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2019's Great Kindness Challenge

Administrators, teachers, staff, and the students at A.A. Gates Elementary work hard every day to create a positive school climate; one that promotes respect and safety for everyone. We use a system called “P.A.W.S.” (Practice Respect, Accept Responsibility, Work Honestly, Safety Matters) to help promote and reinforce this climate.

Mrs. Kelly Guy, our fifth grade mathematics teacher, has gone above and beyond to teach these positive values to her students, with an added emphasis on showing kindness and empathy. She found the opportunity to extend this learning even further through The Great Kindness Challenge. What began as a fifth grade initiative quickly turned into a Gates-wide, week-long event that took place during the week of Jan. 28 - Feb. 1! With the support of the P.A.W.S. team, administrators, teachers and staff, the Gates school embraced this nationwide challenge for the second year in a row.

The Great Kindness Challenge was created by Kids for Peace, for the purpose of providing schools with a tool for creating a positive, bully-free school environment. Last year, 10,546,421 students from nearly 20,000 schools participated in the challenge, performing over 500 million acts of kindness nationwide! For Gates’ part, students participated in a Spirit Week as a fun way to focus on kindness each day. Daily themes included a “Kindness Kick-off Day,” the “Wear Your Favorite Sports Gear” day, a “Hats Off to Kindness” Day, and more. Additionally, school administrators Mrs. Podolak and Mrs. Sinicropi used the daily morning announcements to promote these acts of kindness, and shared a kindness quote with the entire Gates building.

The crux of the challenge required students to complete acts of kindness throughout the week. Items that counted as “challenges” included (but were not limited to) acts such as:

Smile at 25 People
Give Your Friend a High Five 
Compliment Five People 
Invite a New Friend to Play 
Help Your Teacher with a Needed Task

The Great Kindness Challenge served as a wonderful reminder that we all have the power to make our world a better place, by treating others with kindness and respect. Our students and faculty seemed to really enjoy throwing kindness around like confetti, and we appreciate how our entire school came together to promote this important value!

The Great Kindness Challenge is generously sponsored by Dignity Health, Peaceable Kingdom, ViaSat, Nordson, NRG, McGraw-Hill Education, and is supported by Hasbro’s “Be Fearless, Be Kind” initiative.

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students pose for picture with kindness signs
students pose for group shot
Superintendent: Neil O'Brien
Phone: 315.776.5728
Fax: 315.776.4050
Address: 30 Maple Avenue
Port Byron, New York 13140