The KIND Schools Challenge is a partnership between The KIND Foundation, started by KIND Healthy Snacks, and Making Caring Common to support students seeking to make their schools kinder and more inclusive. Out of 200 ideas that were submitted from across the country, 10 incredible finalists were selected to implement their projects. This toolkit highlights selected concepts that are easy and fun to bring into any classroom.
Our research has found that the importance of kindness and caring can get lost as a result of competing demands. Schools say they value caring but only 30% of students reported that adults in their school valued caring above academic, athletic, or artistic success.* Meanwhile, when asked to rank achievement, caring, and happiness for themselves, 76% of students ranked either achievement or happiness above caring.
At times, students can also fall short in expressing kindness in their relationships with one another. 43% of students reported being called mean names, being made fun of, or being teased and 46% of students agree that other students at their school are just looking out for themselves.
Fortunately, the 10 middle and high school finalists from the KIND Schools Challenge are leading the way in showing how students and their teachers can make kindness a priority in their communities. These student leaders identified areas in their own schools where understanding and empathy may have been lacking, took action, and made a positive impact. As one student said, “If we can recognize what another person struggles with, we can find a way to lend a helping hand, which will overall make the world a better place to live.”
We hope this toolkit will inspire you to bring more kindness to your classrooms, schools, and communities!
*Survey data was collected in the 2016-2017 academic year from more than 20,000 students at more than 50 schools in the Making Caring Common network in the United States. More than 2,000 students of every major racial group in the United States were represented.