell students about the different ways to celebrate Kindness Week. Aspen’s school counselor Kim Pulliam will be “visiting” classes to facilitate discussions and activities focused on kindness, and many teachers will also be doing kindness-related activities with their classes.  

“In years past, it’s always been fun, encouraging, and inspiring to visibly see students’ kind acts from The Great Kindness Challenge Checklist,” Pulliam said.

During Kindness Week each year, Aspen is alive with cut-out hearts, kind notes, “Kindness Matters” signs, flower drawings for the office staff, and “thank you” posters for the cafeteria workers.

“This year’s Kindness Week will certainly be different than in years past, but I’m excited to see and hear what emerges from this difference,” she said.

There is no better time than now to remember the importance of small acts of kindness and finding the positive moments. Join the Los Alamos Schools staff and students in the Great Acts of Kindness Challenge!

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