The Middle School Kindness Challenge is an easy way to make kindness commonplace and improve school climate and student learning in the critical middle school years. Open to schools with any combination of grades 4–8, the challenge offers best-in-class kindness activities to teach and foster kindness over a four-week period of the school’s choosing. By learning how to practice kindness, be more empathetic, and manage their emotions and actions, students can become better equipped to navigate a complex world—at school, at home, and online. Offered through an easy-to-use online platform, the challenge can successfully be completed by any school in three steps: (1) The school accepts the challenge and signs up teachers and staff to participate. (2) Teachers and staff complete a kindness reflection exercise and then teach four best-in-class kindness-building lessons drawn from leading content providers. (The “Everyday Gratitude” activity, provided by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, is offered as a freedownload for teachers to preview. (3) Educators create a Kindness Ritual to make kindness routine at their school.
Deadlines: The fall 2018 challenge, which began on August 1, closes on December 14. Schools need to accept the challenge no later than November 12, 2018, to allow teachers 30 days to teach kindness activities.
Editor’s note: Teacher Trevor Muir shares his experience with bullying as a student and compares it to cyberbullying today. He offers educators insights into how to fight cyberbullying and empower students to stand against bullying.
Celebrating Student Voices, Facing History’s2018 student essay contest, invites students to reflect on the stories and ideals that have helped shape the ways they think about their roles and responsibilities as engaged members of their communities. The contest highlights themes in the upcoming PBS documentary film American Creed.
Bullying takes many forms. Verbal, cyber, physical, threats, exclusion, and rumor spreading are bullying challenges that Cool School® covers through engaging and interactive videos to help educators and students recognize and respond to bullying in all its forms. The easy-to-implement Cool School® curriculum reinforces the responsibility that all students share in creating a positive classroom and school climate for themselves and their peers. Start your Cool School® experience here.