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Sixth-graders form ‘Kindness Krew’ at Florence school

February 3, 2019 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. – This week, Briggs Elementary School students participated in The Great Kindness Challenge, one week focused on creating a culture of kindness within the school.

This is the first time Briggs Elementary School has participated in The Great Kindness Challenge.

Angela Branton, a school counselor, said the underlying theme is anti-bullying, but the purpose is to focus on intentional acts of kindness.

“Kindness is contagious; it produces a ripple effect,” Branton said. “We feel like if you focus on that, then that will naturally take care of a lot of the problems associated with bullying.”

Sixth-grade teachers selected a group of sixth-grade students to be a part of the Kindness Krew. In this position, the students planned themed dress-up days, made bulletin boards for kindness day and judged classroom doors decorated with the kindness theme, Branton said.

Ella Shelton, a member of the Kindness Krew, said the Kindness Krew also led the Kindness Station, which was a place where students could make and color bookmarks to give to other students to promote kindness.

“They’re definitely seeing that they don’t have to just be kind for this week,” Ella said. “They’re seeing that when you’re being kind, you’re setting an example for other people.”

Creighton Bonds, a member of the Kindness Krew, said students have been more cooperative in class and more kind toward others.

The Kindness Krew spent the past two weeks planning The Great Kindness Challenge.

“A lot of what we do in our school is student-led,” Branton said. “So, this was pretty much a student-led week.”

The Kindness Krew selected the doors of Paige Garrison and Becca Frank as the two winners of the door-decorating competition.

Fourth-grade student Samiyah Williams said Paige Garrison’s class decided to decorate the door with a bee theme, because the class is right beside the bee hives at Briggs Elementary.

Ansley Willard, who is in second grade, said Becca Frank’s door was themed “Donut be mean, be kind” because of a book the class read during The Great Kindness Challenge.

Students received challenge sheets with ways they could be kind toward other students. The school also sent home challenges for the students to do acts of kindness with their family, such as giving a hug, sincerely complimenting five people and creating a family gratitude jar.

The Great Kindness Challenge is an international initiative in which nearly 20,000 schools participate from more than 100 countries.