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Staunton City Schools launches kindness challenge

Staunton Schools is working to make the school environment as positive and uplifting as it can be with the Staunton Kindness Challenge.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - It’s been a challenging year for schools across the nation. Whether it’s COVID-19, negative social media influences, or staffing shortages, it’s been tough for many.

Staunton Schools Superintendent Garett Smith says the district is determined to make the school environment as positive and uplifting as it can be with the Staunton Kindness Challenge.

“Have a great day everybody. It’s Kindness Day,” Smith said to Bessie Weller Elementary students as they arrived.

The kids started their school day Monday by walking through a kindness tunnel that included school leaders, people from the public works department and Augusta Health, police officers, and even a Marine.

A sign encouraging Staunton students to be kind. It's part of the Staunton Kindness Challenge...
A sign encouraging Staunton students to be kind. It's part of the Staunton Kindness Challenge initiative.(WVIR)

“What we know is that if we make an intentional focus on kindness, we’re gonna have an impact on positive student behavior and staff morale,” Smith said.

Things kicked off with Strite’s Donuts and t-shirts for everyone, but the week’s festivities include themed spirit days, kindness challenges, yard signs for the community, and a collection for the Valley Mission called Coins for Kindness.

“We think kids are inherently kind,” Smith stated. “Staunton City Schools is gonna lead this work, but we’re gonna bring the whole community with us.”

“It’s really important for all of us to be kind to each other and to build a genuine sense of caring and community,” Bessie Weller Elementary Principal Sandra McGrath said.

She encouraged students during her morning message over the loudspeaker. “We challenge each of you to let kindness guide your spirit and that you be a good friend today,” McGrath said.

On Thursday, Staunton City Council is expected to deliver a proclamation for Staunton Kindness Challenge Week. More information about the initiative as well as planned events are available on the Staunton City Schools website.

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