WALNUT— Millions of students across the country focused on spreading happiness during the Great Kindness Challenge. Every elementary and middle school campus in Walnut Valley USD joined the national event held the week of January 23-27.
Students received a list of 25 acts of kindness they could accomplish during the course of the week. The challenges were as simple as smiling at people, lending a pencil to a friend, or even holding the door open.
South Pointe Middle School hosted a Nothing Beats Kindness Day on January 25 with a fast-paced marshmallow relay race held at lunchtime. Six volunteers from each class carefully passed the tiny treats to each other holding plastic spoons in their mouths.
“We’re doing this kindness activity to get to know each other better!” shared 7th grader Jasmine Montoya while cheering for her friends. The winning homeroom also earned Panther Points toward a year-end pizza party. Students also wrote notes of appreciation to community members, including the fire and sheriff’s departments, and donated food and supplies to a local animal shelter.
“Thank you for your hard work!” penned Jared Wong to the Walnut-Diamond Bar Sherriff’s Department.
“Thank you so much for protecting us,” added Natasha Chang.
Vejar Elementary hosted a Peace and Kindness Week with students creating Kindness Matters signs and completing kind acts including recycling, a happy dance, high fives, and sitting with someone new at lunch.
Westhoff Elementary students saluted soldiers with heart-shaped kindness grams that were delivered to the four branches of the armed forces. Evergreen Elementary kindergartners made cards, and donated food and toys to children battling illnesses at City of Hope through the Friend in Need program. The giving group in teacher Mona Warren’s class also led a campaign to collect socks and blankets for the Santa Ana Riverbed Tent City people. “Helping others and growing hearts at the same time is a win-win for all involved,” said Principal Carolyn Wills. Suzanne Middle School held its annual 6th grade Friendship Summit on January 26 with activities centered on making friends, building relationships, and finding commonalities with other classmates. Walnut Elementary hosted a Mix It Up Lunch on January 25 to encourage students step out of their social bubbles and learn about other classmates. Students were seated at lunch tables according to their birth month.“They learn they have the same birthday month, and that’s common ground for a lot of friendships,” said counselor Cris Smith. First graders Gavin and Jacqueline found out they shared the same birthday – March 23. At the November table, youngsters talked about their favorite movies and television shows, and what they like to do for fun – sleeping and swimming were the most popular responses!