#kindness1billion: PAL programs compete in annual Kindness Challenge

A handful of Peer Assistance Leadership programs recently let us know how they celebrated last month’s World Kindness Day.

Thank-you letters to troops

Administered by OCDE, PAL is campus-based and built around the idea of students helping other students. Working with advisors, youth leaders in grades four through 12 create positive school environments through mentoring, new-student transition services, conflict management, service learning, tutoring and prevention activities.

On World Kindness Day, internationally observed on Nov. 13, programs from five schools took part in the annual PAL Kindness Challenge, tallying 3,255 good deeds that will count toward OCDE’s One Billion Acts of Kindness drive.

St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita won the friendly competition by logging 2,428 kind acts, but each of this year’s participating schools made an impact. Here are some highlights:

St. John’s Episcopal School, Rancho Santa Margarita

The middle school PAL students at St. John’s Episcopal performed acts of kindness on campus and in their community. In addition to writing personalized notes to every student and teacher at their school, they provided breakfast for teachers, picked up trash and read to pre-kindergarten students.

Centralia Elementary School, Centralia Elementary School District

Centralia students spread kindness on their campus by writing thank-you notes to custodians, cafeteria workers and office staff. In addition, students learned about different cultures and shared what they learned with others. They also read to younger students.

Cielo Vista Elementary School, Saddleback Valley Unified School District

The PAL advisor at Cielo Vista challenged PAL students to each complete at least seven random acts of kindness. Their kind acts included donating to charities, reaching out to other students they don’t normally play with, and making an extra effort to be nice to others.

Gilbert Elementary School, Garden Grove Unified School District

PAL students at Gilbert collected more than 300 blankets and towels for the Orange County Humane Society in Huntington Beach. They also made Kindness Hearts and delivered them to the staff members at their school, and they sent thank-you letters to troops serving in Iraq.

Gauer Elementary School, Anaheim Elementary School District

Peer leaders at Gauer took on the challenge with a number of individual acts. Examples shared included feeding a homeless cat, helping a friend with schoolwork, calling a sister just to see how she was doing and organizing a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets.

Don’t forget to log your kind acts on the kindness1billion.org website, or download our free app for iOS and Android devices. For more on kindness, check out these recent stories we’ve shared on the OCDE Newsroom, including the “Exploring Kindness” episode of The Deeper Learning Podcast, hosted by Orange County Superintendent Dr. Mijares.