Los Alamos Schools Participate In ‘Great Kindness Challenge’ Jan. 23-27


The world can use some extra kindness right now. Students and staff from Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) will participate in the 12th Annual Great Kindness Challenge the week of Jan. 23-27 and they enthusiastically invite the entire community to join in.

The Great Kindness Challenge, presented by the global nonprofit Kids for Peace, was launched with three Carlsbad, Calif. schools in 2012 to address bullying and to foster connection, inclusion and compassion.

The annual program has multiplied in enrollment each year, having grown to now more than 18 million students in 36,000 schools, reaching across all 50 states and 115 countries.

“The Great Kindness Challenge provides educators and students the tools, opportunity and encouragement to actively create a positive, respectful and inclusive school culture for all,” explained Jill McManigal, co-founder and executive director of Kids for Peace.

The program has become known for its positive and proactive approach to creating kinder school climates through a simple checklist of intentional acts of kindness. Checklists can be downloaded from the Great Kindness Challenge website. Students and families are encouraged to complete each kind act over the course of the week and throughout the year.

Each year school counselor Kim Pulliam organizes a team of students to help plan how Aspen Elementary School will celebrate The Great Kindness Challenge.

“All students are given the checklist to complete. The student volunteer team comes up with ideas to help everyone get even more excited about spreading kindness,” Pulliam said. “In the past, these activities have included interactive bulletin boards, readings of kindness books to younger classes, raffle prize drawings, kindness quote announcements, kindness-related spirit wear days and photo booths.”

Aspen school librarian Jeff Lloyd supports the celebration by reading kindness themed books throughout the week of the annual challenge.

This challenge demonstrates that simple acts of kindness matter such as

  • Smile at 25 people;
  • Help your teacher with a needed task;
  • Read a book to a younger student; and
  • Sit with a new group of kids at lunch.

Big or small, every act of kindness makes a difference.

LAPS coordinates a spectrum of prevention activities provided by school staff and community partners with funding support from Los Alamos County. The aim of the program is to build protective factors, life skills and resilience and reduce risk behaviors and harm to children and youth.

For more information or to offer suggestions to the LAPS Prevention Program, contact Prevention Support Specialist Kristine Coblentz at k.coblentz@laschools.net or (505) 663-2575.