R2 student promotes kindness within school: ‘I didn’t want to see people being mean to each other’

R2 student promotes kindness within school: ‘I didn’t want to see people being mean to each other’

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The nationwide Great Kindness Challenge has prompted one Richland 2 Elementary school to perform as many kind acts as they can in a week.

The Great Kindness Challenge is a way to empower students to create a culture of kindness within their school. Kaleah Riley, a third-grade student at Sandlapper Elementary School, took the message to heart and made it her goal to get the rest of the school on board.

Kaleah Riley, a third-grade student at Sandlapper Elementary school, took the message to heart and made it her goal to get the rest of the school on board. (Source: WIS)
Kaleah Riley, a third-grade student at Sandlapper Elementary school, took the message to heart and made it her goal to get the rest of the school on board. (Source: WIS)

“I didn’t want to see people being mean to each other,” Riley said.

After seeing and hearing negative comments on the internet, Riley came up with a week’s worth of ideas to inspire change through acts of kindness.

School counselor Megan Allen has been working side by side with Riley to make her dream to spread kindness become a reality.

(Source: WIS)
(Source: WIS)

“She came up with her own spirit week ideas, and she made the flyer that went school-wide and she came up with these secret challenges to which I was like this is incredible,” Allen said. “This entire week has just been a different vibe, kids getting excited that ‘I smiled at 25 friends today’ or another challenge being like ‘I hugged somebody that wasn’t feeling very well today.”

With Allen’s help, planning, and organization, Allen says over 700 students will be participating in weekly random acts of kindness checklist, as well as daily secret kindness challenges. Allen has created a bulletin board on the topic as well as co-teaching a preschool lesson on kindness.

She also assisted in creating a school-wide activity for the classroom called the Compliment Booth which is available to all students at the school.

“The compliment booth is a booth where someone goes inside here and someone sits in the chair and the person inside the booth has to tell the person sitting in the chair a nice compliment about them,” Riley said.

(Source: WIS)
(Source: WIS)

Sometimes simple messages go a long way.

“This student is an amazing leader in our school and community and a positive promoter of change,” Allen said. “ I am proud to be her school counselor.”

The one week challenge is from Jan. 28 - Feb. 1.

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