Cosmopolis School celebrated the Great Kindness Challenge from Feb. 3 to 7.
The motto for the week was “Kindness Matters,” according to school counselor Tamara Helland.
They kicked off the week by welcoming students into the school through a “Kindness Tunnel”: Parents and other members of the community lined the halls to offer the kids high fives, smiles, kind words and encouragement.
“Not only was every student smiling as they entered school through the Kindness Tunnel, every adult that volunteered to line our halls, gave affirmations, and offered high fives also left our school smiling,” she said. “The ripple effect is powerful in that way.”
Mayor Kyle Pauley was among the community members there that morning.
“Today’s Cosmopolis Cougars are tomorrow’s leaders,” he said in a prepared statement. “It was easy for me to declare this week as the Great Kindness Challenge within Cosmopolis and join parents, staff and other residents to celebrate our Cougars who are celebrating kindness.”
Throughout the week, students and staff promoted a positive school climate with kindness challenges, teacher-led videos and discussions, and daily art projects that students gave to others in order to encourage generosity.
“The best part about the Great Kindness Challenge is anyone can do it and watch it ripple out — whether you are a kindergartner or a sixth-grader, or whether it’s a simple act or a grand gesture. And once it starts, it continues,” said Helland.
Even now, those ripples continue.
Students made cards last week for patients at Grays Harbor Community Hospital and will be delivering them soon, Helland said. In addition, the school has classroom lessons, leadership groups and assemblies planned for the future to keep the message of kindness going.
“I’ve heard many students change their wording from ‘that’s mean’ or ‘that’s not nice,’ and they are now saying ‘that’s not kind,’” she said. “I hear adults using the phrase ‘thank you for being kind’ often, and our entire staff is doing an awesome job of pointing out and encouraging kind moments when we see them.”