Acts of compassion and thoughtfulness filled the halls of the Riverhead Central School District during the week of Jan. 27 as students took part in the annual Great Kindness Challenge. The initiative, which aims to foster kindness within schools, was sponsored by the Peacemakers Club at Roanoke Avenue and Phillips Avenue elementary schools, with the assistance of adviser and social worker Shannon Kutner.
Riverhead’s elementary students stepped up to the challenge by performing as many random acts of kindness as they could. They created cards for seniors at the Flanders Senior Center and collected “kind coins” as part of a fundraiser to build a school in Mexico after reading “Emily and the Kindness Bracelet” by Lisa Krekeler. They also designed kindness banners to decorate their schools.
The fourth grade Peacemakers spent hours preparing for the week by assembling classroom kindness kits and making “Kindness Builds Bridges” signs.
“The students looked forward to participating in this year’s kindness challenge,” said Kutner. “They have learned that when we are kind, it creates bridges that connect us throughout our school, community and world.”
The mission of the Peacemakers Club is to prevent bullying through peer-led initiatives. In 2019, they received the United for Kindness Award from PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.