Every January, the fourth grade members of Riverhead School District’s Peacemakers Club spearhead a Great Kindness Challenge, which aims to foster kindness within Riverhead’s schools. This year was no different, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club members ran the kindness campaign during the week of Jan. 25. They created “Kindness Matters” signs for every school and invited virtual students to make their own signs at home. They also built kindness kits for every classroom that included virtual activities and kindness challenge checklists.
The week kicked off with a virtual slideshow for all elementary students based on the book “Sincerely, Emerson” by Emerson Weber. The slideshow coincided with other kindness activities organized by the Peacemakers, such as writing thank-you letters to essential workers in the community.
Under the direction of Shannon Kutner, a Riverhead Community Awareness Program social worker, the Peacemakers Club has been heading up the Great Kindness Challenge since 2013. Their mission is to prevent bullying through peer-led initiatives. In 2019, they received the United for Kindness Award from PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.