PRESS RELEASE - January 19, 2023

Posted on 01/19/2023

Students from Alice Birney, Grant, Lafayette, Washington, Winship, and Zane, Join over 18 Million Youth in 115 Countries Participating in the 12th Annual Great Kindness Challenge

January 19, 2023 - Eureka, CA – The world can use some extra kindness right now and students at Eureka City Schools (ECS) are going to deliver!  The four elementary schools within ECS (Alice Birney, Grant, Lafayette, Washington) and two middle schools (Winship and Zane) are participating in the 12th Annual Great Kindness Challenge the week of January 23 - 27, 2023.

The Great Kindness Challenge, presented by the global nonprofit Kids for Peace, was launched in 2012 with three schools in Carlsbad, California to address bullying and to foster connection, inclusion, and compassion.  The annual program has multiplied in enrollment each year, having grown to over 18 million students in 36,000+ schools, reaching across all 50 states and 115 countries.

Sheri Jensen, Climate Coach for ECS, notes, “Spreading kindness throughout our schools and the greater community is our way of encouraging students to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  It shows how important it is to let others know we care."
Jill McManigal, co-founder and executive director of Kids for Peace, explains, “We are truly grateful for all educators who not only ensure safe school environments but are also committed to creating school cultures that promote equity, community, empathy, and social-emotional wellness. The Great Kindness Challenge provides educators and students the tools, opportunity, and encouragement, to actively create a positive, respectful and inclusive school culture for all.”  

Schools and students are drawn to the program for its positive and proactive approach to creating kinder school climates through a simple checklist of intentional acts of kindness. The checklist will be distributed to students at the beginning of The Great Kindness Challenge week.  Students will be encouraged to complete each kind act throughout the week, as well as take part in additional community-building events and global service projects.  ECS will amplify the experience by:

  • Promoting acts of kindness on campus and in the community 
  • Learning about kindness in classrooms
  • Promoting kindness through spirit week
  • Hosting a mix-it-up lunch
  • Providing kindness stations for students to promote kindness on their campus

While the excitement of The Great Kindness Challenge is enormous, it is the simple acts of kindness that prove to be the biggest hit.  Some examples of items on the checklist include: 

  • Smile at 25 people
  • Help your teacher with  a needed task
  • Read a book to a younger student
  • Sit with a new group of kids at lunch

At the end of the day, every act of kindness – big and small - makes a difference.  We can all help make a positive difference. Let us join together, lift each other up, cheer each other on and do our part to create a kinder Eureka and a more compassionate world.  

Additional information about The Great Kindness Challenge can be obtained from their website at

Press Contact:
Micalyn Harris, Executive Assistant
[email protected]
Tel: 707-441-2414