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.
The Digizen website provides information for educators, parents, caregivers, and young people to strengthen their awareness and understanding of digital citizenship and encourages technology users to be responsible DIGItal citiZENS.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Making Caring Common2018–2019 Youth Advisory Board is a diverse group of young people from across the country who are committed to making schools caring and respectful places through everyday interactions.
Google is helping to educate children about good online behavior as part of a partnership with the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org. Schools that adopt the program “Be Internet Awesome” will receive resources and training about digital safety, among other things.