Friday, November 10, 2017

The Birth of Kindness180

The first Star Wars movie was released 40 years ago in 1977. Since then people all over the world have been geeking out over the Star Wars movies. We dress up as Star War characters for Halloween, movie openings, parties, or for my kids, just because it is a sunny day. You don't really need a reason to dress up for Star Wars. 
(Oh and those who make fun of Star Wars, we are onto you. We know there is at least one character you can relate with.  Stop fighting it and embrace your inner geek. You can do it.)

I have seen every Star Wars movie, and my absolute favorite movie is The Force Awakens. I love seeing Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher on the big screen together again.  I also love seeing Chewbacca in the new movie. who is that loyal and brave friend who is straight up cool. Chewy (still Chewbacca for the non Star War fans) doesn't take anything from anyone. He is kind, but will take care of business when needed. #belikechewy

My personal FAVORITE character from Star Wars is Rey from The Force Awakens.
Image result for rey

Rey is strong and courageous. She is able to face her fears head on, and she is fierce! She is independent and strong and isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to protect those around her. She is scrappy, tough, and a survivor. 

She gives the phrase "fight like a girl" a whole new positive meaning. She isn't the typical damsel in distress. She takes care of business herself.  She is able to wield a light saber in her first battle better than her opponent Kylo Ren, who has been training for his entire life.  

This girl is a fighter. She does not give up. She had to learn to be tough in order to survive because when she was a little girl she was abandoned by her parents for reason we do not know yet. She held onto hope that her parents would one day come back for her.  Throughout the movie we contemplate why her parents abandoned her. Will we find out who her parents are? Will they come back for her? When I watched this movie in the theater the crowd erupted after the very last scene, when Rey hands Luke his lightsaber. Was he her father? Or was it Han Solo? 

Each person in the theater had a theory on who her parents were and why she was abandoned. Why do you think this was so important to everyone who watched the movie to know who her parents were? 

We all have a strong desire to know where we come from and we yearn to have that strong connection and bond from both of our parents. To fathom a parent would abandon their child for whatever reason is hard for people to understand. They want answers. They want to know why. What caused them to make the decision to leave their children? Whatever the reason, it can cause wounds that are deep and hard to overcome. 

As I watched the movie I noticed subtleties that shows how being abandoned by her parents has shaped her as a person.

First, I noticed she has a hard time accepting help from others. When Finn tried to help her escape he grabbed her hand and she immediately jerked it away from him. For most of her life she has had to be self reliant. She feels she can't depend on those around her to take care of her. She has to take of herself. 

I also noticed that Rey was a protector for those around her.  BB8 was captured and being mistreated and she immediately came to his rescue.  This is actually a common trait for many people who have been abandoned. They have felt first hand the fear and pain that comes with rejection and often times do not want others to feel this same pain. 

I noticed these subtleties because Rey is me in a lot of ways. At a very young age I as abandoned by my biological father. Just like Rey I waited for him to come back. I held onto hope that one day he would decide that he would want me and my sisters and he would finally come back for us.

* Before I go on I do have to say that I had a wonderful step-dad who loved me like his own. He helped raised me and was a wonderful father. However, knowing that my biological father didn't want me caused deep wounds that no one could heal. *

As a young child I would sit outside and watch for any cars that I didn't recognize and held onto hope that my dad would come home. When we would go to the store I would study the faces of the men in the store to see if one of those men looked like me or my sisters.

I pushed myself to be my absolute best, almost to a fault. If he did come back then I wanted to make sure I had become someone he was proud of. I held onto the hope of his return until I was 14. 

We were all home and my mom received a phone call. When she hung up she came out of her room and sat us down on the couch. They had finally found the man who abandoned us. There was just one problem.  He had died. His years of drug and alcohol abuse finally caught up to him. 

 After my mom told me the news I simply told her, "I don't care. He never loved us."  I can still remember how hurt I felt and how I vowed never to be hurt like that again. For years I held onto hope that a man, who abandoned me, would come back for me. I held onto hope that one day I would be worthy of his love, but that day would never come. 

The first and only memory of being in the same room as my dad was at his funeral. It wasn't the memory I had been hoping for. 

At the time I was too immature to realize it, but that was the moment I started building emotional walls. Brick by brick.

For years the carefree, high energy, goofy girl, who loved everyone was still there, but she just kept everyone at arms length. No one could get too close. The wall was small at first but after 20 years the brick wall had become so high and thick I wasn't able to recognize the person standing in the mirror anymore.

I knew something had to change. I knew I had to break down the walls I had built and I had to let other people in. The only people that could truly get through that wall were my own personal children and my students. I had to stop and ask myself why. The answer is actually pretty simple. I knew how much it hurt as a child to be abandoned by someone that was suppose to love you and care for you. Someone who was suppose to fight for you. I didn't want my own children to ever feel that pain. I vowed they would know how much they were loved. For my students, I wanted them to know if they were experiencing the same pain I felt then they would have me in their corner fighting for them.

This is the first time I am sharing this with many people. For years, the only person that knew about my struggle is my husband. Who bless him, is a saint. He told me for years I had needed to break down my walls and how I needed to start healing my heart. I  fought him on it, because for some reason I thought admitting that he was right made me weak. Letting people in made me vulnerable. I didn't want to let go of that control.

About two years ago I started the journey on breaking down these walls. It was difficult at first, and was frankly uncomfortable when someone wanted to talk about "feelings" or give me a hug. Yep, I was one of those people. I had a personal bubble the size of Texas.

I do think it is important to make sure those who are reading understand that just because I had a huge personal bubble didn't mean I wasn't a caring or loving person. I would bend over backwards to help someone. I would give you my last dollar if it meant that it could help you. I love people and I listened to their stories and did whatever I could to help. However, I didn't want these same thoughts and feeling reciprocated. It made me feel weak. It made me feel like the other person had control. For a person who builds up walls, control is a huge reason on why we build them up in the first place. If we are the ones with control then it means we can avoid being hurt.

For two years I worked to let people in. I started taking brick by brick down. Once in a while I had to fight the urge to put a brick back up. After two years I felt like I had made huge progress, but there were still a few people in my life who thought I wasn't personable. I didn't know what to do. I was kind of upset by this because I had been working  so hard to tear down my wall, but I realized that I hadn't torn it down completely. I still had a ledge there that I  leap over to protect myself when things got tough. I was using it as a safe zone. I had come so far but I knew I still wasn't quite there yet.

What was I missing? I had come so far tearing down the walls I had built but I was still unable to let others in. That's how Kindness180 was born. I have always loved doing kind acts for others, even when my wall was 100ft high and 100ft thick. When I did kind acts for others it was the rare moments that I let myself be vulnerable. I decided for 180 days I was going to do acts of kindness for other people in hopes that it would help me break down the remaining walls.

After a month into kindness180 I started noticing subtle differences in myself that surprised even myself.

I had just completed a kindness180 challenge of smiling at 10 people. I had actually extended this challenge and had been doing it for a couple of weeks.  One day I was getting on a  plane to Detroit and I locked eyes with someone, smiled, and asked how they were. After I did it I was shocked. I could hardly believe it. For some this may be an easy skilll for you. However for me this used to be very difficult. Before, if I meet someone new I would get nervous, my eyes would go straight to the floor, and I would get out of the situation as fast as I could. No this wasn't because I was shy. That is definitely not a word people would use to describe me. It was because I didn't feel like I was in control. For people who have the habit of building walls this is not a situation we like to be in. The kindness180 challenge was changing even the smallest behaviors that are essential in connecting with other people.

I am 4 months into the Kindness180 challenge. The wall I have built over the last 20 years has become shorter and not quite as thick, but I still have a lot of work to do. 

I hope you will join me in the Kindness180 challenge. Your struggle to connect with people may be different than mine.  Maybe your struggle isn't even connecting with people. Maybe you just want a way to connect with people or strengthen relationships with those around you. Whatever your reason for doing the challenge, remember the Kindness180 challenge is not about perfection. It is about progress. It is about spreading kindness to those around you, building relationships with others, and even showing kindness to yourself. 

You can read more about Kindness180 here.

I hope you will join us in the Kindness180 challenge! 


Friday, September 29, 2017

Gratitude First- Guest Post by Tara Martin

I am so excited to have Tara Martin write a Guest Post for Kindness180. Tara's positivity is contagious! I am so excited that she decided to share her Gratitude First challenge with us all. Get ready for a real treat as we hear from Tara. :)

Gratitude First- By Tara Martin

Staci Erikson recently began a #Kindness180 Challenge and she gives two reasons for launching the challenge.

First, there will be a total of 180 acts of kindness posted throughout the year. While I hope you join me for as many as possible, there is no requirement to do one each day, and they don’t need to be completed in any particular order. Basically, you just pick the challenges you want to do on days you want to do them and go for it!
The second reason for the 180 is that when someone has “done a 180,″ it means they have changed their behavior or thoughts about someone or something. There will be kinds acts that may challenge you to do a 180 throughout the year. As an example, while it is often easy to show kindness to those we love or care about or when we see others in need, it may require a 180 in our thinking to show kindness to someone who has hurt us. Let’s be honest.. we may not always feel like showing kindness to a particular person, but it is important to remember that kindness is not a feeling, rather it is an action.
So, Staci asked me to share my daily act of kindness called #GratitudeFirst.
Even though Gratitude First is small and relatively easy to implement, the effects of this little act of kindness are astoundingly transforming. (Gratitude First is simply sending a "Thank You" email each morning as the first email.)
I'd like to take a minute to elaborate how this simple task will chemically rewire your brain and that of the recipient.

Rewire Your Brain

Gratitude boosts the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin--just like the prescription drugs Wellbutrin and Prozac. It's wild, but being grateful literally changes the chemicals in your brain and works like anti-depressant drugs.
What, WHAT?!
Thoughts are DRUGS?!
Basically. Well, they work just like them! When these chemicals are released in your mind, you begin to create synaptic connections that form a positive "web of thoughts" in the front of your brain. This positive feedback loop causes you to feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
The best part about this "natural antidepressant" is the fact that it's FREE!

Daily Dose of the Natural Anti-Depressant

As soon as I read about this in an article (linked below in resources) a while back, I immediately began searching for ways in which I might be grateful EVERY single day.
Email is often my nemesis. It tries to take over my life, and I'm determined to beat all odds and conquer it. (See my Zero Inbox post here.)
Since I dread checking email each morning, I decided to make my FIRST email EVERY day a "Thank You" email or as I like to call it "Gratitude First." I send them to various people and tell them how much I appreciate them and the work they do for kids. I send them to colleagues, custodians, bus drivers, PLN peeps, friends, and family. No one is exempt. It has changed my approach to diving into my email. It has also warmed my heart to get a reply or a hug with tears in their eyes saying how much that little tiny "Gratitude First" message meant to them. I mean who wouldn't want to receive a little love in the sea of chaos aka your inbox?

It Gets Better

As I was researching the chemical reaction in the brain regarding gratitude, I learned that simply remembering to look for appreciation increases the chemicals dopamine and serotonin in the mind.
Only searching for it?
Blew my mind! You don't even have to find something of which to be thankful, just searching for it stimulates your natural anti-depressant drugs! That's legit!
I've found this to be true as I'm searching for who to send my next day's Gratitude First Email. I want my thoughts to be authentic, so I'm constantly on the lookout for things of which to be thankful. As I see them or think of them, I make a note on my phone, type a text to myself, or voice memo a message so I can listen to it later. Let's just say my list is pretty long and I've begun sending two Gratitude First Emails most days.

Train Your Brain

If our thoughts control our brain and our brain controls every organ in our body, it would be wise for us to choose thoughts that positively affect our entire system--not just our human body system but the culture of our school system. Gratitude First is an easy applicable task with far-reaching outcomes.
Isn't it often the little things in life that make a big difference?
What little "Gratitude First Everyday" habit can you put in place?
How might this little habit affect the educational system?

More Gratitude Opportunities

Of course, check out Staci’s #Kindness180 Challenges here.
You might want to check out Dave Burgess's #Tlap #Gratitude Challenge here.

Tisha Richmond and I will be starting up the #GratitudeSnaps Challenge again in November 2017. Be on the lookout; you don't want to miss this!

My Gratitude First Email habit was inspired by this article.
PS I love the fact that this article totally supports hugging.! #ImAHugger

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday PositivitTEE

I am so excited to have Sheila Kennedy as a guest blogger for Kindness180. We met on social media ands is always spreading positivity. Recently we were at a speakers retreat together and she shared with me how she started Monday PositiviTEE. I immediately thought that this would be the perfect Kindness180 challenge. Spreading kindness through a simple t-shirt can make a huge impact on those around you. Let's hear from Sheila herself! 
(Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @4sheilak)

Monday PositiviTEE
Have you ever longed for the weekend to last a little longer?  I hear it so many times:  the Sunday night blues, the Monday morning blues, the weekend went by too fast, not wanting the weekend to end; so many people share their feelings about the “dreaded work week” and not wanting to go to work on Monday. I can sympathize - get it, I really do, BUT I’m here to share with you how I used the Power of Positivity to put a positive spin on all of this and uplift those that are having a hard time with Monday mornings.  
I guess I should first give you a little background and introduce myself…it all began with my love obsession of positive quotes and inspirational tees; I can't seem to have enough...I mean who doesn't love a good quote, right? Anyone else? Anyway, I’m Sheila Kennedy and I am an energetic first grade teacher and applied positive psychology practitioner. While getting certified I was finally able to discover what makes me happy and uncover my purpose; my passion is positive psychology and my purpose is sharing this information with others.  Through the use of gratitude, kindness and a love of learning, I am doing just that!  

So back to the Monday mornings and my love for t-shirts with positive and inspiring messages… Last year I had often wore one to school on dress down Fridays with a pair of jeans but later decided to start wearing them to school on Monday mornings to spread a positive message at the start of the week rather than the end.  The message on these shirts put me in such a good mood and I wanted to share the effect of these printed words with others - words are so powerful! (The ease of finding something to wear Monday morning by selecting one of my many t-shirts didn’t hurt either – what a bonus, lol!)

When others would comment about a shirt I was wearing, I found myself sharing the power of positivity with them; how it can have an effect on our thoughts, our words and in our actions.  I began to realize that my positive message t-shirts were beginning to have a purpose; wearing a shirt with a positive message not only made me feel good when I looked in the mirror but the message was also on display for everyone I came into contact with. It didn’t matter whether they read it and reacted with a smile or read it and the message unconsciously went into their mind, what DID matter was that either way, those words were having the power to send messages to their brain which, in turn, reacted in a positive way with their body and their overall well-being.

As a result, sending a positive message to others through wearing an inspirational t-shirt became a ritual every Monday at Tinicum School. Now as I walked through the hallways of school, those who were dreading coming in in the morning were now greeted with a powerful and uplifting message, which often caused them to smile or to at least be curious about what my shirt said.  The shirts also became teachable mini-lessons with my first graders; they even began looking forward to seeing what Monday message I'd be wearing...students excited to come to school on a Monday morning? YES!!  So I turned it into a great kick off to my Monday morning meeting topic. As a class we’d discuss the message on my shirt- what it means, how it can affect each of us in our lives and how we can go out and spread positivity and kindness through taking actions based on the message.  As a teacher, a parent, and most importantly, a fellow human being, I believe THIS is what we want more of in our world!!

As the school year progressed, what happened next was proof of how positivity is not only powerful but it’s also contagious; my grade partner Emily began buying and wearing positive shirts on Mondays too, and then students began wearing them! Before I knew it, there were other teachers and staff members in my building asking where I had purchased my shirts because they wanted to start wearing positive messages on Monday as well.  When I was facilitating professional development, I began sharing this with them as well and the response was overwhelming…they wanted to bring the idea back to their schools too!  There is so much truth to the saying “We rise by uplifting others” for I have witnessed it with my own two eyes and felt it within my teacher heart.  Not only were the adults and children in my school being positively affected, but the school culture was too!
Seeing so many negative posts on social media about people having to show up for work on Monday, as well as so many inspiring and uplifting images on social media for Motivational Monday, I decided to combine the two.  I am so grateful for the teacher community on social media, I have connected with so many kind-hearted and inspiring educators (including Staci who I can now call a friend in real life) so I turned to Instagram to take action.  Inspired by what Greg @kindergartensmorgasboard and Kayla @topdogteaching started with their idea of posting positive things happening in our classrooms with the hashtag #happyclassrooms and posting about being like a "shark" on Mondays, I decided to begin sharing what I was wearing on Monday mornings by posting on Instagram with the hashtag #MondayPositiviTEE.  Why not embrace the opportunity to uplift and inspire teachers & students alike with the combined powers of positivity and social media?  So now on my Instagram, @4SheilaK, not only do I post a picture but I often also try to tie it into a positive psychology topic that is research based.  Included in the post is also a shout out to where the shirt may be purchased – just another way of spreading kindness and showing gratitude by hoping to pay it forward to the businesses making the shirts.

It’s been a great way to start off the school week with positivity.  I'd love to see some of your positive & inspirational t-shirts so be sure to post a picture when you wear one and include the hashtag #MondayPositiviTEE.  Spread some love by tagging where the tee came from too.  I’m thrilled that Staci will be turning this idea into one of her #Kindness180 challenges…let’s go spread kindness!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Double Doozie Moment

I created Kindness180 this summer so I can grow professionally and personally. Here is one thing that I noticed.  It is really easy to show kindness when you are in good mood, things are going your way,  and when life isn't stressful. However, if we are really honest with ourselves it is hard to show kindness when life is stressful, when we have a bad day, or when things never seem to go right.

Before I share my experience keep one thing in mind. When we are creating blog posts or posting on social media it is very tempting to only share how great things are going. It is a little more difficult to share when we don't have it all together or when we are less than perfect. However, Kindness180 isn't about perfection. It is about growing. We grow when we can admit our faults and learn from them. 

So here we go. I have two words for you....Double Doozie. 

A Double Doozie is the most amazing cookie in the world. If you have never had a double doozie you are missing out on one of the greatest shopping mall treats EVER! So let me back track a bit. 

I was having a hard day. I hardly slept the night before, and it was just one thing after another from the moment I walked into the school building. I was putting out one fire after another. I had several discipline issues before the bell even rang, my own personal child was having issues at school. I had an upset parent who was justified in their frustration, but I was having difficulty resolving the situation. My principal was gone and I had questions coming in that only she could answer. Then I get a call that I needed to do some blood work for an upcoming procedure and it had be done THAT day, and the lab was 2 hours away one way. We live in a rural community and that was the closest lab that I could go to. I had to leave work early to get to the lab before it closed and this was just one of those days that I really couldn't leave early, but I didn't have a choice. I left work stressed and everything that needed to be done was weighing down on me. 

I make it to the lab on time for my 20 second blood draw, and then start to drive the 2 hours back home. I decided to take a detour and went to the mall to do some retail therapy. I bought some really cute converse shoes, because shoes always make a girl feel better right? Not today it didn't.  I could still feel myself on edge. 
Image result for shiny green converse

As I begin to leave the mall I  decided I would grab some Chick- Fil- A at the food court for dinner before I drove home. As I was leaving Chick -Fil- A, I turned around and there it was. The Great American Cookie Company, who made the greatest dessert of all time the DOUBLE DOOZIE! 

Image result for double doozie

If you have never had a double doozie you are missing out. It is two perfect cookies with frosting in the middle. It is by far my favorite dessert! After a long tiring day I just knew the Double Doozie was what I needed to brighten my day. I mean the new converse helped but the Double Doozie was the real answer.
 *I am rereading this and I know I sound ridiculous. It sounds like I am obsessed with Double Doozies and well I kind of am! *

So anyway.... I pick out the perfect Double Doozie and hand the cashier my debit card to pay for my $2.29 Double Doozie. She asks for my ID. No problem, I go to grab it and it's not there! I must have left it back home, which was 2 hours away, and of course I don't have any cash. I look at her and tell her that I don't have my ID. She said she had to have it or no Double Doozie. What? You mean to tell me I can't have my Double Doozie. The thing that was suppose to bring me happiness after a long day. 
*Rereading again and I know I sound like a crazy person but well I wanted that Double Doozie* 

Something comes over me. It was like an out of body experience. The stress of the day, the lack of sleep, the 4 hour round trip for a 20 second blood draw finally does me in. I furrow my brow, my accent gets real thick (which happens when I am being sassy) and I then look at her and say, "You mean to tell me I am not going to get the Double Doozie because I don't have my ID. If I stole this debit card I would be buying something way more expensive than a $2.29 double doozie." She told me yes that was correct and that is policy. I then went onto tell her that "I do not like your  policy and that it is.....stupid." I KNOW I KNOW!! AHH!!  What has come over me?! 

At this point I am not showing Kindness. I am overly stressed, overly tired, and I just want my DOUBLE DOOZIE! It is already late and I still have a 2 hour drive home. I leave (or more like marched off) get to my car and immediately feel bad. Here I am doing a Kindness180 challenge every day and I lose it because I didn't get my Double Doozie. On most days not getting my double doozie wouldn't have been a big deal. I would have just gone to the ATM in the food court, grabbed some cash, and then go back to pay for it, but not on this day. On this day I chose not to show kindness. 

I sat in my car reflecting on what just happened. Did I really just let my southern sass take over because of a double doozie?  I mean they are amazing but come on. I knew that I needed to figure out how to show kindness even when I am overly tired and stressed, because it's not an excuse to be unkind. Remember the 180 in Kindness180 is about changing your mindset on when to show kindness. We not only show kindness when everything is going perfectly. We have to show kindness even when everything is falling apart. This. Is. TOUGH. It is not easy to be positive when you are stressed and nothing seems to be going right. However we must be different. We must be able to show kindness no matter what situation we are in. 

As I sat and reflected about what just happened I kept thinking about my friend Sheila Kennedy. She spreads positivity daily. She has shared with me how positive thinking has helped her through some really difficult times. Way more difficult then not getting a Double Doozie cookie. *Sheila will be writing a guest blog post very soon on the power of positivity. 

We must practice having a positive attitude in order to show kindness to others. WHAT we tell ourselves in difficult situations makes a difference in HOW we respond during those same situations. 

Having a POSITIVE attitude is an essential piece in spreading kindness. 

Positive thinking can have a huge impact on our mental and emotional health. It can reduce stress and help us through difficult situations. If I had more of a positive attitude on the day that "Double Doozie Gate" occurred then I may have not have been so stressed out that I took out my frustration on someone who was simply doing their job. If I am truly honest with myself, I wasn't upset about not getting the delicious dessert. I was upset because it was just another thing that didn't go my way that day and I didn't take it too well. 

We have to TRAIN  ourselves  to have a positive mindset.

When someone decides to run a marathon they  train for months. They don't simply say, "I am going to run a marathon today." What would happen if they did that? For starters they won't make it very far. As soon as it gets difficult they will quit. When training for a marathon, you start off small. You may run a mile or two when you first start training. When your body is able to handle that then you increase your mileage. While you are slowly training your body you are also training your mind to push through the pain and the mental blocks. The slow and steady training that gradually increases in difficulty allows that person to run the big race. 

It is the same thing when you are training your mind to have a positive mindset. Don't wait to practice positivity when you are put in a difficult situation. Start by noticing the small things. Many people do this with a gratitude journal. The first thing they do when they wake up is write 3 things they are grateful for. This starts off the day with a positive mindset. Train yourself all day every day to have positive thoughts so when you are faced a particularly stressful day you are able to face it with grace and with a positive attitude. 

Let's be real. We ALL have had a Double Doozie moment. We may say or do something when we are stressed that we aren't particularly proud of. We must train ourselves to have a POSITIVE mindset in order to show kindness to everyone, even during the difficult times. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Kindness180 in Schools Pt.1

The beauty of Kindness180 is you can implement it however feel is best for your campus. Over the next few days I will explain how we are using it on our campus. If you feel like you want to implement Kindness180 the way we are doing it at our school that's great! You may like how we are doing it but may want to tweak a little bit and that is great too! Or you may want to go a completely different direction. Guess what? That's great! Whatever you decide to do please share it with us! You can comment below or use the hashtag #kindness180 when you post on Instagram or Twitter. We would love to hear your ideas and how you are using Kindness180 in your school.

At our school we started the Kindness180 challenges in the classroom. We have asked that each of our teachers do at least 5 kindness challenges between now and Christmas. That averages to one a month. They of course are welcome to do more! In fact many of our teachers are well on their way to do more than 5 challenges for the semester. Below is the sheet that we have asked our teachers to fill out after they have completed a challenge.

The teachers introduces the challenge to their class and the class completes the challenge. When the challenge is complete the class comes back together and discuss how the challenge went. The goal is to teach kids to show kindness to each other, even with the simplest acts.

Funny Story:
I was talking to one of my 1st grade teachers today and she challenged her class to play with someone new at recess. After recess she was pleased when each child said they had completed the challenge. When she started asking more questions about who they played with she discovered that every single student played with their cousin (we are a small town and there is only one elementary school). She had the students do it again but this time she challenged them to play with someone they have never met before. When they came back in from recess the second time each one of the students had indeed played with someone new that was not their cousin. Gotta love our sweet 1st graders!

How are you completing the Kindness180 challenges as a school? Please comment below!