(September 10, 2018)  — Stand for Children announced that 10 schools from across the country are National Finalists in the Middle School Kindness Challenge (MSKC). The schools are:

  • Bowman Middle School — Bakersville, North Carolina
  • Crossroads Middle School — Meridian, Idaho
  • Crystal Lake Community Middle School — Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Dawes Elementary School — Chicago, Illinois
  • Goff Middle School- Pawtucket Rhode Island
  • Harshman Magnet Middle School — Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Hairston Middle School — Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Irwin Altman Middle School 172 — Floral Park, New York
  • Princeton Middle School – Princeton, Maine
  • William Penn School 49 – Indianapolis, Indiana

The goal of the Middle School Kindness Challenge is to make kindness commonplace in middle schools and improve school climate by providing a no-cost, user-friendly platform for teachers to access high-quality, easy-to-implement lessons that help students strengthen peer relationships, build empathy and develop a positive mindset.

“Within schools you have a large variety of individuals coming from different backgrounds attempting to work together — which can be hard. Having kindness at the root of the work you do can assist people in learning to be not only active listeners, but empathetic to individuals who might have different thoughts and values than their own,” said Harshman Middle School’s Kindness Captain Erin Sanborn.

The finalist schools announced today are distinguished for their commitment to improving school climate and fostering a safe and supportive environment for all students at their school. Their efforts and commitment to fostering kindness are not only inspiring but also incredibly timely. With their efforts and dedication to fostering kindness they are paving the way toward commonplace kindness for all students across the nation. The Middle School Kindness Challenge is a program of Stand for Children, a national non-profit education advocacy organization and is supported by Hasbro, Inc.’s BE FEARLESS BE KIND philanthropic initiative.

“It’s becoming more and more apparent that we need to teach children to manage their emotions and actions and to regularly demonstrate kindness in their day to day lives,” said Jonah Edelman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Stand for Children. “The students at these 10 schools demonstrated that young people are hungry for kindness-centered activities and that they genuinely want to learn in an environment where respect, caring and support are commonplace. We honor their efforts and invite schools nationwide to join this movement.”

As part of the MSKC, students from the 10 finalist schools took part in four weeks of activities and lessons that generated dialogue around the importance of demonstrating kindness in their school and in their day-to-day life.

Today’s finalists receive $1,000 in Donors Choose Credits made possible by the support of the Hasbro Children’s Fund. With this, the school can acquire valuable materials to continue their commitment to kindness work.

The Middle School Kindness Champion for the Spring Cycle will be announced later this month. The Champion school is selected based on which school excelled in their participation from reflection exercises to kindness rituals with a strong emphasis on impacting change and making the school, overall, a true environment that fosters kindness. The Spring Cycle’s Champion will receive an additional $4,000 in Donors Choose credit bringing their total reward to $5,000.

The current MSKC Cycle is open until November 13, 2018.